Let It Snow

My daughter called me from Alaska, lamenting about the beginning of snow season and having to learn the intricacies of using a snow shovel. As I sat at my writing desk next to an open window in Scottsdale, Arizona – she indulged me as I took her on a memory trip back to my childhood in Hinsdale, Illinois.

7 years of age was the general time for what parents came to call the Snowfall Rite of Passage. Wimpy kids of today would sue or divorce their parents for this.

Entrances to the houses all had storm doors which opened outwards – so with the first foot-deep snowfall, the dining room storm window was removed so the kid, boy or girl as there was no sexist views with parents when it came to that cold white flaky stuff, would be handed out the window so they could go around and pick up that weird tool to shovel the front door open.

Then, the child would head to the family car. I was one of the lucky ones as we actually had a garage but the routine remained. Using a broom and mittened hand, we would pound all about the hood of the car to awaken any stray cats who had found warmth from the engine the night prior. Hinsdale had a lotta strange looking cats due to this step being often overlooked.

Then it was time for the child to actually start the family car and remain inside until it was warm enough to put the heater on FULL because Heaven forbid a parent have to get into a cold vehicle. Those without garages spent the warm-up time scrapping the ice off the windows. I think it was Jerry Johnston who had the recognition of knocking their car into gear and making their garage a drive-thru.

As in “A Christmas Story,” kids did get their tongues stuck to slides, fire hydrants and lamp posts. This was in a time when we’d wait as long as an hour in snow drifts taller than us for the school bus. I still recall the time Pam Friedinger’s hair was not totally dry from her shower. I pulled on her pig-tail….and it snapped off. But – that’s another story.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.