So that’s what an ice storm looks like in November

It’s been a while since we’ve seen an active, honest to goodness ice storm in the first part of November.

But this week, that’s what we witnessed.

Heck, we’ve already had snow in the state too – before Halloween.

This could be a memorable winter – might as well be, it’s 2020 after all. Why not throw some premature snow and an electricity-stopping ice storm into the mix before Thanksgiving?

Oh, we all have those winters of the past we still recall.

The weekend my Aunt Sue was supposed to get married, feet of snow fell and no one was moving. The wedding was postponed — not just a day or two, but two months. And the day the nuptials actually took place, I remember the drifts on both sides of the road were higher than our vehicle.

And there was the giant storm of 1976 that blasted York County and much of the area — that infamous situation left people without power for literally more than a month.

I remember being able to sled off the top of our house — honestly. We pulled our toboggans to the top of the biggest hill (being our residence), and slid down. It wasn’t until Mom heard our footsteps over the kitchen that we were forced to stop.

There was a winter storm when I was about eight, when my parents had to use old fashioned know-how to just get to the barn to milk the cows. That’s one bad thing about being dairy farmers — it doesn’t matter how much it snows. The cows still have to be milked, and the change in barometric pressure also makes them give birth. So, taking an idea from the “Little House on the Prairie” books, the folks tied themselves together with twine (so they wouldn’t lose each other) and followed the fence line through the swirling snow to get to the barn.

I remember the day my brothers were out hunting, deep into our pasture, when a storm moved in and they literally couldn’t find their way back. On foot, they trudged along blindly through the snow — and Terry had to keep Steve moving. The youngest brother said he was tired and wanted to lie down, but the older brother knew it would be a disaster. It wasn’t until they heard my frantic father yelling for them that they could find their way home.

And then there was the year our beloved dog, Bono, became lost in a bitterly cold blizzard. We had let him out to do his business, but he wandered about three blocks away and couldn’t find his way back. We dug our way out the door and on foot went yelling through the Elgin neighborhoods. I even walked past him once — he was covered in snow and sitting so deathly still, he looked more like a lawn ornament than a big furry dog. Once I realized it was him, I had to carry him home because he was too tired. Frostbite for me and a lesson for him.

There were all those years my husband and his brothers worked on their snowmobiles each fall — and drove them everywhere in the winter time. My mother-in-law’s memory is tainted with catching them doing death-defying stunts — never stopping until someone lost a tooth or a piece of equipment fell off.

Sleds were the standard Christmas present — every shape, style and color. We went through so many, because we were sledding all the time.

And I remember when we marveled at the melting snow running through the creek near our house — so much water was moving we had to stand far from the bank to make sure we didn’t fall in and drown. That first warm week of spring was a sheer relief — and there was so much snow to melt because it had actually accumulated over the entire winter.

I wouldn’t say that this week’s ice storm was monumental necessarily – not really enough that I’ll remember it when I’m 90 or so (mostly because I’m pretty sure I won’t remember anything when and if I hit that age). But it sure was something seeing the pouring rain, hearing the rolling thunder, seeing the violent lightning . . . later to hear the cracking trees, see the debris everywhere, with many waiting for the power to come back on. Oh, and then to result in what I’m looking at right now – the sun is out, the air is crisp and I dare say the trees are sparkling like diamonds. It’s actually quite beautiful, while also being inconvenient.

I guess this is what an ice storm looks like in November.


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