Jean Schwieder

Schwieder

The snow that usually comes in December and January has finally arrived at our home, now the middle of February! We had doubts that it would come this year. This snow brings back memories.

When I was in grade school, there was a winter when the drifts were so high, the snow so deep, that a team of horses pulled a large farm sled through the back fields to pick up school kids around our area! I think there was loose hay for us to sit in or on, and we were dressed up extra warm! We were always late for school during the week or weeks we traveled to school that way. I have an old picture showing the snow drifts being about three-fourths of the way up a telephone pole.

Dad would take us, behind the car, on the toboggan. We would ride around the area on the snow-filled dirt roads, yelling at Dad to “go faster, go faster!” And sometimes he would hitch up one of the horses and pull us on the sled or skis, through the fields behind the horse.

I remember making designs on the inside of windows in the house on cold, cold mornings when the frost would be thick on the windows. Mom didn’t like that!

I remember being in high school when Bonneville High School was in the upper half of the school on Central Avenue in Ammon. After one bad snow storm and having attended a basketball game, a friend, Carole Lee, and I walked through the drifts to her grandparents’ home on Sunnyside, dressed in our Pep Club culottes. . They welcomed us into their home and warmed us up with oyster stew. I’m not sure if I walked the half mile to my home after that or if I got a ride, but I must have walked as there were big drifts we had to go through to get to the grandparents’ home.

It was probably that same winter that I would walk almost a mile to Kelly’s market, now Speedi Mart, in Ammon and meet Boyd, my boyfriend. Dick Kelly, the owner of the store, would keep the store open while Boyd and I would visit and then I would walk back home. He was able to find his way from Iona on plowed roads and could drive to meet me.

One winter, after we were married and after we had moved to where we live now, I was working as a nurse at the hospital. There had been a blizzard so I stopped to get groceries on my way home from work that night. When I got home, the lane to our home was drifted in so I was unable to drive up it. I was able to turn into the lane and get the car off the road though. So I grabbed as many bags as I could carry and trudged up the lane to our house. It took me two trips from the car to the house to get the groceries delivered. That was a night I was glad to have a warm bed to climb into when I got home!

I have always enjoyed being snowed in. It seems like life took a vacation at that time. We would play board games in the living room, often Dad would get a fire going in the fire place and we would put the card table in front of it. Or we would curl up in a chair and read a book. Things really slowed down.

Then there were trips to the ranch on snowmobiles. Sometimes we were able to leave from our home in the valley. We would dress warm, take food for a few days, and spend time up there riding, sitting around the fire playing cards, eating, and keeping warm,

Because of better snow removal equipment, we don’t see our roads being closed for long periods of time like we did back then. The idea of being “snowed in” isn’t as realistic as it used to be. There are more homes around and fewer bare fields where the snow would blow from and fill up the roads.

Those are fun memories to revisit on days like we just had. Yes, I really enjoy a good blizzard and a few “snow days” at home. Even with the pandemic where we have had to stay home, I still appreciate being forced to slow down and enjoy the warmth and comfort of home while watching the snow storm out the window.

Reach Jean Schwieder at 208-522-8098 or straddlinthefence@gmail.com.