The Snow

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There have been some big snows lately, in some parts of the country. The Weather Channel loves them, or any other big change in the weather. You see those beautiful girls out there, shivering and talking machine gun fast, and the guys, too. I think the Weather Channel would be a nice company to work for. But they should have been around for THE SNOW of Frontier Country.
Young as I am, I remember it well. I was nine years old at the time. This snow was unique in several ways. First, there was so much of it. It started that January night, a few flakes falling here and there. But when we woke up the next morning and climbed out from the pile of quilts on the bed and looked out. My goodness. It was beautiful. A full foot on level ground and much more in drifts.
Brother Jack, who was six at the time, had great fun making paths to the barn and to the chicken house, and especially to the outhouse.
We’d add snowy wood to the fire and watch it sizzle. Traffic almost stopped. Daddy had just gone to work for an insurance company, and he was anxious to hit the road and stop selling; but he couldn’t get the old Plymouth to budge.
That’s another unique thing: we’ve had many snows in Frontier Country, but they usually come late in the afternoon, with the temperature barely freezing and most or all of the snow is gone by the next day. Not this one. In addition to the heavy snow, the temperature was in the single digits.
We didn’t have snow clothes, of course. L.L. Bean had never heard from us, We’d just put on a second pair of overalls and the fake leather aviator cap we goy for Christmas and head out.
How bad was it? School was out for three weeks. Me’n Howard and Herschel would get a snowball started and push it ‘til it got too big to push. The cows and mules didn’t quite know what to do about all this whiteness, so we just kept them supplied with hay.
As I say, there have been other snows and ice storms, like the ice storm that snapped every single one of the tall, valuable pines in that plot across from the house. You could hear them snapping.
And there was the time that a bunch of cousins got in Jeff’s car and rode around through the community. When we stalled, as on Bickerstaff Hill, we’d just get out and shovel and push and go ahead.
There are few prettier words than the fitst time un a winter when somebody says, “Hey, it’s snowing.” But it probably won’t be one like THE SNOW.

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