Oh, the weather outside is frightful

What is this white stuff falling from the sky? Large flakes that settle on the sidewalk and streets and my windshield. The landscape is turning white, I stuck my finger in and pull it quickly, it is very cold, is that why mom gave me these mittens? My first few winters were pretty exciting, My siblings and I built a snow fort and I burrowed in and hid from every one until I got cold again. Of course, you have to make a snowman and go sledding. Hillside park was the place go, nice long ride with a lot of laughs at the end.

Then that hot chocolate when you go inside. Of course there was the big event of ice skating and almost always fun an challenging to keep standing up especially when playing hockey. It was kind of hard to skate when I had magazine up my pant leg to keep from getting hurt, but it was fun. Oh, snow ball fights and I usually go the worst of it. As a child, winter was fun and very engaging.

too much snow

When I go older, it got be my turn to shovel the driveway, didn’t realize how heavy that stuff cold be, especially after lifting the shovel and about hundred times. The ice underneath was hard to walk on and easy to fall over. North Dakota gets harsh winters, in town it would get so fierce that a couple years the snow went up to the roof of the house. One house a mile away was so full of snow that home owners actually had to make a tunnel to get out of the front door. It would so windy and deep cold I got rides to school about ten blocks away. I didn’t built too many snow forts as I got older.

crashes because of ice and snow

As young man, turning in my late teens, then shoveling the driveway out for the untold number of times, I got in my car and started to drive. The beginning of real fun in the snow. I was going down a hill that apparently was very icy, I lost control of the car and there was another car 100 feet ahead at sitting at a stop sign, I cold not stop or even slow down. It was a slow crash into the other car, the other driver saw me coming and could not move to begin with, the joy of winter driving was upon me. I had to go very slow were ever I went around town, on this not so nice stuff. I went to take a left turn on main street and had to cross of over a pile of snow to get there. A few cars were coming several blocks away, I can do this, or so I thought, I found my self struggling to over the small mound and the cars were getting rally close, I wasn’t moving and wheels were spinning,  the oncoming cars that should have seen me and move over, they didn’t I was hit to right side pushing sideways. A second collision in the snow and my last one.

Blizzard on the farm are isolaton

Then we moved to the farm where real winter was very harsh. Mom would stock on groceries when she heard the snow was coming. Those real blizzard would last for three days and when done three feet of snow every where in sight. We tried using the old tractor and scoop to move the snow away, it didn’t last very long, the snow was too tough too handle. It took another entire day for the county snow plow to come along and make a path for us. I was beginning to dislike Winter.

Winter are less harsh further South

Then I moved to Minnesota during the summer of 1976 to be with my girlfriend. The first few winters were pretty easy going, not much snow but very cold. I live in a town house with my new wife so no maintenance. There were no blizzards in the early years. Even several years later when my wife passed away the winter was incredibly mild, 60 degree in January. I moved into a new home with a new wife and a long driveway, done with a small snow blower.

After several years of being married again, the snow started to irritate me all over again. It really got colder by the winter, the Halloween blizzard hit. That was a tough winter. I was professional driver at the time and found even the shortcuts were miserably rough to drive on. By the way it took a day to dig out my driveway with three feet of snow on that 90 foot stretch. The snow was nothing compared to the cold of January, very hard to deal with everyday. I got a three stage blower that winter, so I could survive.

More cold than snow means ice

Now in the last about five years now it has been very cold with very little snow. All the snow moved to the Eastern States. I lived in the Eastern states as a young man and traveled quite often. I was the only one who could drive in the snow with no problem at all. Experience counted in this case. Now they get a lot more snow than ever and we get the occasional snow fall. The worst I have seen as professional driver for many years are the occasional heavy snow falls that last one day but leave an occasional 3 inches of snow, however it is a wet snow, which means very slippery. Slippery enough to cause great problems on hills. I was trying get out a hilly are could not enough speed to go anywhere on the small hill. A large city truck was behind me, I asked them to push me on to spot where I could get a grip, they refused claiming city trucks were not allowed to do that. The men grabbed hold of my car and pushed me out, I was blocking the road. I got caught in a snow filled cul de sac at night in quiet neighborhood during the snow fall, very wet and very slippery. I was stuck with no help in sight, could not get anybodies for some time. After about an hour a truck came up behind and pushed me out.

I have always feared winter as a driver but now as a retired guy in my office, I look and feel sorry for other people who get caught in traffic, my office is 10 feet from my bed. I only go out when I need to.

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