We got a pretty good amount of snow over the weekend. Being a true Canadian, my first reaction is to cross my arms and say, "It's not as much as I expected we'd get. Eh?"
Don't get me wrong; it's the most snow we've gotten in years. But I remember...
THE GREAT BLIZZARD OF 1977 (seven, seven, seven...)
And let me tell you, this was some good snow, but this was no blizzard.
I asked my mom about that famous blizzard. I had memories of it, but I was only 6 or 7 years old, depending on what half of winter it took place in. My little sister would have been four years old.
I remember when the truck stopped.
We were at the curve in the road right before our farm. Normally we could see the buildings from there, but we couldn’t see anything but white. There was snow inside the cab of the truck. My parents calmly discussed what to do next. Now that I’m older than they were at the time, the quiet rational discussion seems funny to me. Those two rarely discuss anything calmly.
I don’t recall the decision to get out and walk, but I do remember that we got to our neighbour’s house. This was only a quarter of a mile from our own house. We just couldn’t get home.
I remember the basement- panelling and orange carpet, just like every well behaved bungalow of the time period- and I remember that the next morning, their youngest son built a wall of cereal boxes around him at the breakfast table. I guess he wasn’t thrilled about all the guests.
Mom filled me in on some missing details, and here I am, thirty years later, finally realizing the full impact of this storm from an adult perspective.
Another neighbour was behind us on the road. Their truck stopped behind ours. The two of them walked to the corner with us.
The next day, the men went out to find the pickup trucks.
They were buried in the snowbanks. Only a few spaces of colour stuck out.
When the guys had the trucks dug out, they couldn’t get them started. That’s because the engine compartments were full of snow. Full of hard packed snow.
I don’t know if you’re familiar with the mid-50s Ford trucks, but the hood is like a dome. There’s about two feet of room between the V8 and the hood. Packed hard full of snow.
There was also a school bus buried further down the road.
Mom said the guys went along the snow bank with metal rods and hockey sticks, poking into the hard drifted snow to find hidden vehicles. Hidden vehicles could have had people inside them, people who weren’t so lucky as us to have found a safe place to stay for the night.
The next day, the snow had slowed down, but the wind was still brutal. My sister and I were piled into a cardboard box and loaded onto a sled for the trek home up the road.
I remember cuddling up with her and staring up at the white sky.
I don’t remember clearly if I felt humiliated and indignant, but knowing me I probably was. I should ask Sweetie if she remembers it. I think most of our memories are from talking about it rather than recalling it.
I have other memories of camping out in our own house for a few days while the wind battered us. I don’t care how well built and well insulated your house is- when you’ve got 100 acres worth of northwest wind bearing down on you, you’re going to feel the cold. We closed off the front half of the house and stayed close to the wood stove.
My mom got fidgety when Dad went out to the barn. She never said anything but I’m sure she worried that he’d got lost trying to cross the 60 feet of whiteness between the house and the barn.
Sounds like Little House On The Prairie? This was only thirty years ago.
When I tell it, it sounds to me like legend and fairy tale, and I lived it! My kids think we’re exaggerating.
Yeah, well that’s nothing. My dad says in the 50s, they had a winter with snowbanks so high, he and his siblings could just about touch the power lines! Mind you, he adds with a grin, the lines were much lower then. The poles weren’t as tall.
We got a lot of snow yesterday. My husband limped home from work after a grueling day/ night in the studio, just as the snow started blowing at about 8:30 am. I was afraid all night that he’d be snowed in there. He’d be warm and have something to eat, but I wanted us all in the nest.
In the evening when the snow slowed down, we ventured outside to dig our way through the snow. After all these winters of my life I am still amazed by how the landscape changes. Our flat front yard is a series of peaks and hills.
We survived. This has been a rare winter so far because it snowed in November and never stopped. For over a decade we get snow that melts a few times before winter really sets in. It’s been winter for almost 6 weeks.
And I don’t think it’s done with us yet!
This is my dog after a two minute trip outside.
He was not happy. He loves dashing through the snow but not so much when it's blowing in his huge eyes.
I’ll tell you one thing...I watch my neighbours with their snowblowers and think that looks kind of okay. Last night the kid across the street had-- oh jealousy!-- a 4 wheeler with a blade in front. He went up and down the street plowing snow. I want one.
Screw it. I want a tractor. Bring it on, old man winter.
Of course, today, the sun shines like nothing ever happened...