There are still some of us left that can remember the winter of ’51.   We lived on Church Hill in Strong Maine.  It started snowing and just seemed to never stop. The recent storms of six feet and seven feet of snow brings those memories back for sure. They attempted to clear our road with a big bulldozer with a  V blade on the front.  Once the bulldozer started down our road, it got stuck. The snow was way above the V plow and just fell back onto the bulldozer. One could hardly even see the massive plow on the front of the dozer. The storm had blown the snow so hard we could walk on top of the crust. This was a good thing, because I was just a skinny runt in those days. We had strict orders not to touch any of the electrical wires that almost touched the snow banks. This was a great storm for my family. The snow helped insulate our home and sheltered us from that cold winter wind. It did blow a little bit of snow into the upper windows. But we were used to that by now. We would just cover our heads until morning came. When daylight came, we ripped up some of our ripped clothes and chinked any crack we could find. It was not a difficult task for sure. There was usually a small mound of snow by each crack.  This ended up being fun and games for us boys. Our side of the house got all the snow blown inside. The girls side did not have any snow. So we had snow to make snowballs and they had none. We won the battle that day.  When we were finally allowed to go outside, it didn’t take us long to start digging tunnels. Of course, this was frowned upon by the adults. They were afraid the snow would collapse and bury us. That little hint of danger just challenged us all the more. What is life without any small challenge such as that?  I am not saying we were weak of mind, but quite short of fear. After all, I was the wild one who was always taking to the woods.  We didn’t have to worry about traffic, we were the last house on that road. Once the big dozer left, we had all sorts of places to dig our forts. But, there was no fun and games, until us boys dug out some of the hardwood slabs for the stoves. We may have been young and small, but we still had chores. Once Dad could get his truck out and down to mill, he could get more. The majority of our heat that winter was with slabs or heart wood from the toothpick mill.  The heart wood was just scrap wood that one could not make toothpicks with. They usually had big knots or cracks. They were sure nice a hot fire though. After the big storm, we used a lot less wood for heat. About our only worry was that the snow came off the roof. But, once the stoves got going, the snow slid right off because there was not any insulation in the roof. So you see that was a plus too.  The fresh snow was often melted for cooking water. We even took some of the fresh snow, added sugar and vanilla extract and had some snow ice cream. In later years, someone invented snow cones which is basically the same thing. I can’t remember in those days complaining about big snow storms. They just brought us other games to play. This was usually the way we lived. Take what is handed to you and deal with it. I did indeed learn some hard lessons trying to have fun with the snow. You know, like, do not try to ski on a hard crust  That lesson ended my skiing days. Kissing crusty snow is not a recommended way to start the day.  Especially with those skis that had just one skinny strap you slid your boots into.  But then, that was back in the 50’s.  Old wooden skis with one small leather strap.  I will say, I did try this sport again one other time. My friends suggested I stick with snowshoes or not go with them. Just because they had to shut the T bar down so I could get back on it.  There was a lot of laughter that day at my expense. But, that is what makes life go round.  Ya gotta find a way to enjoy it folks. I have found it does not do any good to sit here and damn all that new snow.    Peace from the mountains,   Ken White  COB

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