Monday, December 14, 2009

The Snows of Childhood

For Monday Memories at Planet M
The snow last week reminded me of the snows we had when I was a kid. I remember it snowing a lot. I'm not sure if it really did, or if that is just my memory playing tricks on me.

I remember wearing a long stocking hat pretty much like Schwartz's in A Christmas Story. I also remember the rubber boots--red or white--that slipped over your shoes. They were hard to get on and nearly impossible to get off. When you finally got them off, your shoes were usually still wedged inside and had to be pried out.

We used to play Fox and Geese on snowy days. Mom taught us to stamp a big circle in the snow and then stamp the wedges like a pie. The rest of the game was like tag. One person was the fox or "it," and the rest were geese. You had to stay on the paths while you were chased; if you stepped off, you were out. In the very center was the home base where you had to stand after being caught. Other geese could free you, if they could touch you without being caught. The four of us could make a pretty good game out of it, though my sister and I tried to play it without the brothers sometimes. Definitely not a fun game for just two.

We also used to have Youth Fellowship skating parties at the pond. These were always an impromptu affair, dependent on the weather. Once Dad was sure the pond was frozen solid, the calls would go out. He would build a bonfire at the pond's edge for the grown ups and for warming up, and all the kids would gather for a night of skating. Some would run down the pond's dam and jump on sleds to slide as far as they could. Others skated. We played crack the whip. I spent most of my time "sliding" in my boots. (Weak ankles and ice skates are not a great combination.) Frozen, we would finish the evening back at the house to warm up and drink hot chocolate.

There must have been more snow back then. I remember a couple of Christmas mornings when someone got ice skates from Santa. There was also the year that Santa left an orange aluminum disc toboggan. I can remember at least one winter that Dad kept the sled and toboggan tied on the back of the feed truck. Any time he went out to feed the cows, my sister and I got to go sledding behind him.

We used to play outside a lot when it snowed. I'm guessing that was because, no matter how cold it was, we had a wood stove where we could warm ourselves when we came in from the cold. You could stand close to get warm quickly. Now, we can only warm up gradually. I miss wood heat. It is hard to curl up to a floor register!

9 comments:

Puna said...

I stuck my tongue on a icy pole once. Won't ever do it again! I love the movie but it always made me cry.

Steve Gravano said...

I also remember more snow as a child. I remember being snowed-in and my dad had to walk to the store. We even had snow as late as Easter recess one year. Nice memories.

Debbie said...

There was a lot more snow back in the 60s & 70s. I feel sorry for kids today. They're missing out on some pretty fun stuff. But as an adult, I'm glad the snow has slacked off. Just call me Scrooge. LOL!

Shannon said...

I remember tons of snow back then too. Maybe it was just because we were smaller? Not sure. The skating on a pond sounds just wonderful. Have always wanted to do that. We grew up on a farm, and always had a lot of fun outside in the snow. I have to admit I have become a little jaded toward snow in my adult years. I think a good pond would do the trick though...

joyce said...

That picture .. I can see the boys thoughts. Like "what the hey...its a wooden pole!"
I used to play fox & goose too, only we made our own designs in the snow & stuck to those paths.
Funny you should mention the wood heat....
I just sat down after making a cuppa coffee & throwing some wood in the stove. Where I live, wood heat is not so unusal, and I do love it.

Gayle said...

Oh, I love these memories, mrs. e! I had one of those stocking hats and I loved it! I had forgotten about those boots that went on over the shoes!

Katie @ Can't Get There said...

Oh the memories this brought back! My mom had (and still has) real radiators (cast iron? is that right?) that you can stand in front of and warm your pjs on and dry your snow boots under. :) And I had boots when I was little that had Charlie Brown on them. The left boot said "Good" and the right one said "Grief." Except...I could never remember which feet they went on. I put them on backwards one day and my kindergarten teacher made FUN of me in front of the ENTIRE CLASS because my galoshes read "Grief Good." But it was worth it for all that glorious snow!

ols1 said...

I wish I had snow memories. Your post makes me envious. I hope I get to see a white Christmas one day.

Relyn said...

These reminiscences are such fun. One of my favorite snow memories involved a sled. We lived in Tennessee and snow was a rare and wondrous thing. We had friends from our church who had just moved south from New York. They invited us over for sledding. I can honestly say that I've never had a better time. Ever. It was marvelous. Until we crashed into the tombstone. We knocked it sideways and bruised ourselves up pretty good. That was the last time the four of us rode on the sled all at once. Too hard to steer. Still, so fantastic.