Word association activities are always fun. So for a few brief seconds I’d like you to play along with me. If I say up, did you say down? If I say black, did you say white? If I say hot, did you say cold? Now here’s the real test, if I say snowstorm what did you say? Depending where you live in this big world of ours, the responses will be as different as night and day. If you were born and raised in the lovely city of Chicago, this word can either put a smile on your face or evoke some not too favorable expletives.
With fifty plus years under my belt, I’ve realized that I can actually remember every major snowstorm that has hit our area. My response to these snowstorms have varied over the years. At this point in my life, I can honestly say that I would welcome retirement on a sunny beach in Hawaii. However, if I’m totally honest, one of my favorite memories is that of a snowstorm. To be specific, it was the snowstorm of 1967.
Unlike today, we were not inundated with constant updates via the internet or smartphone. All we had were the radio and the tv weather broadcasts on Channels 2,5,7, and 9. Back then I don’t think we even had an emergency school closing system. My dad, a sheet metal worker, was home because work had been slow. I remember my mom bundling me up and sliding my little red boots on. My dad had offered to take me to school which was only 2 blocks away. As my dad opened the door and the cold air hit our faces, my 6 ft. dad bent down and picked up his little, 5 year old daughter. He placed me on his shoulders and began the walk through the piles of snow. I held on tightly and giggled as we slowly trudged through the snow that was falling. When we finally reached the school, the doors were locked. School was cancelled. Turning around we had to go back the way we came. However, my dad didn’t put me on his shoulders again. Instead my little red boots followed the path my dad’s footsteps had made through what seemed like the greatest, most magical snow tunnel in the world.