Here is it the first day of spring and I’m missing my parents and thinking of snow. I’m not sure what brought on the memory, perhaps it was one of my friends sending me a snow picture a day or so ago. I looked at that picture and all of a sudden was transported back to childhood.
Growing up in Texas, I really don’t remember that much snow, but when it did snow it was a big deal even when it was just half an inch or so. Mom would get out the big silver bowls and put them out on the bushes to catch the fresh snow as it fell. If there was enough then she would bring the snow filled bowl inside and mix us up a batch of fresh snow icecream. I remember she added a little milk, a cup of sugar and a few drops of vanilla to taste, and it was so yummy!
Snow was so rare that if it snowed just a little, the schools would let us out for a longer recess so we could play in it for a while. Or the news reports and people would panic, act like we were going to be snowed in for days, buy everything in the grocery stores up like crazy while the kids would be making green furry (grass lined) snowmen that were a foot tall, or making green and white snow angels. We had a blast chasing each other and throwing snowballs. We had no worries about much of anything as kids, as the snow was usually gone in a few hours or at the most a day.
The worst snow / ice storm I remember was in 1979. I remember it because we had visited family in Arkansas around Christmas, were on our way back and not long after we crossed the border of Texas and Arkansas I remember looking out the window and saying, “Daddy, why does everything look so still and funny?”
We had made good time coming back and my dad was very much a “pedal to the medal” type of person on the highway. We all started looking around and realized we were looking at ice. Ice was everywhere! It was considered to be the worst ice storm in thirty years in Texas and there were tons of people without power, including us.
A tree had fallen on the roof of the house across the street and my dad went to help. He sawed the log and I saw it start falling before he did. I grabbed him and yanked as hard as my 11-year-old self could yank, the limb still hit him on the shoulder as it fell and banged him up pretty good, but it could have been his head. Once he gathered his wits and anger, he sent me straight to the house and yelled at me that I could have been hurt. I knew my dad was scared that we both could have been hurt and thankful that we weren’t. We spent a few days under blankets, with the gas stoves for heat, and candle light to see by, a game of Monopoly by candlelight wasn’t too bad.
We still had floor furnaces back then that worked. Those furnaces were set down in the floor with a grate on them and you could stand over them with the heat blowing up your legs and back until you got too warm. Or, if you were really cold and brave you could sit with knees bent, rear end on one side and feet on the other. If you sat too long though, you’d have grill marks on your butt later.
Funny, to be thinking about those things today on the first day of spring, but it is a cool day and raining, so maybe the grey of the day jogged the memory. I miss you mom and dad, thanks for the memories and for keeping us warm on the cold, dark days.
Cherry Coley ©