Remembering those big snowstorms of the 1950’s is not really a joyous remembrance.  We lived on a 125-acre farm that was about a mile and a half from the nearest tar road. There was no such thing as a plow truck coming our way. We were the only family that was foolish enough to live that far off a main road. Well, maybe, that was the only place that was able to hold our tribe. At times, there were 15 of us kids holed up in that old farmhouse. The only heat we had were two stoves.  There was the big old Atlantic cook stove in the kitchen and the huge pot belly parlor stove in the living room. When that stove glowed red hot, you could not stand near it. You got toasted on one side and frozen on the other.  Or course, in those days there was little or no talk about having insulation in the walls. Most usually it was that thick paper board that was on the walls. There were four bedrooms upstairs, but as the cold of winter began creeping through the rafters, we began to migrate into the rooms on the first floor.  The sure signs it was time to move, was the frost on the shingles nails that protruded through the roof boards. My room downstairs, with my two brothers just happened to be the one we called “the dark room”.  This was the first time I had seen a house with a room right in the center that did not have any windows. This was not the pantry, just a big old dark room. Actually, now that I remember, it was the first time us boys had rooms that actually had walls and a door. Before then, it was just a couple of long rags hung across the middle of the room upstairs. But I had to stay in the dark room because of my health problems.  I had a small case of scarlet fever. The doctors suggested I had to stay in that dark room as much as possible. This fever left me with a bad heart valve. I didn’t mind the dark room though. It actually was the warmest room in the house. I still had my big old fur coat I could snuggle in with just the mouth and nose showing. All was fine until the big storms came. We still had to walk that long mile just to reach the bus for school. One of us would wait outside with high hopes the fire siren in town would sound off. That meant no school for the day.  No siren meant bundle up and walk to catch the bus. Once in a while, we would take one of the horses out and back just to make us a small trail to walk through the deep snow. When you are 8 or 9 years old, snow doesn’t have to be much to be waist deep. But we walked just the same. I was lucky, I was one of the younger and I was last in line.  That was also the year I kept getting into trouble for not wearing my mittens. My hands got so chapped, they actually cracked and would bleed. My mother finally made me a potion of bear grease and that stopped that problem. Man, oh man, that was rugged stinky stuff. It was either wear the mittens or put on the bear grease. Well, the storms let up and it was time for the folks to go get some supplies. I was elected to hitch up the team and at a certain hour drive out to meet them when they came back. So, I harnessed up the two horses and hooked them to the sled. Not wanting to disappoint my folks, I went a bit early. The horses and I sat waiting for the car to come back, and the wind started howling. Sitting on that sled right out in the open was not my cup of tea. I figured I had enough time to go back to the farmhouse, turn around and travel back out again before the car came back. The weather was much nicer traveling the old farm road. Trees sheltered us from that brutal wind. I was halfway home, when my dad caught up with me. I was just one ball of snow at that time. “You cold bub?” was all he needed to say. That was all we said that last half mile to the house. He took me into the house and sat me next to the kitchen stove then went to get the supplies and mother. Now, all you people that are out there playing in the snow take notice. We did not have those fancy snow suits. There was no such thing as nice warm parka coats or thick down filled mittens. It was just bundle up, wrap up and go do your chores. No, the barn was not attached to the house. When you are young, the wind is blowing and stirring up the snow. The animals still had to be fed and watered. That barn seemed a long way off.  A mile away was like ten miles with our short steps. I always wondered why stuff was so far away when I was younger. When you are five and six years old, you just do not take those three-foot-long steps. My chores were to feed the animals and milk the goats.  Every morning and night, no matter what was happening outside of the barn. Now, you take those memories of being frozen half the winter, add that to memories of delivering papers in Rangeley through the 60’s and all that snow, put those with working in the woods at 40 below zero You might begin to understand why I stay at home when it snows. I find it quite comfortable to just sit here and put another stick in the stove. Make sure there is still hot coffee. I spend the most of my summer getting ready for these days. Let er snow, I will see next year sometime. No, I am not going to Florida. They just do not have mountains down there. I have noticed the last 76 years, the snow eventually does go away, and I get to play in the mud again.  Now that folks, is a fond memory.


Comments are not available on this story.