I wondered as I looked out the window watching the snow falling on trees and lawns. Well, I remember that heavy wet snow made great snow balls waiting for my brother’s back. And fluffy flurries falling so much that it sat on my lashes like a bookshelf. Opened lips could catch the flakes so I could taste God’s many geometric creations. They tasted better than any water from the tap. What about the cold that froze your mouth so the words that you screamed out just didn’t sound right, but we all understood anyway?
Winter was w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l, so many choices. Sometimes, we would build a big hill and slide down it just for the thrill of it. If you built it, it might last a long time, even when the snow melted all around it. Your SNOW PANTS were the sled. It held up better than any sled. (Sleds were great fun, too.) Snow pants were a MUST back then with all the mittens, hats, mufflers over your face, and extra clothes under all.
The snow hill was absolutely “the bees knees.” The backyard was filled with repeated screams and squeals of joy. My little brother, Mickey was now old enough to be a little snow buddy. Took him a while as he struggled to get up to the top of the snow hill, about 4-5’ tall. I was “keeping an eye on him” (Mom’s orders) as he ascended the backyard Alps. But he came rolling to the bottom in tears with a mouthful of snow. “Don’t cry, HUSH” I whispered. “You pushed me, Patti !!” “Uh, ah, no sir,” I said. Now Mom could be involved. She was inside, ironing (Must have been Tuesday.) NOW I was going to “get it.” “Hey, Don’t tell…. I’ll help you get to the top and catch you on the bottom, Mickey. Promise… pretty please with sugar on top,” I begged. Phew! That was close… We might have had to come in.
Back to our mountain. Little Mickey clomped up the hill as I lent him a hand. Then I ran to the front with arms open wide. “Ok, Mic.” “Weeeeeee,” he squealed. We usually got along okay, but we had our times. After all I was in middle school and he just started second grade. To me, a mature Seventh Grader, that was a huge difference. Just then Johnny, the BIG brother, came home from high school and joined. He wanted it bigger, so we piled up on the top… higher and higher.
We grew that hill until it reached nearly 6’, tall as Johnny. Too bad Mickey had to go inside to WARM UP. What the heck…. I wasn’t not even cold yet, although, my toes were burning. Shortly after Johnny & I finished, we got into a snow ball fight. It quickly ended when he pushed a clump of snow down my back. I let out a loud scream. I considered tattling on Johnny for “picking on me,” but that would end the fun. So, we just climbed the hill and forgot the fight. (I would get him back later, I thought.)
Down the street there was a large family with kids our ages. They had the best plan. They laid out a heavy tarp, affixed edges around it and it made an amazing ice rink for us kid. I’m guessing the “rink” was 15’x30’. All their Dad needed to do was fill it with water, wait a couple days… Voila, AN ICE RINK. Boy, was that ever fun… but only if the boys were not there. Not that I was prejudice, the BOYS were too ROUGH. They would play ice hockey and things would go flying. Us, girls liked to skate backwards and do twirls. So, when those boys came out to play, we girls left.
Oh, yeah…did you ever keep one of your snow balls in the freezer so you could have one ready for an unsuspecting person, namely a brother, when they came out of the bathroom. “Surprise, Johnny, Smack-plop!!” Note: you had to do that before Mom found the frozen ball in the freezer. She would just toss it in the sink…followed immediately by a very loud and angry voice, “JOHNNY and PATTI, you two get in here NOW!!!”
Oh, stop daydreaming! I better get out the door to start my day. Driving in the car in the slippery ice and snow was not fun. And the dangers of other drivers who don’t know HOW to drive in it, was even worse. Snow and ice makes me a bit tense now. And it’s the COLD!! I have had a couple accidents through the years, too. You simply have to drive by a totally different set of rules when its warm and when it’s so very COLD…. with Wisdom to know the Difference.
BUT I remember the hills of snow, those snow ball fights, ice rinks and NO FEAR NOR COMPLAINTS. When you could play in the snow for hours…without feeling cold. And you felt so SAFE…. HONEST with SUGAR ON TOP.
Editor’s Notes: Thanks to AFL Member Patti Turchon for sharing these ever so fun memories with us all!