I have to say that though I’ve never met her, I absolutely love Amy Coffin!  I enjoy reading her blog and her tweets more than any other!  She is funny and insightful and I enjoy reading everything that she puts online.  Call me a HUGE fan!  (Although now I kinda sound like a stalker or something, don’t I?)

Amy has developed 52 weekly challenges for bloggers to help recall and write down personal memories.  And I’m accepting that challenge!  But I know that I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist when writing, which tends to cause me to put it off until I have “enough time to do it right” – which never seems to come.  So I’ve determined that I will answer these questions and I will not worry about form or length, but I will just write what comes to mind and use these posts as triggers this summer when I have more time to flesh them out.

This weeks question – What was winter like where and when you grew up? Describe not only the climate, but how the season influenced your activities, food choices, etc.

When I think of my childhood winters, my mind immediately goes to the time we spent in Minnesota.  I know I went to kindergarten in Minnesota, so I was probably 5 years old and my brother was 3, but I don’t recall how long we lived there.  At one time, my mom made a chart of all the places we’ve lived along with addresses and work histories, but since I’ve never considered that to be “genealogy”, I’ve filed it away somewhere.

My memories are actually probably more like flashes of photographs that I have. We lived in a mobile home and I know that we had snow that was taller than our car, which I think was a Volkswagon Beatle.  As my dad would dig out the car, he’d throw the snow into a pile in our yard which my brother and I would use to sled down.  We had round, plastic sleds.

The process for getting ready to go outside was long.  Obviously, we had snow pants, but first we had to put on several layers of socks.  My mom would put bread sacks on our feet between the layers of socks and I think she held up the bread sacks with rubber bands.  The purpose of the sacks was to keep our feet dry when snow got into the top of our boots.  We did the same thing with gloves.  I think we put on a glove, then a bread sack, then a mitten, then a bread sack and I believe we put one of Dad’s socks on over all that.  A rubber band would keep the sock and sacks from coming off.

Snows pants, jackets and hats would follow.  Then we’d go outside to sled down our hill and according to Mom, sometimes we’d fall through the crust on top of the snow and it would be over our heads.  I know we wouldn’t stay outside long – much to the chagrin of my mother who’d just spent significant time layering us up!  Today, I have a deep aversion to cold and snow and I’m certain it stems from my time in Minnesota!

Last summer, I tried to scan the family photos that my mom had of us growing up.  I believe a lot of our family photos were destroyed because they were stored in an old, metal shed and at one time, it rained into the shed.  I’m not happy with the scans that I have, so I want to try again by taking photos of the pictures instead of scanning them.  (Or buy a better scanner and try again.) The photo at the top of the post was labeled “1968 First Snow  Blaine, Minnesota” and it’s hard to tell from the scan, but I’m pretty sure that I’m crying as mom gets ready to push me down the snow pile.