Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Whenever I think about winter, I immediately pull up memories from my childhood. It's funny, because as an adult most of my memories center around the work that winter has. But the wistful memories that come up are the ones where you bundle up and run outside and play in the snow.

I grew up in North Dakota, and I remember my mom coming outside and helping me build a snow horse, and a couple cowboy snowmen. I remember the way the cold would make my cheeks feel tight. I remember wrapping up in a blanket and sitting in front of the cast iron fireplace in the basement getting warm.

I think that the earliest adult memories I have were when I was in college. I worked for a local high school as a debate judge and I would have to drive to their school and then ride the bus with the debaters to whatever school they were going to for the weekend tournaments.

Getting into my car in the morning was always a little tense. I drove a 1973 Toyota Celica. It's nickname was Wheezer, because when I turned it off, the engine would cough and wheeze a little before finally resting. Anyway, Wheezer had a lovely vinyl/leather trimmed seat, and being dressed for work, you'd sit in the car, and your leg muscles would immediately contract from the cold.

I would coax the car to life, and then turn on the blowers and start digging for my scraper. I remember once I couldn't find it, so I used the front of a cassette tape case. Remember, this was in the mid 80's, so I also had the option of using one of my large earrings as a scraper too.

I would scrape like crazy, then get back in, and my muscles would once again contract, jamming my knees up into the steering wheel. I remember rocking my car back and forth to get it out of whatever snowy predicament it was in, and then finally getting on the streets.

In the land before Anti-lock braking systems, this meant that there was an awful lot of brake pumpking. Anyway, the car would usually get warm about 3 blocks off campus, and then by the time I'd get to my destination, it would be hot enough inside to melt steel.

Ahh, the joys of winter!


Penny said...

Man, I can't even imagine, and here we are complaining that it's still getting in the 80's during the day! I guess I have that to look forward to when we retire up north in 23 years.

Aimeslee said...

katy lou who! your last several blog entries have been priceless! love love them! especially the letter to dear daughter. my missy is 6 months away from 20 and i have been there on the house stuff for sure.

katy, i hope you have a wonderful holiday and new year!