With everyone getting snow, I feel guilty. It’s warm and sunny here in Colorado – 68 yesterday. Our time will come, though, of that I’m sure. We do get some real blizzards now and then, too, but it’s been a few years since we’ve had a serious one. That was when my kids were little… well, bear with me while I reminisce for a few moments?
I remember that it was one of those Colorado afternoons that promised snow, but since the weather had been pleasant, we weren’t expecting anything much. It started snowing late that afternoon. The kids filled both wood boxes, and we fed the animals and made them cozy for the night. By the time we finished outside, it was beginning to snow sideways as the wind became stronger. We had to protect our eyes and faces to walk against it.
Inside, it was warm and quiet. The old house had foot thick walls and not much noise or cold could get through them. Within a few minutes, the man of the house pulled in and I put supper on the table. The snow was getting heavier but we still weren’t concerned. This was Colorado, after all. It snows. Life went on.
In a little while, our neighbor to the north called. His wife had been at work in town and apparently started home, but hadn’t made it. Would David go with him to look for her? Of course. The two started out in the trusty old Chevy truck but returned within a few minutes. They could get nowhere, the roads were drifted and lost in the dark snowscape.
By this time the electricity was out and the neighbor asked if his boys could spend the night with us. Depending on forced air heat, his house was cold and dark. We lit our oil lamps and a Coleman lantern for the other room. Hot chocolate and some good books filled the evening while the thermometer dropped to near zero degrees.
Morning came. Opening the curtains in the upstairs bedroom, we were almost blinded by the brightness of the snow – was it still coming down? We couldn’t tell. There was a road out there, somewhere. There was a tree just outside our window and the branches swaying in the wind were all that we could see.
My husband got dressed in heavy winter clothes and went out to start the truck, but there wasn’t a chance of even getting out of the driveway. Five foot snow drifts blocked every level area between us and the road, which was only a vague rise out there. The snow blade was lost in a heap of snow.
The kids came downstairs, excited about playing in the snow. We homeschooled, but I called a “snow day” anyway. Who could resist the prospect of sleds on the little slope across from the garden? Snowballs and snowmen would soon decorate the yard.
Early that afternoon, it quit snowing and the wind finally quieted down. Big snowplows rumbled along the highway a quarter mile away, great sprays of snow rising up to the cold, blue sky. They found the neighbor’s wife and brought her home. She’d missed the road and wound up in the ditch. Thank heavens she’d been prepared and was only a little the worse for it all.
We were without electricity three more glorious days. When it came back on, we all looked at each other and I could read the disappointment in their eyes. No more games at the kitchen table by the light of an oil lamp? No more homemade music or puzzles to fill the void left by the TV and radio?
I try not to philosophize too much, so maybe I should leave this to the reader, but it is a different world when the electricity is out. It’s quieter, calmer and friendlier.
And now a little advice: Don’t wait any longer to get what you need to get by in comfort in bad weather. Winter is upon us! You may be the one to be snowed in this time.