The major winter storm we had last week brought back brilliant and pleasant memories—really! Please, enjoy once again my column of Feb. 16, 2014.
Back in the ‘40s, a major snow fall meant picking up shovels and helping Dad and the neighbors shovel out the shared driveway. We always snuck in a few “snow angels” on the unblemished, soft snow before joining the shovel crew. There was an ulterior motive in helping, however; when we finished, we built the neatest forts in the huge snow piles on the sides of the driveway complete with carved out windows to see the enemy. The neighbor kids did the same. Then we’d crunch down behind our respective walls and have the Queen Mother of all snowball fights!
Naturally, we had to reshovel the battlefield when the “war” was over. Our snowsuits would be soaked and we could ring out our mittens by the time we headed indoors for well-deserved hot chocolate and cookies from Mom. Some years later, Dad bought a used commercial, self-propelled snow blower. I can picture him wearing his knitted hat, gloves and heavy jacket moving up and down the driveway with a big grin on his face. As we watched from the kitchen window, Mom smiled and said he was like a little kid with a new toy.
Do you remember your father putting chains on the rear tires? Dad would painstakingly line up the chains, back the car over the chains and then tighten them. We could get through just about anything, albeit slowly, when chains were in place. What a cacophony of sounds, however, when the snow melted on the roadways and it was chains vs. paved road. But the worst was the holy racket made when a few chain links broke free and repeatedly hit the wheel well as the car moved. Wonder what the decibel level measured!
Winter memories wouldn’t be complete without recalling the monster sled trail/jump created years ago by my sons and their buddies in our side yard. When the project was completed to their satisfaction, they trudged across the street and up the neighbor’s driveway with their sleds. I held my breath as they flew down the hill, across the street, up and over the jump, back down with a bang, whizzing down the ice-slicked side yard off into the woods. Laughing and yelling all the way, they experienced some nasty wipeouts as they roared by. Ah, once again, history repeated itself: the boys and their friends trooped into the family room and hung up wet jackets, soaked gloves and put boots in the furnace room to dry. They sat around, red-cheeked, excitedly talking about their wonderful adventure. I came in with a tray of hot chocolate and cookies—just as our mother did for us.
From the windows of my warm, cozy home the snowstorm last week was beautiful. A confession: I poked my head outside the front door and listened to the “silence” of the falling snow. What magic!