Leapin’ Blizzards!

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons/wharman

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons/wharman

One winter weekend in eighth grade, I was sweating bullets. In a few days I had to deliver a 30-minute speech in front of the whole class – and it wasn’t written yet. Fervently I prayed for another week, as only a desperate student can. Monday morning I woke up to my answer. The city was buried in several feet of snow! We couldn’t even open the front door. For a week everything was closed, including school. There was the reprieve for my speech deadline, and a wonderland to romp in. Perfect for a Wisconsin-born girl in Indiana, pining for snow.

When the weather outside is frightful, anything can become an event never to be forgotten. From simple things such as traveling and getting dinner, to the milestones of romance, marriage, and babies, life’s moments are transformed into fairy tales and adventures by a soft, deep layer of snow.

To find a few of these tales, I searched the Legacy.com database for obituaries and Guest Book entries including the key words “blizzard,” “snow,” and “snowstorm.” The stories turned out to be some of the most heart-warming I’ve read in the four and a half years I’ve screened guest book entries for Legacy. As we wait for the first big snow of the season, I’m sharing them with you…

Pete wasn’t afraid to brave a blizzard when it hit his city one year.

Our family home is about two miles parallel with where Peter grew up in Tully, NY. During the “Blizzard of 1966,” Peter decided to walk to a friend’s home. He ended up in the fury of what remains to be the most amazing blizzard of our lifetime. As the wind would not allow him to turn back, he continued on in a total whiteout. By the grace of God he was able to find our home. A knock came and when we opened the door, there stood this huge abominable snowman! Peter ended up spending several days with us and our family’s fond memory of him remains. [Published in the Syracuse Post Standard.]

Jim swung into action when a blast threatened his area.

I was just telling my girlfriend some of the stories that Jim and I shared, one being when we were taking chicken to Lawrence North High School for the victims of the snow emergency of the blizzard of ’78. The other was when him and I took you to work in that big white Dodge the night of the blizzard. So many fond memories. [Published in the Indianapolis Star.]

For others, being snowed in led to romance, especially for another Jim.

Jim was a graduate and football co-captain of Rainelle High School in West Virginia. As a result of his football prowess, he was recruited (while still in the U.S. Navy) by Woody Hayes to play football at Denison University. It was there, during the blizzard of 1950, that Jim began his lifetime romance with his soon-to-be bride, Teddy Nelson, whom he married August 18, 1951. [Published in the Advocate.]

Despite the brutal weather, Magarette made it to the church on time.

She was married in the aftermath of the Blizzard of ’47, brought to the church in the only transportation that could navigate the snow clogged streets: a horse drawn sleigh… [Published in the Ocala Star-Banner.]

Babies set their own timetable, and Gwen answered duty’s call.

Mrs. Dingwall was the perfect ministers wife, quietly & graciously working with her husband. As well as ministers they were neighbours & friends. During their time at Dubuc Mrs Dingwall was called upon to deliver a baby in a snowstorm. I believe hearing that she put on her Nurses uniform before going. In 1990 the Dingwalls were very kind to Don & I when we were in Royal University Hospital, providing spiritual care & support to us & our family with many visits. Their kindness will always be remembered & appreciated. [Published online at DignityMemorial.ca.]

People haven’t forgotten the opportunities for fun that blizzards and snowstorms leave behind. Folks have played football and 18 holes of golf in the snow (with orange balls) and competed in curling, in addition to building snow forts and snowmen.

Richard played in the snow the way my brother and I often did as kids.

I guess we’re supposed to get snow Wednesday night. I was thinking about when I was little and we had that huge snowstorm with the snow drifts. You took me outside with you and we went walking through the woods. You would pick me up and throw me into the drift and I thought it was the coolest thing, until one of them went over my head and I got scared. I think you panicked a little too. I was also remembering how you and Steven would make the snow paths in Sonja’s field and we would all play snow maze tag…. those were the good times for us kids. We all had so much fun and got along. I miss those days. [Published in the Times Herald-Record.]

In my favorite story, James reveled in the simple joys of family, snow, and dogs.

We miss hearing your laughter next door at your Mother’s house in Pagosa as you played with your family in the snow in the driveway when you visited. What fun it was to see your dogs pulling the sleds with Tommy laughing and having fun!! [Published in the San Francisco Chronicle.]

About Lise

I joined Legacy.com as a remote content screener in April 2008. Reading people stories and telling people stories are some of my favorite things to do! I also love meeting people, all of which makes Legacy a terrific place to work. You couldn’t ask for better co-workers. My background includes 14 years' experience as a national magazine editor, book editor, newspaper reporter, co-author of two books, and freelance writer. In addition to writing & editing content for both adults & children, I’ve enjoyed being a featured guest speaker at writers' conferences. I have degrees in Magazine Journalism and French, which came in handy one year when traveling in Old Lyons, France. On the way to dinner I found myself in the middle of a protest at city hall, so I took news photos. Though originally from Madison/Middleton Beach, Wisconsin, I’ve lived in Indianapolis for many years. This makes for divided NFL loyalties between the Green Bay Packers (Go Green Bay!) and the Indianapolis Colts in a post-Manning era. I enjoy spending time with family & friends, but especially like writing, traveling, reading new books, making jewelry, and keeping up with my two little nephews!
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