The past few days it has been cold, dark and dreary first with freezing rain and/or sleet and then SNOW! I began to reflect back to years past when I thought snow was one of the most wonderful things that could happen.
Mama never tried to keep us from playing in the snow. I never remember owning a pair of gloves or mittens and back during that time little girls wouldn’t think of wearing jeans or slacks. Mama would see that we were dressed in our long stockings pinned to our undershirts with safety pins. As we didn’t have gloves we wore socks on our hands. We did have toboggans to wear on our heads. I have played in the snow so long that my hands would be so cold and wet Mama would stick my hands in a pan of water to help them thaw.
The past few days school has been closed as well as some businesses because of the weather. I can remember only one time in my childhood when local businesses closed because of the weather. The snow was very deep and Mama let me go to town. Norma Jean went with me and as we walked in the middle of the street we walked in the tracks of someone with much bigger feet than ours. When we got to Marvin Ware’s store it was closed.
I can never remember Dawson’s store being closed, but of course they had to walk a very short distance to get to their store. Few people had cars, so traffic was no problem.
One of our favorite pastimes was getting to skate on the frozen Heartsill Creek. As we had no skates we were just sliding on the ice with our shoes but we didn’t know any difference. Tommy and Clevie Zachary were newlyweds living in our neighborhood, and it was with great joy when we could get them to go skating with us.
As I reflect back to those years I know that Tommy and Clevie had to be extra special people because I think all the kids in the neighborhood had to have bugged them a great deal of the time. Their door was always open to all of us. I am sure there were many times that they would have liked to ask us to go home.
One of the joys of the snow was getting to make snow ice cream. We didn’t know of all the dangers that lurked in the snow. No one ever told us that snow cleaned the air of all its germs, we just enjoyed the ice cream and I can say it never stunted my growth. As long as we had milk, sugar, and vanilla, we had ice cream. Mama just told us to get it from a clean spot. I never knew exactly what she meant, but the top of the well was a favorite spot to get it. I guess since that was where we got our drinking water it had to be a “CLEAN SPOT.”
There was the building of a snowman. Pat could build the biggest of big snowmen. He would start at the top of the hill and by the time he got to the bottom, the ball was so bit that it took all of us to set it up. By the time he got through we had a snowman that lasted long after the snow on the ground had disappeared.
Today, kids have all the things available to have a good time in the snow. They have store bought sleds, good warm suits, gloves and such things such as ear muffs or caps, but their favorite past time when it’s cold, dark and dreary is to rent another movie or game and sit in front of the TV. If you can’t drive them to the store to get something they need they just do without. No child wants to be seen by one of their friends walking to the store. They miss the thrill of walking in someone else’ footsteps in the snow.
The past few days we heard people saying they were going “stir crazy” for being shut up in the house because of all the snow. I thought my sister, Jane, had flipped when she called awhile ago and said, “Guess what? The postman just came and brought mail!” Then she added, “The funny part earlier in the day J.M. went outside to check the mail and I reminded him that this was SUNDAY and he said he was thinking it was Saturday. Later in the afternoon he told me that he had seen the Postman go down the street and he had put some mail in the mailbox. Thinking it was his imagination I watched to see if the Postman came back up the street and he did. I went to check the mail and YES we got mail on Sunday