Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Snows of yesterday

Yes, I’m still here.

Sorry to be away for so long.

Things have been busy. For one thing, earlier this month the town where I live set a record for snowfall in December, with more than 70 inches of what a city editor I once knew used to forbid calling “the white stuff.”

About 45 inches of it fell within several days.

I experienced all this in the house I grew up in – and which I now own and live in.

And I got to thinking of another big snowfall, from my youth, which dumped about 42 inches in four days, an event forever known hereabouts as the “Blizzard of 1966.”

And then I got to thinking about how I react differently to such events now that I’m an alleged adult – and a more-than-alleged homeowner.

Forty-four years ago I wasn’t concerned about what might happen to the roof – or what might happen to the basement if there was a really big thaw.

Nope. Back then the main issue on the minds of us kids was: Would we have a snow day?

Owners of Powerball tickets can’t possibly experience the anticipation that I, and surely other kids, felt while listening to the list of school closings on the radio. The jackpot consisted not of numerals but of seven simple, magic words:

“City public and parochial schools are closed.”

As I recall, we had the whole week off, and my family was pretty much snowed in. A trip to the corner store was an expedition worthy of Sergeant Preston of the Yukon.

And for no good reason I seem to recall that the spoils of this expedition included some Milkshake candy bars. My God, they were good – better than anything the folks at the Mars candy company ever came up with. I can taste them now.

The other main thing I remember from the Blizzard of 1966 was the fun we kids had jumping off the front porch. At that time the porch was not enclosed, and this enabled us to jump off it and into a huge pile of snow.

(One weekend some years later my father had the porch enclosed without consulting with my mother, who was off visiting her sister. This did not do wonders for my parents’ relationship, though their union ultimately survived.)

About a week after the Storm of 2010 a slight thaw got rid of some of the snow. Then we got some more. The next few days promise above-freezing temperatures. We might even ring in the New Year while basking in a balmy 50 degrees.

And maybe I’ll search eBay for any surviving Milkshake bars. (Who knows – maybe a cache of them has been hidden in someone’s freezer for lo these many years….)

Happy New Year.