Well, here we are going back into a deep freeze and with a little snow each day just to keep life interesting. It is amazing how many people think this is about the worst winter in the history of mankind. It sure is funny how a number of nice mild winters can change ones perspective of what winter is really suppose to be.
I hear people talking about all the snow we have this year and how this winter has been so tough. Now the weather has been real cold this year and needless to say December has been rather interesting. But I can recall years where even during the firearm deer season the snow was so deep you had to wonder if you would be able to get into your blind to hunt. Then it was so cold you had about everything you owned on to try and keep warm. And I am not talking about when I was growing up, but since I
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Speaking of growing up, I can recall winters when we had so much snow we could build ramps with the snow using a snow-scoop to slide down on. This was before anyone I knew, even heard about a snow blower. From shoveling the driveway and the roads being plowed the banks were so high they became our playground.
In talking to other people we were not the only kids that had this type of winter fun. We used to be able to dig tunnels in these snow banks and in fact, these banks were so high we could also build snow caves in them. We would tunnel into these snow banks until we got far enough in where they were then high enough to hollow out a place for a cave.
As I sit here recalling these projects I can still hear my mother and the other mothers in the neighborhood warning us about tunneling too close to the roads where if a snowplow came by they could bury us. According to the mothers this had happened before to kids.
Of course some of this was back before TV so we had to make our own projects to make life interesting. Back then we had outdoor ice rinks and I don’t think we missed a day when we did not hit the ice rink.
Sledding on the hill behind the house, going ice skating, digging snow tunnels or you and your buddies going off on a Saturday morning snowshoe adventuring, these were all outdoor fun activities. I think if you talked to nine out of 10 youth in this day and age they would have no idea what it is to spend almost all your free time outdoors.
But the truth was most of us could not even afford a real sled for going down the hill so we just used a piece of cardboard. That was until grandpa Theiler made all his grandkids little toboggans and skis. Thanks to a special gift from a cousin I now have one of these toboggans and two pair of the skis grandpa made for us.
I now have pictures of my grandkids being pulled around on grandpa Theiler’s homemade toboggan. Life and memories could not get any better.
I think one of the reasons we may have spent so much time outside was the fact with so many kids getting a little rambunctious in the house, just maybe mom would suggest we go outside and play. Then again it may not have been a suggestion.
In fact, I always tell people we were never allowed to get sick. If we did happen to catch something I can still hear my mom saying, “Get dressed and get outside the cold weather will do you good.” It did not matter that it was well below zero out. There was never any doubt in my mind if we did have any germs they were soon freeze dried.
I would not trade the way we grew up for anything because we always had fun and enjoyed life in our own little piece of the world up here in the U.P. We had the best that young people could have when you had parents that loved you and friends that were true friends to enjoy life together.
How many of you can remember back when the winters had so much snow and high snow banks that gas stations gave out little fluorescent orange balls to put on your radio antenna so other drivers would know another car was at an intersection. Of course this would not work in today’s world because cars no longer have radio antennas.