The middle of April in 1957, we moved back to our favorite town after being gone a little over three years. We were glad to be home. The next morning after moving in, we awoke to a world of white. When we looked out the windows of the house, white was all you could see. The wind had blown so hard that the snow was piled up in drifts to the eaves of the house and garage. We could not see out any of the windows or doors.
The doors were drifted shut, and packed so tight they could not be opened. After many hours of pushing and shoving on the back door, my Dad managed to get it open just a crack; just enough room for my faithful cocker spaniel, Brownie, and I to squeeze through. For three days Brownie and I were the only ones that could get out the door.
The snow had blown under the clothesline leaving about a foot under the lines clear and then drifted up to the eaves on the garage that sat about 20 feet to the south of the lines.
I would squeeze out and hang washcloths and towels on the clothesline. I made steps in the snow bank to get to the top, and then I had to get down on my knees to hang the laundry on the line. After hanging the washcloths and towels on the line I would sit on the roof of the garage and survey my world of white.
Our house was on the north side of town and I had an unobstructed view into the countryside. There was not a single fence as far as my 9-year-old eyes could see. The snow had piled up about 4 feet high on the flat ground all over the county.
All the cows and horses in the fields around town were loose and running wild. I could see them wandering around just outside of town. All the feed was covered up with the snow and none of them had stayed around their own farms so the farmer could feed them. But he probably couldn’t get out of his house to get the hay to them anyway.
I found an area near the front of the garage that I could slide down to go back into the house. Sometimes I would go back up and slide down a few times before I got so cold I had to go back into the house.
Our house was very small and was wall-to-wall people. My Grandparents had arrived the day we moved in so Grandmother could help Mom unpack and keep track of my two-year-old sister. So, 4 adults and 2 children and a dog in a very small house was a little claustrophobic. That was the last time my Grandfather ever spent the night anywhere.
Mom didn’t have time to go to the grocery store the day we moved in, so our stock of food was limited to what was in cans and a little bit of meat in the freezer. She had not bought meat and perishable items before the move, because she did not want to move anymore than she had to. That was the week that I developed a hatred for powdered milk. I would rather have gone without, than drink the powdered, but it was all we had in the house.
As the powerful storm exited the area it took all the electricity with it, and no one had lights for at least 4-7 days. We were lucky that we had a gas cook stove and a gas floor heater. So we were warm and could have hot meals with what little she had on hand. The only light we had was from a few candles that Mom managed to find in boxes.
Since it was early April, the snow began to melt in about 4 days and spring came, as it should have a few weeks earlier. Everyone including the animals were happy to see the warmer temperatures return.
When all the snow was melted, the ranchers and farmers all convened and began an old fashioned roundup. They would gather cows and horses anywhere they could find them and pen them up in corrals. Then they went farm to farm to sort out their cows and horses and load them up to take home. If they were close to where they belonged they drove them with horses. It must have taken a week or two for the stray stock to get back to their own barns and fields.
If the weather patterns have changed and is a side effect of global warming and winters are going to be going back to what we used to have I am going to hate it. This winter was an easy one and I could really get used to winters that are milder. I HATE SNOW; I can do without another April blizzard like the one in 1957. To email Sandy: [email protected]