Growing up in a small town in Southern New Jersey

Saturday, January 31, 2009


This is our car as of Saturday, Feb. 1. The storm started Monday night into Tuesday, and then ice came on Tuesday afternoon, ending up with snow on Wednesday. We still haven't dug it out, but it's sunny out today, but only 16 degrees, and tomorrow will also be sunny and above freezing, at least they say it will be. These are really small icicles hanging from the garage next door. I found a few large icicles, but they are too far to photograph.
So, I remember icicles. Not itty-bitty ones like these, but huge icicles. They always hung right outside the back door, hanging from the porch roof reading to drop on your head or decapitate you if you went out the door and rattled the edge of the roof. Maybe because I was small when I first noticed the icicles, they seemed so large, but as I grew older, they were still very big, and mom or dad had to knock them down with a broom.
I used to love to try to knock the icicles down with something clean so I could suck on it like a popsicle. Often I would try to catch it as it fell so that it wouldn't break on the top step. I also liked to look closely at them and see how many sections they had (growth sections).
The front porch provided good icicles as well. Those were easier to reach because I could climb on the porch rail and grab one off the roof. I think we had these large icicles because neither porch (the front nor back) had rain gutters, so as the snow melted, it just naturally ran off the porch and if it was cold enough we had icicles.
I don't remember it getting below 20 degrees very often, but the variance in temperature during the day wasn't that great, either. Like here in N. KY we can go down to 5 at night and then get up to 30 during the day. In Runnemede, we would go down to 20 at night and maybe get up to 30 during the day.
Oh, we had some really cold weather, but not with snow. And that made our snow so much better and thicker. The warmer the weather was when it snowed, the heavier was the snow.
I recall one Christmas Eve -- the first year Alan and I were married. We went to Runnemede to spend a couple of days with my mom and dad (at the house on 2nd ave) and then we were going to head down to Ventnor where his parents were staying until they returned to Africa, and spend a few days with them.
Well, this storm rolled in on Christmas Eve around supper time. It snowed like crazy and we even had lightning and thunder with that storm. By morning we had almost 18 inches of snow on the ground, but the sun was out, so the storm was over. The big dilemma, should we try to head down to the shore (Ventnor is right on the ocean, just south of Atlantic City) or stay with my mom and dad another day. Another dilemma we had was: we were supposed to pick up Alan's grandfather Hahn and take him with us to Ventnor.
Well, we opted to wait one day, spend Christmas in Runnemede -- no relatives made it to the big dinner that year -- and then head down to Ventnor.
Why is it the snowstorms I weathered in Runnemede are so vivid to me. I could make a list and recall that all the largest storms were accompanied with temperatures in the high 20s, low 30s. Best snow in the world.
In case you're wondering why I remember snowstorms. thunderstorms, sunny days, etc., I always loved looking at weather maps. Some people would open to the comic section of the newspaper, I opened to the weather map. I would study those maps and try to predict on my own what the next few days of weather would be. Those maps along with dads barometer were a treat for me. I also picked up as many books at the library -- there were three of them -- on weather as I could find. Small library. My mom bought the World Book when I was about 10, and the first thing I read about was weather, climate, snow, rain. How weather patterns moved in North America and in Europe.
So, that's my icicle tale, and I'm sticking to it (not with my tongue -- I did that once, licked the back steps railing which was metal -- ouch!).

No comments: