Monday, December 13, 2010

Down Memory Lane

As I mentioned to my kids this weekend....."Dang it's cold!!"  It's getting to be that time of year when a coat just won't suffice to keep the weather at bay.....stocking caps, warm gloves and my boys personal favorite, thermal underwear are all used to make them feel  invincible to Old Man Winter.

We had  a lot of snow for our little corner of the world last year....to the delight of kids everywhere, as they built snowmen of mythic proportions and had endless snowball fights for neighborhood bragging rights.

When I was their age.....lo those many years ago....we lived in the country in a little town that had a convenience store, a church or two.....and that was pretty much it.

My dad owned about 25 acres with a large pond, several horses and he leased several hundred acres for cattle from a prominent neighbor just down the road.

To my sister and I....those 25 acres were our personal playground and like other kids in our "neighborhood" we build forts, played cowboys and indians, fished in the pond and caught crawdads in the small creek that ran through the pasture.

One particularly cold winter....I think it was '83..... sticks in my mind because the local weather-man gave the forecast for the next day, calling for COLD temps with lows in the teens overnight....and a slight chance of very light snow flurries.

Imagine our delight when we awoke the next morning to find 12-18" of snow as far as the eye can see!

My dad didn't have a 4 wheel drive truck at that time but did have a trusty mid-sized diesel tractor that we used around the farm almost daily to feed hay, spread dirt or gravel, cut and bale hay or any other of the near limitless things that needed to be done around the place.

As it turns out...many of our neighbors didn't have 4 wheel drives either and several were little old widow-women that didn't often venture far from home other than to go to the next town for groceries, shopping and the like...

In our corner of Oklahoma, or anywhere in the state for that matter....this level of snow was unheard of....and many people didn't have the means to deal with it, drive through it, or remove it....their only options being to hope for a quick warm spell to melt the pesky stuff so they could go on about their business.

This particular winter blast happened on a Friday night so luckily dad didn't have to go to work the next day and brave the roads.  He got me bundled up with layer upon layer of warm clothes and we set out on the tractor and box blade (rear attachment for moving dirt or snow) and we went to all of the neighbors houses...about 7 or 8 in all.....where the aforementioned little old ladies lived to clear their driveways.

It took most of the day as I recall....and by the time we were done....a veritable mountain of snow had been moved to allow vehicles safe(r) passage.

Dad didn't do it for money, kudos, or any other reason besides the simplest one of all.....neighbors helping neighbors....  Nobody called to ask, he just did it because it needed to done.....and wow you would not believe the response!!

For days and probably weeks afterward....there were casseroles, cakes, pies, and delicacies of every description on our doorstep.  I'm quite sure we didn't want for a single morsel that wasn't at our fingertips.

I think of those times and smile.....and I truly hope that the concept of neighbors helping neighbors is still alive and well today as it was back then.

Do you have any stories that you'd like to share??  Tell us in the comments.......

1 comment:

Butterpoweredbike said...

My heart is a little bit warmer, reading that. I have no doubt you are passing those same ethics down to your boys.

Wish I could say it had snowed here, in a place where it's supposed to snow :( I was born in a blizzard, and have such an affinity for snow.