Growing up in a small town in Southern New Jersey

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

It will be snowing snow

I have heard all the reports of the heavy snow Runnemede got last weekend, while we got only seven inches (more like three, actually). Well, today we, here in Northern Kentucky are getting another storm, and I know it's heading toward Runnemede.

I remember a winter such as this one. I'm fuzzy on the year, but I think it was 1959 -- the year I turned 16. I recall that we didn't see the street surface from Christmas until mid-April. We had to go to school an extra two weeks (in June) that year, and finished up shortly before July 1.

I also recall that on March 3 of that year we had a snowstorm which closed the school on my birthday, so I didn't get my birthday corsage. Back then you got a bubble gum corsage for your 16th birthday. We were out of school for the rest of the week, and when we got back, whoever was supposed to get me the corsage figured my birthday was long gone, so I didn't get it.

But I wasn't down and out about that, because two days later, we got another storm that knocked out power for a week. And we had no school during that time. We were cold, and at night when we went to bed, we would get under a pile of down quilts, and when we breathed we could see our breath. Daddy had set up a small kerosene heater in the living room, and mom kept the gas oven going all day and night, so the downstairs wasn't too bad. We still wore two pairs of socks and our coats and gloves, most of the time, but we toughed it out.

Now I'm thinking I'm glad I'm not in that situation (no heat or electricity). No electricity wasn't as bad in the 50s and 60s because we didn't depend on it for telephone, computer, microwave, stove, hot water, and in most instances heat. Some people still had coal furnaces. And I recall my dad almost swearing that we didn't have ours any more, because if we had kept it and not switched over to oil heat, we would have been warm and toasty in our house.

I can't recall what dad did to make sure the pipes didn't burst, but he must have done something.

So, a story from many years ago. Deb and I talked about this a few days ago. So far, neither of us has lost electricity this winter. Thank the Lord for that.


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