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Monday, November 25 2002

Winter memories

My father-in-law, who shall remain anonymous, like many old-timers, recalls when winter snows came in November and never left till April and when he had to walk 10 miles through 10-foot drifts in 30-degrees-below-zero temperatures wearing only sneakers and a tee-shirt. Well, perhaps, the fog of age has distorted his memories and I tend to exaggerate. Nevertheless, in his defense, he did walk to school at age 15 during the monster winter of 1935-36 and probably a few other tough winter seasons.

Even I remember walking two miles to school through waist-high snow and icy temperatures during the winter of 1944-45. Of course, I was only six years old and probably less than four feet tall, so waist-high snow wasn't that deep. Also, I had this typical kidlike tendency of finding the deepest snow to walk through even if it required taking a shortcut through my grandfather's winter wheat field.

My most vivid memory of that winter had nothing to do with the snow and cold but, rather, with homemade ice cream. My grandparents lived a mile from the school, which put them at the halfway point of my daily trek to and from classes. On cold, snowy days, their home was a great stopping off point to get warm with a cup of hot cocoa or some other snack. On one winter day I was so absorbed in walking through the drifts of snow created by the snow fence in my grandfather's field that I passed their house and continued on home.

The following evening, when I stopped in to get warm and to see what treat my grandmother had for me, I could tell that she was a little upset that I hadn't come in the day before. She explained that they had made ice cream and had a dish ready for me. She knew that I really loved her ice cream. Unfortunately, she had no way of saving it, so one of my uncles took on the terrible task of eating it for me. By the way, my uncles had legendary reputations for eating a serving bowl of ice cream, then asking for more.

We lived on the farm next to my grandparents for the remainder of that school year and through the next winter. And you better believe, I never missed another after-school visit. And my grandmother always had a snack for me but, sadly, never again was it homemade ice cream.

Signs across America


They actually have to put a
sign up to keep people from
doing this?


—Sent by Sallie Covolo

Thought for the day

Science in the modern world has many uses; its chief use, however, is to provide long words to cover the errors of the rich.

—G. K. Chesterton
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