Memory Lane: A Snow Day

Image result for images of school playground under snow

Nothing ever gave me more pleasure than waking up and finding out that school was closed that day because of snow.

I remember one snow day in particular. Oatmeal for breakfast, then off to my friend Jimmy’s house. To get there, I had to climb a fence and cross the high school football field. That turned out to be not so easy: the snow was up over my knees. It was very cold that morning, and before I plodded halfway across the field, it started to snow again. I began to have hopes that tomorrow might be school-less, too.

Well, I made it across the field, climbed another fence, and in another minute or two was warming up in Jimmy’s living room, with my galoshes and shoes left by the heating vent. We decided not to go out for a while, but to watch TV instead: and what we saw was a movie, The Charge of the Light Brigade, starring Errol Flynn and Olivia DeHaviland. Jimmy’s mother made us hot cocoa–just the ticket!–and sandwiches for lunch. So fortified, we went out with our sleds and took them down to Tommy’s Pond for some excitement on the slopes.

I’ve always remembered that day very vividly. A few years ago I bought The Charge of the Light Brigade for my own movie collection, to be played on heavy snow days.  But I haven’t been able to find a sled for someone my size, and the slopes of Tommy’s Pond don’t seem anywhere near as long and steep as they once were. Ah, well–we ain’t none of us as long and steep as once we were.

5 comments on “Memory Lane: A Snow Day

  1. I remember a day off, not so much a “snow” day as a “bitter cold” 2-day break, about 50 years ago. It got down to -31 in our little corner of Minnesota and almost everything stopped. We had heat and electricity, but at -31 spark plugs tend to become literally frosted and once that happens your car will not start unless you replace the plugs (not bloody likely in -31 temps) or you place the car in an enclosed area with a space heater (a device I had never even seen at that time).

    By day two, my dad had our car running and we were starting to see the occasional car moving about the neighborhood roads. Dad drove myself and my best friend (coincidentally named Jimmy) to a nearby drugstore with a soda fountain and I single-handedly attempted to exhaust the southern Minnesota strategic donut and cocoa reserves . . . with no little success.

    What strikes me is the power of the memory. I would guess this to have been in 1967, so almost exactly 50 years ago from today. I could walk you to the very spot at the soda fountain where we sat. I have visual images of our neighbor driving a step van (the first vehicle running in the entire neighborhood) and I remember my father quipping that he’d call the neighborhood grocer and asking him to deliver food to the house, in hopes that he’d refuse so that my father could call him a fair weather friend. Powerful memories.

  2. It is fascinating to hear about the long ago memories people have retained.
    I remember one clear incident that happened while I was an infant, lying in my small crib, made by my Dad. He was on one side of the crib, mother on the other. Dad said to Mother; “say twaddle to her, and see what she does. ” Mother said it to me, and I don’t know what I did, but both of them laughed. I remember many incidents from the time I was one year old. Now, my memory is fading fast, drat.

  3. Yeah, school snow days were a blast! In our neighborhood of Philadelphia snow would be shoveled to the street edge of what Philadelphians call “the pavement” (I didn’t know until when I was learning to drive that “pavement” is actually the sidewalk. I wondered as I studied the driver handbook as to what “pavement” markings were. We called pavement the black top meaning the street). That piled-up snow made for the best igloos! My sister and I would dig into the mounds of snow and fashion ourselves a room each and pretend to be Eskimos. We’d sit there till we got cold. Then out we came only to warm up climbing up and down on the snow pretending to be arctic explorers.

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