Intermission…a Brief Thaw

winter watercolor

I am so grateful for the little breaks we get in the winter. After what seems like weeks, the thermometer crept up above freezing yesterday! It was amazing. There was an ice/snow storm that swept through before dawn so schools were closed here…again. I have been talking with friends my age lately and we remember the “good old days” when girls were NOT allowed to wear pants to school. I rode the school bus. We couldn’t afford snow boots. We were lucky to have a semi-decent coat and a scarf and mittens. I remember walking to the bus stop in penny loafers and knee socks, my feet wet and freezing, the skin on my knees white and hard. My face hurt. I couldn’t talk. My nostrils would freeze shut. And that was just getting TO the bus stop. Once we got there, we would huddle together in a circle facing inward, trying to ward off the icy wind blowing in off the Ohio River. Now? Now if there is a remote chance there will be any snow on the road, school is closed for the following day. Kids miss a ton of school and have to make it up at the end of the school year.

I can see both sides of this issue. Safety first, right? However, my kids didn’t have snow days either. They grew up in Colorado. If you closed schools every time it was too cold or it snowed, you would have about three months of school a year. Daughter #1 had one snow day…it was -35 wind chill and the busses wouldn’t start. Are we raising weaker kids? I don’t know. All I know is, we were tough. And my kids’ generation is tough.

I remember driving to Pagosa Springs in a white out blizzard once. The visibility was SO bad, I could barely see tracks in the snow in front of me. We were going over a mountain pass and had no idea where the edge was or if there was a 600 foot drop off and no guard rail. So, Mr. Virgo held the GPS in his hands and told me when a turn was coming up and in which direction to turn. If the vehicle in front of me had gone over the hill, we were going over right after them!

When we arrived in Pagosa, we went to the service station to get gas…and we couldn’t open the doors! There was about an inch of ice encasing the entire car. No matter how hard we threw our shoulders into the doors, they would not budge. We noticed a man bundled up against the wind heading across the parking lot and honked the horn till we got his attention. We beckoned him over and managed to make him understand what was wrong. We asked him if he would follow us next door to the car wash and spray our doors to melt the ice. It wasn’t nearly as cold in town as it had been up on the mountain so the car wash wasn’t frozen. We finally made it out of the car but that was a trip I will never forget.

Mr. FixIt and I went for a drive the other day and the roads were white. It looked like snow…but it was salt residue. They have laid down salt so heavily and there’s been no thawing and melting to wash the salt away. When you drive, the salt billows up in clouds and settles all over everything. Every car is coated with it and you know what salt will do if left on a vehicle too long. It finally warmed up enough we could go through a car wash and get some of this stuff rinsed off.

By midweek, we are supposed to be up to 60 degrees! I am thrilled for the respite. I know it will be short-lived so I’ll enjoy it while I can. I hope you are also enjoying a small break in the bitter cold where you are as well. ❤️

“The breath of God produces ice, and the broad waters become frozen.”
‭‭Job‬ ‭37:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬


4 thoughts on “Intermission…a Brief Thaw

  1. There were so many lawsuits after bus wrecks, etc… that most school districts can’t afford to take a chance. The biggest problem for families is that both parents usually work these days so a delay or cancellation causes someone to have to stay home if they don’t have a Plan B. Most child care centers don’t accept drop-ins like in the days when your Mom and I worked in the field and always saw an uptick in kids on Snow Days.

    In elementary school, I had to wear these AWFUL snow pants under my dress on cold days, in addition to those snowboots that went over my shoes. Getting them all off at school in the old “cloakroom” was hard! Putting them back on before going home was harder. By the time I was a teen, like you, huddling with my friends and freezing was preferable to dressing warmer, even if I would have had the gear, which I didn’t. Good memories as I sit in my warm apartment waiting out a 2 hour school delay in Northern Delaware. Ironic, yes? ❤️

  2. I was not allowed to wear pants to school either. I know things were worse before my time but it was so cold having to wear those dresses! The school bus had a heater but it never was warm enough. I just got back from a trip out west(with Sue Clifton) in the snow & icy roads. I can’t imagine school buses having to run in that stuff! Temperatures were -15 or colder. The snowy scenery is beautiful but I think I’d rather stick around here in Mississippi. Ha!

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