Friday, December 28, 2007

The Fourth Day of Christmas: Let it Snow Again

We're waiting for another snow storm here in southern Wisconsin.  My sister-in-law cancelled our holiday get-together, since we all needed to drive for an hour or so, and she feared accidents.  The television news says local road departments are deciding to cut back on salt usage, so as to conserve their supply until the end of the season.  My husband has covered the car, and we're settling in for a day of reading, painting and watching old movies.

I was thinking about how snow affected us on the farm in the 1950s and 1960s.  Dad could usually plow us out with the Ford tractor, equipped with a snow blade to make a path to the county road.  Sometimes if the drifts were especially high, the county plow would make a path for the milk truck. We had supplies, a freezer of frozen beef, all the milk we could drink.  But if the bulk tank couldn't make it to the farm, the milk would need to be dumped to make room for the next batch. I only remember us having to dump milk once during a bad storm.  The neighbor was in the same situation, and his wife, rather than completely wasting the precious milk, climbed into the tank and took a milk bath before it had to be put down the drain.  

Once I was in school getting out got interesting.  In grades one through four of elementary school I attended a two room school house, the same my dad attended, and my grandfather. There was no bus service, and it was too far for me to walk, so I usually went in the car or pickup.  I remember one snowy day, though, that Dad bundled me up, wrapped a knit scarf around my face, and I went to school on the fender of the tractor.  That was really exciting. After fifth grade I walked the quarter mile driveway and waited for the yellow school bus.  I was lucky because my grandparents' house was at the end of our driveway near the road, so I could wait in their breezeway, out of the wind.

We played outside lots when we were kids.  The photo shows us with one of our snowmen, covered in leaves and bits of grass.  We built snow forts by the barn, then hid in them.  My favorite thing to do was to slide on our dented up aluminum saucer.  We didn't have any hills, but there was a wooden chicken coop beside the driveway.  The plowed snow piled up by the coop so that if we climbed up on the roof, we could sit in the saucer, slide down the steep pitch, hit the banked snow, and then slide into the driveway.  I'm amazed I lived to grow up.

1 comment:

Rayne said...

when we lived in S.D. a few years ago we had a major blizzard. The snow drifted across the front of our house. After the storm we could her a bumping and sliding sound on our roof. The kids in the neighborhood were climbing the drift up to our roof and sliding down. Wasn't long before my own children joined them. I love reading about your childhood by the way.