A blog about "nothing"!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Winter of Our Discontent

This has been a bad winter, probably one of the worst in the past few years. All the problems that go along with it make it that much worse too, Lee fell this past week while taking Laney outside, I darned near got my car stuck in the driveway and now this morning we discover water dripping in around the window in the family room because of ice backup. Just keeping my fingers crossed that it doesn't do any serious damage. We noticed while investigating that mess that some of our raingutters are gradually coming off too, fortunately that is something we were planning on replacing in the spring or summer anyhow. Ah, the joys of homeownership.

As a kid I was a snow bunny--my friends and I lived to be outside doing something, anything in the snow. Sledding was the most common activity as we live in an area with a decent amount of hills. One of my favorite memories is the day my friends Paul and Brenda and I, inspired by watching way too much Olympic coverage, decided to see if we could ride one of our runner style sleds the whole way down into the village, all three of us on the same sled. I guess we'd watched a bit more of the luge and bobsled competitions than was healthy. We started just a little past my house and one by one, each of us jumped on and we managed to ride about 1/4 mile down the road before we couldn't go any further. By the time we walked back up the hill on the slick road, we were too tired to try it again, but we were proud of the fact that we did it. I was really surprised a couple of months after Paul's tragic death, talking to his widow about some of the crazy things we had done as kids and she brought this whole thing up, apparently he'd told the story to his own kids and remembered it as well as I did. Funny the things that stick with you.

Another good memory I have involved the neighborhood kids after what was probably one of the worst snow storms this area has ever seen. The winter of 1977-78 was a really bad one, makes this year look like nothing. My mom had always joked that our school district was run by Eskimos as we rarely ever missed a day of school due to bad weather. That particular year we missed at least 5 days. A couple weeks after Christmas my mom took me shopping with the money I'd saved so I could get a new coat. Monday morning came around and she was debating on even sending me, but I insisted I wanted to go so I could show my new coat to my friends. Mom waited with me for the school bus to come (something she NEVER did) and asked the bus driver what he thought about the roads. His comment was "if that was my child, I wouldn't put her on this bus." Needless to say I stayed home, and as it turned out they ended up sending everyone home early anyhow. And then the snow started. It snowed and snowed and snowed--it finally got to the point where the snow plows couldn't even get through anymore and we were literally snowed in. When the snow finally stopped, they had to come in with highlifts to get through it was so deep. Somewhere around here I have a picture of all the neighborhood kids afterwards, sitting on top of this enormous snow mound. We all had a blast, playing in all that snow, while I'm sure our parents grumbled about all the things I grumble about now as an adult. The ride to town that week was very odd, it was like riding in a tunnel made of packed snow.

Yesterday at work someone came in to my office and said that we were possibly in line to get 20 inches of snow early in the week. The thought of that makes me shudder, I don't relish the thought of trying to dig out of all of that, but I couldn't help but have a flashback to the winter of 77-78. Too bad the runner sled was lost when the garage caught fire, but maybe I should have the camera ready just in case Brenda and I get the urge to crawl up on a snow bank........

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