Winter Memories Involve Snowstorms

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Photo By Berniece Nowack
During the winter of 1936, neighbors and nearby farmers removed snow from the roads when emergency medical attention was warranted so the doctor could get to the patient in need.

Thinking of winter stirs up winter memories of winters past. Many come to mind, such as the excitement over the first snowfall, sledding down Hornick’s hill, ice skating on the frozen creek, and enjoying hot chocolate and goodies after playing outside in the cold.

Primary school fun

Once when I was in primary school, the snow blew across the school grounds and drifted at least 5 feet high. The bigger boys cut a circle and hollowed it out from the top of the drift all the way down to the ground. They then made another hole a short distance from the first, and dug a tunnel between them.

Since I was so small, the bigger youngsters had to lift or push me up out of the hole when recess was over. The tunnel provided us with a lot of fun until one weekend when someone destroyed it. It couldn’t last forever, though!

Snowstorms bring an impromptu winter vacation

Winter 1936 brought lots of snow. We didn’t have school for six weeks. I was young and worried about missing school, so my father would come in from morning chores and say that he couldn’t see any smoke coming from the school chimney, which meant the teacher couldn’t get to the school either. We lived three-quarters of a mile from the school, and there were two hills between our home and the school, so I later figured out that my father had just been putting my mind at ease. There was no way he could have seen smoke from the school.

When there was a break in the weather that year, the farmers would go to town for the essentials, walking across the fields, stepping over snow-covered fences. If there was an illness or death, or a baby being born, the surrounding neighbors would scoop the snow from the road so the doctor could get through. Unfortunately, with all the blowing snow, the road would often be drifted shut again by evening — if not sooner.

Winter memories include winter preparation

If you were prepared to be snowed in for several days, it could be kind of cozy. It was a time to tie that quilt, read, write letters and play. During such times, farm chores were more difficult, but we made it through.

My mother usually had a pot of soup on the stove and a loaf of bread baking in the oven. I can almost smell it now.

As an adult, when a winter storm was in the forecast, I found myself preparing in much the same way as my mother and father had years before. Our family would pass the time reading or playing games, or if the weather wasn’t too horrible, making snow forts in the yard. My sons were happy when we got a lot of snow; partly because it was an opportunity for them to earn money shoveling sidewalks, and partly because they would get a temporary reprieve from delivering their papers if the mail truck couldn’t get through.

Pocahontas, Iowa

Read more fun winter tales by CAPPER’s readers in Winter Stories.