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California Winter

Since I live in coastal California, the devastating cold weather that others in the country (in the world) experience through the winter is not such a major factor in my life.

Yet, having grown up in Niagara Falls, New York, I haven't forgotten Lake Effect snow storms, or 15 foot snow drifts or ice so thick it can cut a huge tree in half, and fall on your car. (Yes, that happened once.) I haven't forgotten sub-zero temperatures with a wind chill factor of 30 below. That would be -35 centigrade.

When I attended Elementary School, I walked a half mile to school, even in the wintertime. They didn't use school buses except for field trips. It would have been a good idea for me to wear what my mother called a snow suit, which was a thick jacket with leggings. I found them bulky and after about age 7, only the dorky kids wore them.

Sometimes, if I was sensible, I would wear flannel lined cordorory pants and boots (galoshes). But, by age 10 that was the time to stop wearing them. So, I hurried that half mile with bare legs. Girls didn't wear pants or tights to school. It was only when I was 13 that it began to become popular to wear your brother's jeans, but never to school.

I look back on those times with awe at the little girl who got through those winters. Sometimes the weather might be cold when I left for school in the morning, then be much colder and maybe snowing when returning home. If people didn't shovel off their sidewalks, I often walked in the street to avoid having the snow make my feet colder.

Occasionally, a friend's mother would offer a ride home. Both my parent's worked. Things were different then. I was a pretty independent kid by circumstance. I think most children today have much more protected lives.

You might have heard jokes about Grandpa saying, "When I was a boy, I walked 9 miles to school all winter long!"

Funny! One day, in the summertime I actually did walk 9 miles to my school just for the fun of it, with friends, and got a ride home from Dad. By this time, I was a teenager and we no longer lived in the city and had moved to a rural location.

The nearest city was Lockport, New York, named because of the Locks which ships traveled through on the Erie Canal. Fortunately, by this time, I was able to ride the school bus throughout the school year, and therefore did not have to face quite the winter challenges I did when younger.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog. The snow that had accumulated before we left on January 11th for Florida had melted by the time we returned home on January 17th. We had almost two weeks of March-like weather .. mild temperatures, melting snow and rising waters in the creeks and rivers. Mother Nature must have looked at the calendar, saw it was still January, and decided to bless us with a new layer of snow. There's about 4 inches of snow on the ground, and it is bitter cold. I will welcome Spring when it arrives; however, I will try and make the best of the remainder of the Winter.

    As I was reading through this post, I was reminded that I want to one day see Niagara Falls frozen over. We have visited Niagara Falls a few times in the winter. It is a magnificent sight to see the falls covered with snow and ice. I have yet to see them frozen solid though.


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