I woke up this morning to the sound of the salt truck making it’s first trip through my neighborhood. I unwillingly looked out the window to find that the long awaited snow had finally begun. The driveway and sidewalks were already covered with a light dusting of the pearly white stuff and more was falling. 6-12″ the local weather man was spouting from the radio next to my bed.
I trecked my way into work arriving only 5 minutes later than usual. I drive around a lot as part of my job, so I knew my day would get tricky. By the time it was time for me to leave the building I realized I should probably play it safe. I called my first client and cancelled. My second client of the day was such a struggle to schedule and involved more people than just me that I decided to go. I braved the weather and the idiot drivers to complete the visit. I made it there an back safely – though not without a lot of under the breath swearing. I couped myself up inside for the remainder of the day.
As I was leaving the office we got the official word that tomorrow we would be closed due to the weather. It made my drive home so much more serene. I watched the snowfall with delight. I pulled into my driveway to find a fort carved into the giant snowdrift left over from the last snow. As I made my way into the garage a flood of memories from my childhood rushed back at me. I give them to you now in random order. It’s great to be a kid!
I grew up on a farm in southern Minnesota – it was called the frozen tundra because there was never a snowfall that missed us and we always had the wind to go with it.
I remember a year that we got so much snow that we could barely see the top of the tractor that my dad was driving to plow out the 1/4 mile long driveway.
I remember having so much snow that I could walk out of the side door of our house (that had no steps so it ordinarily was 5+ feet of the ground) and being able to just keep walking because the snow came right up to the door.
I remember snow plowed up at the elementary school so high that we felt we could reach the top of the building. We would sled down the hills during recess and play “king of the hill” if the recess monitors weren’t watching.
I remember the school flooding the tennis court every winter and we would skate during recess. I think we did skating during gym class too!
I remember sledding down the big hill near my friend Theresa’s house and seeing who could get the closes to the creek without going in. Sometimes we would get brave and try standing up on our sleds as we went down (nope, no snow boards back then!)
I remember learning to skate on the creek behind my grandparents house first using double bladed skates and then single blade while pushing a shovel.
I remember hearing that my sister was born in the biggest blizzard of 1979 – that my mom almost didn’t make it to the hospital and then had to stay a couple of extra days because of the snow.
I remember that the day before my sister died Iowa had a gigantic snow storm that dropped about a foot of snow. I trecked through it to the hospital to spend some time with my sister and give her husband a break. I told her that day that I promised to take care of her husband and son – she didn’t need to stay for them. I got stuck in the parking lot trying to leave and my dad helped push me out. My sister died about 12 hours later.
Snow storms will probably always bring these memories for me. Some of them happy. All of them a part of what makes me me. Now I look at these snow storms as a way for my sister to send us a little love and smile from heaven. I plan to get all wintered up and play in that snow tomorrow with my boys. Heidi will enjoy the laughs and the smiles – and she was always one for an awesome snow fort!