We got a few inches of snow last night, and it’s still coming down, just in time for a White Christmas! It’s funny how even here in Colorado, everyone gets so excited once they know for sure there will be fresh snow in time for Christmas.
Growing up in Northern Michigan, worrying about whether or not we’d have a white Christmas would be laughable. After all, we had white Thanksgivings most years. Old Man Winter held us in his firm grasp by the end of December. By the end of January it was a choke-hold. We got the kind of blizzards in Michigan that required you to keep up with your shoveling and snowblowing or else you’d wake up to find your front door frozen shut and barricaded by a waist-deep snowbank. Seriously. Fail to shovel every couple of hours and you could be stuck in the house, not able to do anything but scratch the walls and windows with your fingernails until April.
Em loves my stories about those winters, especially the one where my brother and I and our friends would climb up the snowbanks to the roof of the house and jump off! When we landed, our feet didn’t even reach solid ground. Our mothers told us to be careful of the icicles, and they meant it! Those suckers, the diameter of baseball bats, hung from the eaves of the roof almost to the ground. One of those ice-swords could easily spear a small dog or toddler unlucky enough to be beneath it when it cracked loose.
Perhaps the best way to describe those Michigan winters/snowstorms of the 70s and 80s is this: remember the great blizzard in the Burt Ives-narrated version of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer? The one that threatened to cancel Christmas? The snow is howling and swirling all around and Sam the Snowman (aka Ives) tries to shield his face with his flimsy umbrella? That’s what it was like. Truly.Categories: Childhood, Family, Holidays, Winter · Tags: Childhood, Christmas, Family, Winter