Snow Days

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Well, we awoke this morning to sounds of joy within the Doebler household.  The words of hope and joy that dance in every child’s mind during the winter months of the school year came true today…”NO SCHOOL“.  Before we moved here from South Carolina, Zach & Brandon were so excited about coming to a place where it snows frequently.  Their enthusiasm was based on the fact that in SC, if snow is even PREDICTED, school is cancelled.  In other words, there doesn’t even have to be snow on the ground for school to get cancelled.  So coming to a “winter wonderland” like Peoria (did anyone just spew coffee on your computer screen after reading that last comment?), seemed like a dream come true for them.  Sadly, they were unaware of a horrible invention called the snow plow.  Until last year, they had not gotten a single day cancelled due to snow.  Their excitement for snow has turned into something more like dread…..until you get a snow day.  Then all is right in the world again. 

We have readers on this blog not only here in Peoria, but in many places around the country as well.  It would be fun to have some of you share where you are (Peoria included) and let us know the weather where you are, and if you have any favorite snow day memories.  What do you do with a snow day?    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must go shovel the driveway.  I hate snow days! 

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3 Responses

  1. One of the advantages of living in “Pageville” (Thomas Ct.), is having our family in walking distance. So two winters ago, on a snow day much like today, mom and Paige braved the weather and journeyed over and played with Raelee (& Kimba) in the snow. Snow angels galour! It was a great time! Hopefully we’ll get to do it again today:)

  2. I love snow days. We don’t have to plow because there’s dirt and rock on our driveway and we homeschool so there’s no need to go anywhere. (Now, if I only had a store that would deliver milk and cereal for breakfast, because we’re out). Dang the bad luck!!! Oh well good thing my kids’ favorite thing to eat is PB&Js. Yay all is well in the Lawson household. Yee-hah!

  3. This is a little long, but I think it is worth the read… and it gives a little perspective on the snow!

    My Grandma sent me a clipping from the Kokomo paper on the Blizzard of ’78. This was a momentous occasion for my family, as I was born during this time at home after my parents were snowed in. I’ve heard their tales of only being able to see the luggage rack of their station wagon, how the ambulance crew walked down to our house, how an ambulance finally made it several hours after I was born, preceded immediately by a snow plow, which then transported my mom and me to the nearest hospital, again immediately preceded by a snow plow! But when you read about it from other sources, it takes on a new meaning… here’s the article:

    Remembering the Blizzard of 1978

    By Lisa Fipps

    Beginning on Jan. 25, 1978, Indian was paralyzed by a snowstorm that came to be known as the blizzard of ’78, the worst blizzard on record for the Hoosier state.

    When the blizzard ended early in the morning of Jan 27, maximum snow amounts from the storm reached 20 inches over parts of Central and Southern Indiana and up to 40 inches over parts of Northern Indiana.

    Friday marks the 30th anniversary of the 1978 blizzard.

    According to the National Weather Service (NWS), on day one, Jan. 25, a heavy snow warning was issued at 4:30 a.m. and was upgraded to a blizzard warning at 3:45 p.m. that afternoon. The day began with 5 inches of snow on the ground. Only 1 inch was added by 7 p.m., but by 10 p.m., snowfall became heavy. Arctic air blasted in just before midnight with frequent gusts above 35 mph, creating blizzard conditions. These conditions continued unabated for the next 24 hours.

    On day two, just a half hour after the arctic front blasted through, the Indianapolis International Airport was closed due to whiteout conditions. At 3 a.m., the blizzard produced peak winds of 55 mph. Temperatures dropped to zero that morning. Wind chills remained a bone-chilling 40 to 50 below zero nearly all day, according to the NWS.

    The governor declared a snow emergency for the entire state the morning of Jan. 26. Snow drifts of 10 to 20 feet made travel virtually impossible. During the afternoon of the 26, the Indiana State Police considered all Indiana roads closed.

    Nearly every Hoosier who experienced the blizzard of ’78 has a story to tell. It certainly was one for the records, one to remember for Hoosiers.

    We at the Perspective remember the blizzard.

    Perspective managing editor Lisa Fipps:
    I was in third grade. They dismissed school early, around 1-ish, but not early enough. Kids are usually talking and laughing and unaware of what’s going on outside the bus, but the mood inside bus No. 19 was quiet and somber. But Mrs. Fox, the bus driver, never let on how bad it was. We plowed through drift after drift along 300 East – until we ran up across a huge one near Ind. 22. To me, it looked like it was about half as tall as the bus. But that was in a child’s eyes. It could have been just 3 or 4 feet. Six inches of snow blowing across open fields makes for some tall drifts, you know. Not able to go forward, Mrs. Fox tried to back up. She’d have to be in reverse for about a mile to get ot 100 South. But she couldn’t. Those drifts she’d driven through were even harder to get through in reverse. We were stuck.

    She radioed into the school, Taylor Elementary School. The school called the Howard County Highway Department, which dispatched a plow. We sat and waited. And waited. And waited. Even the snowplows had it rough that day. And we weren’t the only ones in trouble. We waited so long that she started to worry about having enough gas, so she’d turn the engine off periodically. She tried to keep the mood light, but even as a kid I could see the worry in her eyes. The plow finally got to us. It took a while to blast away the snow, and then we followed the plow the rest of the way home.

    By the time I got home, it was nearly 5 p.m. My mom was standing at the bottom of the driveway. She hugged me and cried. I was the last one to make it home that day.

    School was closed for three weeks. Ahhhh. Dreams do come true. And that was back when we didn’t have to make up snow days.

    But there was no playing in the snow at first. That’s because the drifts piled up around our ranch-style house so high that we could only see out the top 2 inches of our picture window. My sister went stir crazy and decided she’d open the door. My mom told her not to. She did anyway and a mountain of snow fell into the mudroom. I laughed as she had to take pots and pans to scoop it up, melt it away in the sink, and then mop the floor.

    My mom was worried, though, that there would be a fire and we’d be trapped. So she stayed awake all night every night, just in case. Her plan was to throw a kitchen chair through the picture window and then dig through the snow to safety. When we woke up, she’d go to sleep and finally get some rest.

    My sister, brother, and I slept in and watched TV, amazed by the news reports of the blizzard. That was our lives for almost a week before my aunt and cousins finally were able to get out of their house and then come over to dig a tunnel to our back door. The drift around the front would take days to shovel through.

    We bundled up and played outside. We were several feet above the backyard fence as we walked atop the snow. Cool stuff. and we built tunnels and mazes through the snow that we played in for weeks.

    When our neighbors got out, Mom put together a list of must-have groceries and paid them to buy it because our car was still buried.

    We made snow cream, using snow, sugar, vanilla, and a can of cream, several times. It was the first time mom shared the recipe with us, one from her days of growing up in Kentucky. Oh, that was good stuff.

    Mom finally made it back to work; the factories were closed for a while. And on the first day back to school, she went with me. She told the principal that if the school officials were ever too dumb to cancel school or dismiss early enough again, she was going to make the decision to keep me at home and they had better not hold it against me. I’d never seen her so angry.

    I have a feeling that her message was noted in my school records because when I was in junior high it was really bad out, but they didn’t cancel school. She made me stay home. The next day, she sent a note saying, “School officials may not have enough sense to know when it’s too dangerous for my daughter to go to class, but I do Please excuse yesterday’s absence.” I figured I’d have some explaining to do to the principal. I said, “My mom gets that way because” and he interjected and said, “I know. I know.”

    KP staff writer Patrick Munsey:
    I was a lad of 7 when the blizzard of 1978 hit our area. i can recall my mother hurriedly making a shopping list in order to stock up on food before the storm hit, but I had no idea why she was so urgently planning. I soon understood. My family woke up the next morning to find every window and door on our ranch-style home in Galveston blocked by giant snowdrifts. People use the term “blizzard” rather loosely today it seems. A foot of snow is enough to bring that sort of talk about. But in 1978, we were buried under 4 feet of the white stuff. And the drifts towered well above that height. We could reach the roof of our house by walking atop the piles of snow. My father dug through the snow walls around our home, and after a few days, my sister and I were allowed outside to play. Of course, there was no school for two weeks, so we had plenty of winter fun. We built snow forts and snowmen, and my best friend and his two brothers dug a snow cave in their backyard large enough for an adult to stand in without ducking. Today, I would dread a repeat of the 1978 blizzard; adult responsibilities don’t end because of a little bad weather. But as a child, ti was a wonderful dream that likely never will be matched. The world through a child’s eyes is far too romantic to be surpassed by grown-up experiences.

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