Wednesday, December 30, 2009

LET IT SNOW


It has been trying to snow here the past day or so, but to no avail. We get snow sometimes, but it usually melts off by the next day. I've been talking to my kids and grandkids about living in an area that got lots of snow in the wintertime when I was a kid. We lived in Omaha, Nebraska until I was about 14. I remember one winter it had not only snowed, but I guess the snow had changed to rain or sleet and we had a thick coating of ice all over. School must have been delayed an hour or so, because we were already up and dressed and waiting anxiously to hear if they were going to cancel school for the day. Someone rang our doorbell and told us they had heard that school was cancelled and some of the neighborhood kids were across the street at Johnny and Eddie's house ice skating in their driveway! Their side of the street was in the shade, so they had gotten more ice than our driveway. I hurriedly got dressed and grabbed my skates. While we were skating Mom yelled out to us that school had indeed been cancelled. We had so much fun ice skating in their driveway that morning.
Getting ready to go outside to play in the snow was quite an ordeal. But if you were smart, you took your time and did it right and then you could stay outdoors longer because you would be warmer. Well, you could at least stay outside as long as your bladder could hold out. :0) I can remember putting on tights, then knee socks over that. Then if we were going ice skating, maybe even another short pair of socks over that. Then pants, and if you were lucky you had snow pants. If not, then maybe even another pair of pants. Then 2 shirts, a sweater and then your coat. Don't forget a hat or wool scarf for your head and 2 pair of gloves - one to put on and one to put in your pocket for when your gloves got wet from the snow - unless you had waterproof gloves. You might even tie a scarf around your neck. By this time of course, you were sweating profusely and couldn't wait to get outside. You were also walking a little stiffly.
I loved to play outside in the snow! I remember many times making snow forts for snowball fights. You could either use an old cardboard box and pack snow in it to make snow bricks, which could then be used to make the fort, or you could find a nice snow drift and hollow out a snow cave. The snow brick fort seemed to be more stable to hide behind when a snowball fight was going on. I remember we used to tell our opponents that they had to "fight fair" and not put rocks in the snowballs, or dip the snowballs in water and set aside until they hardened and then put more snow on the outside to hide the "iceball". If you got hit in the head with one of those it really hurt! After we got our fort built, then we would proceed to make a big pile of snowballs for our "ammo supply". I think it was more fun preparing for a snowball fight than actually having the fight. :0)
Sledding was also great fun. At the bottom of our dead-end street was a big hill. On top of the hill was the Junior High School. The 2 hills by the football field were perfect sledding hills. Kids would bring sleds, toboggans, snow saucers, cardboard boxes, garbage can lids, pieces of metal - literally anything that they thought would slide down the hill on the snow. You couldn't just slide down anywhere. You had to slide down the few paths that others had already started. Those were the slickest. If you tried to just start a new path, your sled or saucer wouldn't slide down as fast. So there were 3 or 4 paths that everyone used. This meant waiting in line on days when there were lots of kids there, but that was okay. It took several minutes just to pull your sled back up the long hill. We didn't have to worry about trees or bushes or anything in the way, because the hill was completely clear, and at the bottom was the football field. If the path was good and slick and you got a pretty good cast off at the top, you could not only slide all the way down the hill, but pretty far out onto the football field before your sled stopped. Everyone always watched to see who could go the farthest out onto the football field. That was a good ride!
Ice skating was also my one of my favorite winter pasttimes. But we only got to ice skate on Johnny and Eddie's driveway that one year and the rest of the time we had to go down to Fontnelle Park. I used to be so envious of the really good ice skaters. You would see them down there skating backwards and forwards and doing axels, etc. I remember one time Mom had dropped Inklings and I off at the skating rink. I don't know how long we were there, but I remember when she came to pick us up, we walked over to the edge of the rink and sat down on the park bench to take our skates off. When we went to stand up to walk to the car we couldn't walk. At least I couldn't. I had skated too long and my ankles were so weak they wouldn't support me. I remember crawling on my hands and knees to the car. So humiliating. :0+ I can also remember Inklings and I going up to the lodge to have steaming hot cocoa to warm us up. Mmmmmm! I remember one time we were skating and I noticed sawhorses on the ice. They had sort of a skating "lifeguard" who skated around watching out for people. He was skating by the saw horse asnd telling people not to skate over there because the ice was thin. I looked down at the ice and saw that the ice where I was actually had water on top. Needless to say, I skated away till I found firmer ice!
I loved to walk to school whether it was snowing, raining, or sunny. I had snow boots that were fur-lined and my mom had made me a "shoe bag" to put my school shoes in. I would carry the shoe bag and change my shoes after I got to school. Sometimes I wouldn't wear my snowboots, because I knew that the sidewalks had been shoveled the day before. I would walk down to the dead-end and through a short part of grass till I got to the sidewalk. There was a loooong sidewalk that went from the dead-end all the way to the top of the hill where the Junior High was. I would walk around on the sidewalks and go another block to the Elementary school. Sometimes I would be running late and didn't want to walk all the way around the sidewalks, so I would think that I could "cut" across the lawns. Only in the wintertime the lawns had snow on them. But if the snow had been there several days and it had been cold, I could walk carefully across on the top of the snow in my school shoes and would not even break the snow. But then every once in awhile I would either find a softer patch or I would step too hard and down would go my foot into a foot or two of snow. Then I would have to climb up and get back on top of the snow. Sometimes I knew I had made the wrong choice because after getting towards the middle a ways, the snow would be too soft so then I would just run fast through the snow vowing to walk on the sidewalk the next time. Sometimes the sidewalk down the hill to the dead-end wouldn't be shovelled. It would be so slick with ice and snow that I would have to actually walk beside the sidewalk in the snow that wasn't so slick.
Sometimes I miss the snow. But then I remember the times that I stayed outside way too long and would come in half-frozen. I would have big welts on my face, legs, arms and butt. They would hurt and itch as I thawed out. Then I think that maybe I have the best of both worlds. It doesn't snow here that much, but I can look up at the mountain and see it coverend in snow many times through the winter. Snow is just really nice to look at...from a distance. :0)

11 comments:

Bullet for Babs said...

I don't have too many memories playing in the snow but that doesn't make me sad. I have other memories of doing other things that make up for it.

Delirious said...

I was watching "A Christmas Story" and it came to that part where the kids is all bundled up in his snowsuit and all of the sudden has to go to the bathroom and his mom has to scurry to get his suit off so he can go. That pretty much sums up my life with snow suits. lol Whenever I think of playing in the snow as a kid, I have this uncomfortable Pavlov's dog reaction and remember that uncomfortable feeling of being stuck in the suit and needing a bathroom. :)
I never ice skated as a kid, but I roller skated alot. When I was a young adult, our youth group went ice skating and I LOVED it! It was so much easier to me than ice skating. I was even able to do turns and skate backwards; things I can't do on roller skates. I would like to skate again, but at my level of fitness I would probably break a wrist or something. :)

Dee Ice Hole said...

I like to look at the snow too---on the TV news that it is snowing 200 miles north of us. We got about 6 new inches of snow today but it is starting to warm up---tomorrow it will start to melt.

Lindsay-Weaver said...

I used to love the snowstorms when I was little. Now, the only thing I don't like is driving in huge snowstorms. Also, I always have a big imagination that I'm going to go do all these winter sports "this year". I never do, but I still don't winter...even if it is freezing cold here in January! I think if I had to mow lawns and garden all year,I'd get bored of it.

Mr. Giggles said...

Never been ice-skating. Never been skiing. Never been snowboarding. Never walked in snow shoes. Shoveled too many walks. Almost killed myself on our Aunt's sled going down her hill toward the barbed-wire fence. I stay inside and watch a movie ABOUT snow, I think!

Inklings said...

I am still in touch with one of my friends from Omaha, and she said Omaha got so much snow it came up to the door handles of the cars! Everyone was snowed in and even church was cancelled that day. That was last Sunday, I think. Or maybe the one before???

Amber said...

that sounds like a lot of fun - I think you had a pretty fun childhood! thanks for sharing these stories! :)

Native Minnow said...

I had the same image as Delirious. I should've watched A Christmas Story again this year.

I wanted to go ice skating this Christmas, but never made it happen. I know it's not too late, so maybe I'll do it before the new semester begins.

I took my kids sledding when I was in Utah for my grandma's funeral. I'm pretty sure it was Mr M's first time. We had fun, even though we only stayed for about an hour because we didn't have good snow clothes on.

AmberlyThrower said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Inklings said...

Mr. M was so excited about snow. He kept telling me he was going to move where there was snow when he grows up.

Nene said...

Just FYI - the comment I deleted above was someone inviting me (in Chinese) to an adult online chat room. Yikes! Thanks to Blogger translator! I had asked Delirious to read it for me, but found the translator first.