While preparing my "Whatever Comes To Mind" this week on Thursday, Jan. 8, lots of things "came to mind.” One of those was that it is akin to the famous Armistice Day storm. It always seems to give me the shivers - not just because the day is usually terribly cold - but because of the intense weather that seems to want to sneak in on us that day.
It was also a day to celebrate Elvis Presley’s birthday, who this year would have been 80, which doesn't seem possible. I wonder what he would look like if he were still with us.
We also celebrate the birthdays of other family and friends today, including my nephew, Cameron, who was born on that date back in 1975, as well as his father-in-law Dean. The day that Cameron was born started out as a nice day but later changed to rain and then snow. A lot of snow, in fact three days worth.. Thank God that we were able to get my sister Kaye out the door and on her way to the hospital before the worse part of the storm hit. She doesn't like hospitals and seemed to be in no hurry to go.
She gave birth to a big, healthy baby boy - almost as soon as she got to the hospital. We were thankful that there were no complications due to his size that could have caused problems if he had been born at home with non professional help. Many times I heard my mother say, "What would we have done?" The weather was absolutely impossible for anyone or anything to get to St. Olaf Lake, which is where they were living at the time.
The weather on Thursday last week, the 8th, seems so much like that blizzard. The snow was blowing and the visibility next to impossible. I wandered from window to window, looking out at the street of white, that didn't even give vision of your next door neighbors in town. My mother worried about where all "her flock" were in regards to being able to make their way home from work that day
I have been preached to over the years about taking precautions during the winter. My mother is fanatic to say the least. She keeps asking all of us if we have a snowmobile suit, hats, mittens, blankets, an ice cream pail of necessities, as well as a bright balloon and cording that we can blow up and set outside in the wind so people would be able to find us.
Cell phones now "earn their keep" so to speak as they can be used for emergencies. (But one needs to remember to keep the battery charged.)
Some employers are kind enough to understand if the Department of Transportation says, "Stay off the roads,” and forgives your absence so you don't have to worry about losing your job, crashing your vehicle, or losing your life.
I also remember my mother talking about how my Grandpa Richard and his neighbors would take turns taking the cream to the creamery, which was about 5 miles away. Five miles doesn't seem that far but remember back then they were using their horse and sleigh to make that trip. It was often a whole day trip because roads weren't plowed like they are now and many of those trips had to be made over the fields and areas where they could get through. Back then there were no school buses either - same old horse and sleigh, along with blankets and those unforgettable horse hair pelts, along with straw being used to try to keep the west wind out in hopes of staying warm during the trip.
Once again, remember there were no snowmobile suits back then. People wore wool snow pants and jackets, most made by moms - who also knit the scarves and mittens too.
The heat at those old schools isn't like it is today either. Most of those old one room school houses had a big old heater in them that used either wood or coal. There were not many basements back then either and as a result the floors were also cold.
Speaking of school – I've often wondered if school assignments should be given in advance for students so they could work on them at home if the weather causes problems.
Sound like a worry wart? Yes, my family will tell you I am. Do you know how fast you can freeze in those below zero temperatures? Even if it just your toes and fingers? It is enough to suffer with for the rest of your life. Extra stocking caps and mittens are a must in the backpacks, and warm clothing and scarves, of course, help to keep them warm.
We went to a swim meet in the Twin Cities area when our children were young, and thought we had all the good stuff needed to keep warm packed in the car. After we got home, the kids helped clean out our vehicle of all their swimming bags and such. Later that night Daryl and I went to visit some friends only a few miles away. We visited, played some cards and when we got ready to come home we realized that the weather had changed and the roads were not the best. Things were going along pretty good until we got to the off ramp at Geneva and there we sat. No cell phones back then and I had already undergone the surgery of removing part of my leg, which could have froze vey easily. Unbeknown to us, our children thought they were being kind and had cleaned out more than just their swim bags. Thank goodness Daryl’s snowsuit was still in our vehicle and when it daylight finally arrived he was able to walk to the neighbors and got us the help that we needed.
There are lots of things to enjoy during the winter but I can do without a blizzard and below zero weather conditions. I pray for those you don't have adequate shelter, clothing and food. So much for global warming.
If you live in Minnesota you should always be on the alert. There is nothing as unpredictable than the weather. Better to be safe than sorry!
Some of our Star Eagle readers have commented they like to read about events such as family and school reunions, birthdays and anniversaries, and birth and wedding announcements. In order to read about these important things we need our faithful readers to pass along the information to us. Also if you have an idea for a story that you think would be of interest to our readers, please contact me.
This week’s birthdays and anniversaries include:
Thursday, Jan. 15: Steve Bailey, Paul Christensen, Emily Crabtree, Angela Borchert, Brian Farr
Friday, Jan. 16: Carter Howard Hanson, Kiley Beenken, Craig Bailey, Remi Wayne, Joshua Crabtree, Joni Groth, Jeff Kaplan, Tracy Tracy, Melissa Wagner, Emily Bedker, Tena Bryce, Jeremy Anderson
Saturday, Jan. 17: Ava Elizabeth Schember, her 7th; Blake Michael Born/Norday, Don Anderson, Jan Bartsch, Annette Busho, LuAnn Johnson Prescher, David Strenge, Mike Peterson, Brayden Broitzman, Kayley Camerer
Sunday, Jan. 18: Madilyn Hamilton, Deb Bohnoff, Todd Holland, Julie Bunn Hunt, Annie Miller, Tabatha Miller, Mark Misgen, Vicki Babb, Ruth Neidermeier, Garret Schley and Ellie Schley
Monday, Jan. 19: Brian Wayne, Laura (Otterson) Ortiz, Dennis Grunwald, Steve Jon Christensen, Barb Wayne Heyer, Kent Johnson, Thomas Kasper, Francis Misgen, Peter Spande, Dick Ewing, Dick and Laurie Swift
Tuesday, Jan. 20: Brentson Lange, Jim Krause, Marc Nelson, Jenna Nicole Cooper, Pastor Alvin Cooper, Anthony Thostenson, Alicia Lizaazo,
Wednesday, Jan. 21: Cooper Routh, his 4th, Joshua Dobberstien and Gerald Wobshcall
Thursday, Jan. 22: Reese Hendrickson, Taylor Lunning, Christian Sletten, Tom Haried, Lyle Shaunce, Barbara Van Gorkom, Jeff Miller, Heather Sargent
Friday, Jan. 23: Eugene Worke, "Emeritus" Bob Hanson, Eugene Cornelius, Rodney Sorenson, Dean Broitzman, Garnet Folie, Jeff Miller, Chris Paulson
Saturday, Jan. 24: Morgan Sophia Luhring, her 9th; Renee Polzin, Greg Menefee, Mary Cunningham, Trevor Tracy
Sunday, Jan. 25: Calvin Thomas VanderStoep, his 5th; Sophia Mabel Olivia Mrotz, Max Thomas Powers Brekke, his 7th; Emma Meiners, her 6th; Paula Olson, Vernon Simonson, Lana Thompsen, Troy Phagan, Ladawn Hatch
May your special day be a happy memory and tomorrow a bright new promise.