More happy times and some great fun with the snow

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 15, 2014

It sure was fun to watch one of the biggest snows in recent history. As I stated before, I like the excitement of getting snow. The beauty of it all is simply amazing to me, probably because it comes so seldom here. I was thinking today of just a few of the many times that snow made for some great fun, granted they may seem bigger in my memory than they really were. No matter, snow can be the conduit for a lot of wonderful memories.
One of my best and earliest memories is that of making snow cream. Probably a lot of younger people won’t know what snow cream is, but it is my favorite dessert of all time.
I remember as a little kid, probably 5 or 6 years old, how hard it was for my brother, sister and dad to wait just long enough for the heavy snow to fall before asking my mom for snow cream. She always kept the ingredients of milk, vanilla and sugar, close by. There was a huge pink mixing bowl, and a wooden spoon. The lucky kid got to go out to a place with plenty of clean snow and fill the bowl. We had to stay away from any ice, but that was easy. One of my favorite places to get the perfect snow was off the top of a picnic table. Proper technique included filling the bowl as full as possible, and mashing it down just a little on top, then leaving the spoon stuck in the snow too. I remember proudly carrying the bowl of snow back in the house, and watching my mom mix the sugar, vanilla, and milk to the perfect texture. Of course the volume of snow in the bowl would go down as the mixing went on, and would usually end up with less than half the bowl filled. We had snow cream!
I always thought of it as the best winter treat, and would eat two or three bowls right away. I would be shivering soon, but that didn’t matter. Then a few hours later, we would do it again.
Another time, we used horses and snow for the best sledding I have ever known. Even though we had horses growing up, we never thought about using a rope from the saddle horn to a sled. Some friends of my dad had been doing this for years, and we went over to see what it was all about. The horses had no trouble with traction and they pulled us around a small piece of shaded pasture over and over again. I remember that the roads were passable, but there was still plenty of snow in the pasture for good sledding.
Boredom often set in for teenagers back then if we were out of school because of a lot of snow. I was one of those teenagers, and had some friends who lived close by who were also bored.
Two of my favorite snow memories came from this scenario. I had an old jeep and we always had somebody with a vehicle who could drive around. One of our neighbors, Terry Corriher, had some old water skis with the bottom fins already missing. We used a tractor to pull a snow skier down Millbridge Road. It was fun, but very hard to balance. We had a ball.
After a few hours of this, the same group would go inside my grandma’s house where there was a phone away from the adults. I could play a little guitar at the time, and we would warm up with a quick rendition of John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads”. Then we would call several hot babes, pretending to be from WSAT, and ask them if they could name this tune. They were promised fabulous prizes. It would not have been so successful had Steve Garver not been able to sound like a radio DJ.
One more recent memory, though I don’t know what year, was when my daughters were small enough to still want milk every day. We were out, and there were a few more things that this particular ex-wife needed from the store too. There had been a several day snow event, and everything was cancelled because most of the snow was still on the roads. I decided to tie one of those plastic bottomed sleds behind me with a short piece of rope around my waist, and then proceeded to run just less than six miles to the store. I bought the items, loaded them in the sled, and pulled it all back home. It wasn’t as hard as it sounds.
I was able to have some snow cream for the first time in years, and it was just as good as I remembered. Now it sounds like a dose of warm weather is coming, and I am all for that too. We have had our big, once in a decade snow, and now it will be just fine with me if spring arrives early. I’m ready.