Snow Day Memories: Everyday Magic, Day 197

Watching the blizzard descend after walking through it to return the truck to my mother-in-law’s and get it out of the plowing path, I remember other big snows, the kind that stop life as we know it.

  • I was eight, we had just moved from my beloved Brooklyn to an actual house (with space between it and other houses — amazing!) in a Levitt development in central New Jersey. Our refrigerator didn’t got delivered in time, and then a blizzard enveloped us, so we used the milk box (remember those?), a metal box right outside the front door, for our fridge. I would step outside, clean a foot of snow off the milk box, and reach in for sour cream (one of our  mainstay foods — my mom actually fed us bananas and sour cream regularly). The snow was so deep, the houses around so large, and the lawns under two feet of snow seemed to go on forever.
  • It was probably the winter of 1997, and I was walking in Vermont with three other faculty — Ralph, Vicki and Eduardo — after an enormous snow, the kind that makes Kansans shudders and Vermonters shrug. We walked onto the country highway near campus, the only road clear, the four of us arm in arm. No traffic, and a black sky, we started doing human wheelies, some of us walking backwards while the person on the end swiveled around, all of us giggling between belting out “Walking in a Winter Wonderland.”
  • Last year, pulling into our drive after Christmas to meet over a foot of snow by getting instantly stuck, we had to make due. Never mind that it was my whole family, including Ken’s 86-year-old mother, all our Christmas booty and groceries for all of us for a week. I trudged out pathways for my mother-in-law while Ken broke out her car (an SUV) from her home up the hill. I would like to say that we handled it with humor and tenderness, but by the time we got her to her house and us to ours, much screaming and some crying had ensued.
  • Jumping into the van in my PJs, bathrobe and slippers to pick up the kids at their grandmother’s, I didn’t envision the need for warmer wear. But kids in tow, we were soon stuck in our driveway (a Kamikaze run in the snow because it’s 1/3 mile long, curvy and hilly). One of the kids had a cell phone on hand (mine was home) so we called Monty, our good neighbor, and he showed up in a big-ass car that soon got stuck by trying to pull us out. I was kicking out pathways in my slippers, but to no avail. He had to trek back home on foot, get a ride into town to pick up his truck, and come back to pull out first his car, and then ours.
  • It was the winter of 1980, I was a student at the University of Missouri, and there was a big hill. So much snow came that classes were canceled, so with my friends and a pile of cafeteria trays, we went sledding. It was the most fun I’ve ever had sitting down.

So what are your snow day memories?

Second helpings: In Praise of Neighbors, and The Road to Hell is Paved with Snow