Thursday, January 28, 2010


Todays weather warning- memories of the past

January 28, 2010
Weather Warning on TV for my area - brings back memories of past.

Today it is up to 27 degrees F and dropping to around 8 tonight. Snowing outside. Do not expect a large amount of snow, but reports say to expect strong winds and white out -making it impossible to see for driving for the few hours it is expected to last- from about 10AM through at least 5PM this afternoon. Many times this winter the weather report has been wrong, but the way the snow is coming down on a slant and the flakes so close together , I believe this time they will be correct. Already my driveway has a thin covering of snow and the wind and snow are getting worse.

Many people say this year we are having a much colder winter, so far with less snow. But I can remember how our faces got so cold that they felt frozen by the time we walked the mile to school. I remember my father driving the distance from our home to our grade school to see just how far we were actually walking- a full mile, 4 times a day since we also had to walk back and forth at lunch time from the age of 5 years old in First Grade. Yes, at 5 years old we went to First grade - there were no pre-school or kindergarten classes back then, like they have today. We used to hold our mitten covered hands over our nose while breathing because our nose would hurt so much every time we tried to breath. We also covered our mouth when we talked due to the awful cold air we were trying not to breath in, that would sometimes cause pain in your chest. Being little, our uncovered lips would sometimes get raw and painful from the cold wind and sometimes you would have to take your hands from your face and push them into your jacket pockets because even wearing the mittens, the hands would get so cold they were freezing and getting stiff- hard to bend the fingers. We did not have the lip balm to protect our lips and could not wear lipstick to protect them until we were about 16 years old. Today they even make safe play lip covering for the little girls and the lip balm for everyone. I remember our mother having us spread some clear Vaseline over our chapped lips to help heal them. I still remember the greasy mess and how it wasn`t so good tasting, though it was not real terribly tasting and did work great. Vaseline was very popular for many things, even for healing some very bad burns . I still think it works better than a lot of the newer salves and ointments on sale today.

I remember how we used to try to pull our coats and coat collars up as far as we could - trying to protect our ears and face from that very strong cold wind and blowing snow. I used to get some bad ear aches from the cold. So, guess it was as cold back when I was small as it is today, but so far this winter our snow banks here are not as bad, but then winter only started about 4 1/2 weeks ago, and we have weeks more winter to get through, so who knows what is still ahead for this winter. Funny how you can go on the net and read about the bad snow storm that happened in either 1957 or 1958, while the one I remember as worst was in the 1955-56 winter. I know I have the correct year for the one I remember being so bad here because it was the twins (born in April 1955) first winter and the only winter we lived in the little house on the back of this property. We had built a small place to live in while we were building the larger home that I still live in today.

One morning, shortly after I awoke, I heard a neighbor`s son , Ken, calling my name. When I opened the side door to see what he wanted, all I saw was snow that covered all the doorway except for about two inches at the top. This house had no cellar and was built down level on the ground. So, I pulled over a chair to stand on so I could peek out to ask Ken what he wanted. He asked me if he could borrow my snow shovel. First, I asked him where he was as I could see no one. Suddenly I saw a space where the snow started to hump up a little, then his finger tips started to show above the top of the snow. He was also standing on a chair inside the shack his family lived in. I told him, yes, if he could find a way to come over after it. That was when I started holding my breath in fear that he might fall down under the snow on his way over to my house. While he was taller than I was, the snow was still over his head. I watch as he slowly packed down the snow ahead of him as he crawled on his stomach across close to 60 feet of property from his place to reach my side door. Luckily I had brought my snow shovel inside the night before or it would have been hidden some place under that deep snow like this neighbor`s shovel was. I was finally able to breath easier once Ken arrived at my doorway. Then came the problem of how to pull him from the high snow down into my kitchen without him being hurt. A lot of snow came falling into my kitchen along with him and what a mess I had to clean up. Ken stood on my kitchen chair and slowly shoveled the snow away from the door. Then he started shoveling a path from my door back to his home. Since the snow was so high, I let him carry my chair along so he could reach the snow top to shovel it. Once he reached his home, he carried my chair back over to me and I sat it in front of the kerosene heating stove to dry it off. Ken needed my shovel to shovel out the driveway for his father. I often remember how his father made his sons do any hard work that needed to be done. His father then worked at the same mill where my husband Walter had worked. He spent every spare free minute either going fishing or going hunting with his friends, not that good a family man.
When you have gone through a snow storm and worried about a teenager falling into the snow, knowing there would be no way for you to reach him, you never forget where you lived and what year it was when this bad storm happened.

I also remember another winter about in the late 1980`s or 90`s when we had a lot of snow, just not mostly from one storm. My son had parked a car on the other side of the fence on our next property and that winter his car was completely covered with snow. I took pictures of where the car was and since not even a bump showed in the snow, most people did not think the car was actually under there. So, when some snow started melting, I again took a picture showing part of the top of his car. When spring came I was surprised to see that being snow covered had not affected the car finish and the car still ran great- not even the inside seats were damaged. That car sure had good door and window seals on it. I expected the car to be ruined, I sure was surprised. My son was working for a moving Co. and traveled a lot and at that time I was unable to shovel it out for him. If I remember correct, I think that was when I had my first hand op., plus was still having problems from when I broke off my tail bone and had some disc that kept slipping out of place because of it. Since this son told me not to worry about his car, that it would be ok, guess everyone else took him at his word as no one offered to shovel it out.

So, I am hoping that we do not have any huge snow storms like those this winter. My older sister spends her winters in Florida and her last e-mail mentioned she was glad she was not up her in our cold weather. But, I would rather have these storm warnings that are still being reported on TV for our area, than the flooded problems she has almost every spring. Just cost her $1600 for having the apartment dried out and mildew proofing done again, plus now needs a new rug, new wallboard and lots other repairs from having about 17 inches of water flooding her place. She says she still has lots more clean-up work to do and more furniture and other things to check out. I wish her luck. Since she is 2 years older than I am, at 80, it has to be quite hard work for her even with a neighbor friend and hiring some repair workers to help. Her floors are cement, so no boards there to need replacing every year.

Just came on TV again with the storm warning. Not expecting a large snow storm, but snowing with the strong winds is expected to cause the white out with little or no way to see , it sure could cause some bad accidents if people still have to, or take the chance, driving on the roads. I am hoping my son reaches the school where he works before the worst of the storm is , since he drives over 50 miles from his place in the mountains to the school about a 15 minute drive from where I live. He phoned me a short while ago to see what the weather was supposed to be here. If the warning is correct, the storm will have stopped so the town should have the roads cleared again before he gets out of work late tonight. So, I am just praying the snow and wind do not get any worse before he reaches his work. He should be leaving home soon as he told me he was going in early, hoping to reach the school ahead of the white out effect. They are now listing loads of school all around me which are closing early today, but not directly in my area. Our school district is always the last one to give in , but since it has started getting worse and now I can hardly see my own street corner, they should change their minds soon. Might be better if they kept them till after the storm lets up, but that sure would scare their parents since everyone does not watch the TV reports to know what is going on, and way too many to ever try contacting that many parents. Hope my son has reached, or is very close to reaching his place of work. Hope his twin brother stays safe driving a town truck in this storm. So many family members to worry about that might be driving to or from work during this storm. I remember how I used to worry when Walt was driving to or from work in bad weather. I also know that sometimes it is harder to see up the road from inside the house than it is driving in the car. Hope this is one of those times. The snow flakes are getting much larger now and the cars seem to being driving a little slower on the main road than they usually do. The snow is now starting to pile up faster and if it continues for very long we will end up with a lot more than the 1 inch they predicted . Close to that already and still coming down heavy with large flakes and blowing wind. Glad my mailman came early so I will have no reason to need to go outside in this wearher. I had hoped to go visit my Aunt in the Nursing Home this morning as the weather report first said the storm would start at noon in my area, but by 10 O`clock the snow had already started, so I changed my mind and decided to stay home. Supposed to be in the teens tomorrow, so not sure about going then. She does get feeling more down when I stay away for too many days, so I try to make it at least once a week. Seeing it snowing, she will not expect to see me today as she knows I seldom drive in bad weather unless I have to. WOW, it sure has gotten worse in just the last few minutes, I now cannot see the house on the next road and cannot see cars driving down the main road, so their white out effect was true. I will close this with a prayer for safety for all who are living through this storm or any storm where they might live. Know it is also snowing in N. Carolina and Virginia where part of my family lives.

Here I am back to finish writing this post so I can add it to my blog. It is almost three PM and the bad storm has suddenly stopped completely and the white out is over. I can again clearly see both the house on the next road and the cars speeding down the main road. We did get more than the inch, but only between three and four inches total, so not enough to make it necessary for me to run out and shovel at the moment, will do it later.

This is not a very interesting post, but my way of letting future family members, who might some day read it, know a little more about what it was like growing up back in the 30`s when I attended grade School.

Looks like I spoke too soon as it has begun snowing again.
Goodness gracious, Dot, I think this WAS a very interesting post! I can only imagine what it was like for you all back when you were walking to school in that terrible weather!! And, even now living through snow storms! The only time in my life (with one exception back in 1989 when it DID snow here in FL) was when we were kids and lived in Washington state; I remember the beautiful snow but not any snow storms.

You are such a wonderful writer, and I so enjoy reading about your life. I hope your son made it to the school and back home safely yesterday. You take care of yourself, and I'm glad to read that you don't drive in bad weather. I'm sure your aunt understands.

I'll be checking back with you, my friend!! ((hugs))
Haven't commented in a long while I know. Reading this reminds me of my mother's stories about her young days. Life was so much more difficult wasn't it?
Take care and sending you warm thoughts from this warm place.
Oh my! that was a vivid narrative but then you do make us visualize what you describe.thanks for taking us back in time and as sally says, your aunt is lucky to have you but i am sure she'd understant about your not visiting her.How is she now? i meant to ask you this ever since i read your comment at my bloog.
Missing you SO much, my friend. Hope all is well with you and your family. ((((((HUGS)))))))
hope your ok dot.
Hi Dot hope you are Ok.miss reading your posts.Just stopped to say hello.
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