February 21, 2013: When I was a Kid...

A favorite picture of my mom's taken in 1969.
Mark, Matt and I longingly looking out the window during a blizzard.

When I was a kid...we walked a mile through a foot of snow, in a blizzard, carrying a five gallon bucket. True story. It happened frequently, although typically not with a five gallon bucket.

The snow storm of today was a common winter occurrence during my childhood. Being surrounded by a foot or two of snow for most of the winter months was an expectation, not an exception. The plows were always ready and the snow boots left by the door.

My brothers and I spent hours building forts and snowmen. Our afternoons were full of ice skating and sledding. Our adventures only stopped to thaw out frozen toes and fingers. Parkas were the norm with knitted gloves that were by no means waterproof. And we liked it. If fact, we longed for our days of snow.

I remember one particular snow storm that went on for days. Not only did my brothers and I get stir crazy, but Mom did as well. After staring out the window wishing we were allowed out; my mom made the call that we could in fact go out. But this time there was a twist. She was joining us. We were going on an adventure.

My mom bundled us all up, one by one. The only exposed body parts were the whites of our eyes peering over tightly wrapped scarves. After adding on her own layers of down, Mom grabbed a folded quilt and a five gallon bucket of Lego's.

I wasn't even old enough for school at the time and remember the snow drifts hitting above my waist. Like three little ducks, we followed our resourceful mother. We would step into her snow tracks as she carried her heavy load. Together we mastered the terrain and the four block walk to my dad's barber shop.

Once there, with rosy cheeks and wet pant legs, we sat on the carefully placed quilt. Mom poured the mounds of Lego's around us. As my brothers and I quietly played with the colorful rectangular pieces, Mom enjoyed adult conversation with my dad and his customers. It was a welcomed break for all of us and Dad was happy with our surprise visit.

Once our clothes had sufficiently dried by the heat vents and my mom with her fill of adult company; we went on our journey back home. The hum of the house was a welcome reprieve after our cross country adventure.

As we sat like three little ducks with our backs to the warm oven (our common sitting spot for warmth), the smile on our mom's face as she milled about the kitchen reinforced my suspicions. We really were good adventurers that winter day. My mom was pleased and so were we.


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