Kentucky is having a lot of snow right now. It made me a little nervous to venture out, knowing I don’t have my dad to come rescue me if I venture into a snow drift! Growing up, dad was the person everyone called to pull them out of the snow drifts as they went off the road. He would get into his khaki work coveralls and work boots and get onto his tractor and head down the road to rescue them.
In Illinois the snow would blow across the roads and pile up in huge snow piles on the side of the road, and even create big snow drifts across the road. My parents always kept snow mobiles for us to ride. We usually had Snow Cats, but my dad’s was an El Tigre that had been a racing snow mobile. It could really fly across the snow. My dad would make sure each year that the river had really frozen solid and then we would take long trips down the river also. I also remember a few wrecks, but most memories were of us bundled up in snow suits with every exposed part of our body covered and helmuts mashed down over our heads so that we could go ride. My brother and I would go inside long enough to warm up and then head right back out again.
My dad would also take his tractor and plow the driveways and roads around us. Not so much so that the vehicles could get anywhere, but so that we would have a big pile of snow to play in. My brother and I would then make a snow fort in the snow piles, complete with tunnels to slide through. They would end up solid enough the snow mobiles could zoom over them. Usually that would be a lot of fun, but I do remember the accident involving Brian, a snow mobile, and a swing set…. The piles were always so high you couldn’t see anything on the other side.
Our power would then go out for extended periods at a time. My parents finally hooked up a wood burning furnace that was hooked into all the vent work for the house. The house also had a fireplace in the living room and a wood burning stove in the kitchen. My mother would usually have something on the wood burning stove – deer jerky drying, maple syrup cooking down to remove the water, or some other unusual thing. Every so often she would even have a flock of chicks under a heat lamp in the kitchen – but I don’t necessarily tie that memory to the snow.
During the big snow storms, friends and relatives would still drop by – just on snow mobiles. They would pull into the drive, and we would run out all bundled up and hop on ours and join the caravan for the day.