Well, our weather forecasters are predicting a good old fashioned blizzard for our area. Whenever I experience a blast of this winter weather, I think of the blizzard heroes. This may include folks that clear the roads and keep the electricity flowing. Any essential health care, transportation, emergency service workers and others are thought of as well. However, I must say that my dad would be at the top of my blizzard hero list!
When I was a mere second grader, just a “few” decades ago, our area experienced a whopper of a storm. The snow hit right before Christmas break. It developed so quickly that some of the school buses could not properly negotiate the roads. Some students’ parents were not able to get their child or children from school. The principal of the elementary went above and beyond to host an impromptu slumber party at school for perhaps twenty or more students. He saw that they were fed from the lunch room and somehow found places for them to lay their weary heads for the night.
My Dad – The Blizzard Hero!
Fortunately, Dad, my blizzard lion heart, was able to pick me up. However, by the time we got on our gravel roads, our car high centered on a snow drift. We were a half mile from home in near white out conditions. Dad made sure we were properly bundled before we got out of our old black Plymouth.
My little child legs couldn’t quite negotiate the growing banks of snow, so he did what any good daddy would do. He picked me up and carried me. If you’ve ever tried to navigate into a whaling, blizzarding snow, you know it’s not easy. Just carrying one’s own weight while battling the wind and snow is effort enough, let alone the extra weight of a child in arms.
He headed down the white, blustery road with the wind pummeling his face. Unbelievably, he carried me a quarter mile to the nearest neighbor. Fortunately, the good neighbors were home and welcomed us into their toasty abode from the brutally frigid outdoors. I was really hoping that Dad would stay, but once he warmed a bit, he walked, sans child, another quarter mile to our place. He, after all, had cattle and hogs, a dog and cats to feed and water. Mom, as well as my little brother and sister, awaited him in our warm, toasty home.
The Neighbor Blizzard Heroes
Meanwhile at the neighbors, I was with the mom and dad and their high school aged daughter. Additionally, there was another stranded neighbor girl a year older than me. All of them were champions, too! They each did their best to make me feel at home. The mom made all sorts of wonderful homecooked food, as all the women did back then.
I recall our sleeping quarters for the three of us girls was a large bed. It was in an unheated bedroom with a pile of quilts at least as thick as my little second grade body. I’m certain the weight of the quilts would have been more than some of the weighted quilts that people occasionally buy nowadays!
Another memory was that I feared I would not be home by Christmas. That particular winter was the first that I knew there was no Santa, but nonetheless, I didn’t want to miss celebrating with my family. I also wanted to be home to play with my two younger siblings!
Some people must be prepared for just anything. Here is what happened. The two of us who were guests, somehow magically, had a little gift for us under our neighbors’ tree! We each received a pretty necklace and bracelet set! Our new jewelry was the perfect size for each of us. Some people simply go above and beyond in being neighborly! These fine folks were certainly blizzard champions as well!
Homeward Bound Hero
I honestly do not recall if I spent more than one night at the neighbors or not. My Man of the Hour, Dad, eventually got out his little orange Allis Chalmers tractor and dug a path to rescue me. We rode on the open air tractor and got home – just in time to celebrate our Christmas with the five of us! Despite my disappointment of the story of Santa, I was to find that it is the generous hearts of all those around us that fuel the spirit of Christmas. That and Dad – he was truly my blizzard hero!
If you are in a wintery location, you may enjoy my Winter Cozy post as well as the Call of the Winter. Here is a resource with winter safety tips: https://www.vibrant.org/5-tips-coping-severe-winter-cold-weather/. Stay warm!