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Temperature dropped 50 degrees in 5 hours.

Ron Smith, Editor

November 22, 2019

2 Min Read
Cold snap hits Nov.12. Early snowfall covers the field behind our house.Ron Smith

It’s a few minutes after 8 a.m., Nov. 12, and I am sitting in a Charleston, S.C., hotel room that defines elegance. Robes and slippers provided. Furniture is solid, polished, expensive.

Two cartons of water, in paper containers resembling milk cartons of old (a nod to the environment, perhaps), are available on the night stand. The mini-fridge, tucked away in an stylish cabinet, is stocked with beverages of all ilk. Those are not complimentary. Neither are the Snickers bars, sadly.

It’s a plush place to hold up following a day of meetings with the Southern Crop Production Association. I’ll pack up to leave in a few minutes with mixed feelings. I’m always ready to go home at the end of a work trip. After two or three days in a hotel, even one as swank as the Belmond Charleston Place, I’m anxious to get back to my much less elegant but infinitely more comfortable bed.

I’ll enjoy the coziness of my recliner, the pastoral (an actual pasture) view out my back door, and my desk cluttered with dozens of reporter’s notebooks, pens, and random sheets of paper. It makes sense to me.

On the other hand, when we (Pat often accompanies me on trips that include elegant hotels) head north and west in an hour or two, we will be leaving the balmy, if wet, South Carolina Low Country, heading home to a frigid welcome. By the time we get to Johnson City, Tenn., the temperature will have dropped from the current 31 to the low 20s.

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My daughter just sent me a photo of our grandson, Walker, bundled up playing in the snow. A big smile lights up his face.

I did mention that today is Nov. 12, didn’t I? 

Sometime tonight the temperature at home will plunge to about 12. I will not get up to check. I probably will forego my usual (rare of late) early morning walk tomorrow. I have only just recovered from a bout of some sort of head cold that I prefer not to antagonize into revengeful return.

I’m sitting here in the plushness of this classy roadhouse, located in one of the most picturesque cities in the country, contemplating the drive home, which will take me through Asheville, N.C. and some interesting twisty mountain roads. It could be an adventure.

I suppose I could wait it out here—not a bad plan—but I kinda want to get home and check the plumbing. I have not felt the need yet to winterize the outside faucets. I did mention that it’s just Nov. 12, right?

I also have some family activities planned for tonight and tomorrow. Walker may need someone to throw snowballs at.

I’ll end now, finish packing, fortify myself with coffee and plot my route home. Or maybe I’ll stay here.

About the Author(s)

Ron Smith

Editor, Farm Progress

Ron Smith has spent more than 30 years covering Sunbelt agriculture. Ron began his career in agricultural journalism as an Experiment Station and Extension editor at Clemson University, where he earned a Masters Degree in English in 1975. He served as associate editor for Southeast Farm Press from 1978 through 1989. In 1990, Smith helped launch Southern Turf Management Magazine and served as editor. He also helped launch two other regional Turf and Landscape publications and launched and edited Florida Grove and Vegetable Management for the Farm Press Group. Within two years of launch, the turf magazines were well-respected, award-winning publications. Ron has received numerous awards for writing and photography in both agriculture and landscape journalism. He is past president of The Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association and was chosen as the first media representative to the University of Georgia College of Agriculture Advisory Board. He was named Communicator of the Year for the Metropolitan Atlanta Agricultural Communicators Association. Smith also worked in public relations, specializing in media relations for agricultural companies. Ron lives with his wife Pat in Denton, Texas. They have two grown children, Stacey and Nick, and two grandsons, Aaron and Hunter.

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