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Friday, January 18, 2013

Wintry Mix

Gretchen has challenged us with winter as the subject.  Whatever spin we want to put on the subject.  Having grown up in Texas winter was not much of a change in some ways from summer.  Sure the leaves would fall from most trees.  But I never had to dig up my cannalily or caladium bulbs. the Bermuda grass would turn brown.  As a preteen I spent many a Christmas eve in shorts wrapping gifts.  Snow was a rarity and never "stayed on" for more than a day or so.  And, yes, lots of slipping and sliding if there was ice or snow on the roads.  It is the south.  We can take 110 degree weather.  Just do not ask us to drive on ice.

As a child I lived in a house that was old and drafty.  Walls were "canvassed and wall papered".  This described a method where the wallpaper was hung on cheesecloth/canvas tacked to the wall boards.  Wind would cause the wallpaper to move in the breeze.  The result of this uninsulated and loose house was really cold rooms during cold snaps or blue northers.  Generally there was no heat in the houses of the community other than Dearborn propane/gas stoves.  No need to worry about venting at our house, as noted the house was drafty, very drafty.  So drafty and loose that after one of the rare snows we had a small maybe half inch drift under my bed.

We slept under piles of homemade quilts.  The one feather bed was used by the ones sleeping in the room farthest from the Dearborn heaters.  And we sisters slept two to three to a bed.  After the older sisters left home and Mom went to work for TI, we received electric blankets from Santa one year.  One to a bed is really cold.  Eventually we moved "in town" where we had central heat!  No more snow drifts under the bed.

2011 Mothers Day, Gene and Edna visiting the homeplace.

Gene grew up here in Missouri about 30 miles from where we live.  He knew how to drive on slippery roads and taught me the finer points.  Then after 8 years of marriage, we moved from the Dallas area back to when he lived as a child and teen.  We moved in on Thanksgiving 1975.  He stayed in Texas till January 1, 1976 then joined us in Aurora.  Our kitchen was torn apart being extended and  remodeled.  The two rooms not being remodeled to some degree were our son's bedroom and a room we chose to make a playroom.  The playroom heat was not good.  There was insufficient air flow from the central heat.  I was always cold in that room.

Right after Gene moved to Missouri it turned cold.  I mean really cold.  Like 6 straight weeks where not one day was above freezing.  Portions of Table Rock froze solid enough people were driving cars across the lake.  Not good thinking but done none the less by some.  There was some snow.  Our son was 2 years old and I wanted to give him a sled ride.  We had no sled so I used an aluminum paint tray and a rope.  Gene came home for lunch and saw the contraption I was using.  When he came home that night he had one of the cheap plastic sleds.  Guess his Southern import sort of embarrassed him.

The ice is beautiful but hard on the trees.
Anyway, I do not think I thawed out till almost August that year.  Having never lived in a climate where lakes froze over, I had none of the proper clothing for me or my small child.  But we survived and as noted I eventually thawed out and found warmer clothing for the next year.  Good thing as the next year brought deep snows that lasted for a couple of weeks each snow event.  Okay, all you Northerners and Westerners, I realize that 18" to 21" of snow over night is not big thing for you, but for the ex Tex, it was deep!

Notice the broken trees in the background.
Over the 37+ years I have experienced many of the snow years.  We have lost countless limbs and entire trees in ice storms.  2007 brought a three day rain event with freezing temperatures.  I was what the weather guys and gals call a wintry mix.  That mix resulted in about a quarter of a million people without power for up to a month.

The power was off at our house for only 3 days.  Cousins who lived in the country came to use our gas heated water for bathing.  They had no electricity to run the pump for their well.  Their generator could only power the fridge and freezer.  Gene and I spent evenings sitting in front of a roaring fire taking turns reading to each other from "A Painted House".  We had only one headlamp to be able to see the pages.  But that was only part of the reason for taking turns reading to each other, voices give out quickly in a cool house.

Fast forward to 2013.  We have had some cold weather this winter season.  I am so disappointed at this time as the snow, a real snow has not happened.  Just some overnight stuff that was melted within hours.  There has been more snow in Dallas than we have had here this season.  Gene and I have lived together for over 45 years.  Now I like the Missouri winters, especially getting snowed in during these days of retirement.    Gone are the days where we risk life, limb and our vehicles to drive to work.  And we have yet to figure out any reason to shovel the drive.  Just do no go out side.  Sit by the warm fire, read a book, surf the net or scan some family photos.  Best of all on a cold winter's night with fire roaring and a glass of wine in hand one  leafs through the seed catalog and dream of spring planting.  

Slide on over to Second Blooming and join us in putting our spin on winter.

Second Blooming
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