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45 Years of Snow Days (Saturday, December 11, 2010)

July 22, 2011

45 Years of Snow Days

It has been snowing for almost a day. It is one of those snows that Minnesotans expect but is a little more than what we usually get. What is familiar to most of us is spending a good chunk of the day digging out cars and digging out parking spaces with the upcoming snow emergencies. That is how we spent much of today, neighbors helping each other (for which I am very thankful and grateful) move their cars to a spot where they will not get ticketed, plowed in or towed. We may repeat the drill in the morning, when all the cars need to move again.
I heard an announcer on the radio saying that this storm is comparable to the Halloween storm of 1991. No one is really talking about the real storm, the one from 1965.
As we shoveled out a spot for the SUV driven by a pack of kids from Iowa, I told them about the dump that left my dad to dig out the driveway. It was not work, but entertainment to have such a wonderland in which to play, which is why my dad likely had me join him in the bright, sunny aftermath.
The snow was so much that dad had to reach up way over his head to deposit the shovelfuls from his last scoop. I sat on top of one of the mounds that measured the heft of the storm and the heft of his day’s labor. For my part, I applied my shovel, from a beach pail set that grandma had likely sent the summer before. (These were the days before everything was made of plastic. Mine was some kind of metal.) The snow that I kicked back onto the driveway as I played was more than the work of the beach shovel. This fact was the topic of a lament from my father as much as it was his delight.
I explained the storm of ’65 to the young guys, who someone thought they might be able to head back to Iowa in the morning. They had not seen a storm so big, even being from Iowa. They were amazed by the storm, but not nearly as amazed as they were that I remember the storm of ’65. Could anyone be that old?
They are now at work trying to dislodge the compact car of a “girlfriend.” They have the energy and spirit. Whoops and cheers as they car edges from its snow-lock. (Yelling like neanderthals, my son says in jest and glee.) It’s sport. It’s fun. Could I have ever been so young?
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