Friday, February 5, 2010

Snowy Day Memories

Well, the snow has started. There's a forecast for a monster snowstorm promising record snowfall here in the Stafford area over the next two days—perhaps up to three feet. Everyone has been warned to have plenty of supplies on hand for four to five days. This area is not used to getting much snow and it will take days to plow the roads to allow people to get to businesses again.

“Wow, this is gonna be a real zinger!” I’m thinking. “We could be marooned up here on the hill for most of the next week.” I’m wondering if I’m ready for this challenge. It would be easy for one to go stir-crazy in these small quarters if one is basically a captive.

Our little group of Laborers is huddled up here in our RVs on the hill at the construction site where we are helping to build a new church. Our lane from the main road to the site is at least the length of two football fields, maybe longer. None of us expected this kind of weather when we came to Stafford to help build the church. The locals tell us there's already been more snow in the past two months than they usually get all year, not to mention the additions promised this weekend.

Thinking about big snows brought up memories of a big snowfall when I was a child.

It was that awful "winter of ‘48” that we hear people talk about from time to time. I was six years old that winter and we lived just outside of Pine Level, NC on a small farm. One morning we awoke to see lots of snow and snowdrifts out our windows. It was more snow than I had ever seen in my short lifetime.

It wasn’t too long after we ate breakfast until my two older brothers bundled up and went out to play in the snow. Soon their friend Bobby came with his sled and the boys began riding down the snowdrifts on Bobby’s sled. They were having loads of fun and I was stuck in the house with no friend to play with in the snow.

Feeling sorry for myself, I bemoaned the fact to Mama.

“Put on your coat, gloves, and kerchief,” she told me. “I’ll go out and play with you.”

I hurried to bundle up as Mama put on her warm clothes and out we went. We decided to make a snowman and started rolling snowballs to get them large enough to create a big snowman. As we rolled the balls, we decided maybe we should make it a snow woman instead; so that’s what we did. To my six-year-old eyes, she was a magnificent lady. I was sure we must be the only ones who had ever made a snow woman. In my mind’s eye, I can still see her standing there in the backyard keeping watch over the kitchen door.

Later that day Daddy got into the fun. He gathered a huge bowl of clean snow and made a big bowl of snow cream. Then he took several small bowls from the cupboard and he parceled the snow cream out into the smaller bowls. Next he went to the cupboard and brought out the bottles of Watkins flavorings he had bought for Mama when the Watkins man stopped by. He added a different flavoring to each small bowl. We ended up with strawberry, coconut, pineapple, and several other flavors. I was sure we had the best snow cream of anyone around.

Big snowfalls like the one promised this weekend remind me of these special times. Such memories are precious—that’s all we have of Mama and Daddy now that they are gone.

What memories do big snowstorms bring back for you?

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