Monday, December 13, 2010

December blizzard

The worst blizzard I remember was the Great Blizzard of January 10-12, 1975. I was a 5th grader attending West Elementary School in Worthington, Minnesota. January 10th was a Friday, and we were let go from school early. The blizzard lasted almost until Sunday. The electricity went out in my house. Temperatures were in the 20 below range and the wind chill was 80 below. We received at least a foot of snow. And the wind!! It never seemed to stop howling.

I eventually got bored during the blizzard, so I walked outside to see how fierce the storm was. I waded through waist-high snow drifts on our 50 foot driveway. At the end of the driveway I fell over. I was too tired to go any farther. At that moment I developed a healthy and fearful respect of Nature that I’ve carried with me until this day. I still remember lying on the snow, looking up at the sky, and thinking that I was not ever going to mess with Nature.

During the first night of the blizzard my family walked down the street to visit with our neighbors. After walking half a block I picked out ice cycles from my eye lashes.

Sunday, January 12th was the first time I ever remember missing church because of the weather. My family had a short worship service around our kitchen table. I probably prayed for the Vikings as they lost later that afternoon to the Steelers in Super Bowl IX.

This past weekend’s blizzard wasn’t as frightening as that one, but it still packed a large punch. I would guess we received about 18 inches of snow at our house in Blaine. The storm was the 5th biggest snowstorm in the Twin Cities since records were kept.

Amy, Hannah, and I spent almost all of Saturday inside our house. I did go outside to shovel three times on Saturday. Fortunately the temperature didn’t drop until Saturday night, so the shoveling was not that cold. After the third time I shoveled Friday night I wrote on my Facebok wall that I was worn out.

Sunday morning I got up at 6:00 a.m. to shovel for the fourth time. I was very fortunate that my neighbor was blowing out his driveway just as I started to shovel. He came over to help blow out the rest of my driveway. Thank God for friendly neighbors!

After I finished shoveling on Sunday I drove over to the Senior Center to see if we would be able to worship on Sunday. Fortunately the workers from the City of Lino Lakes had sufficiently plowed out the parking lot and had created a lane so that we could get to the front door. Without their work we would not have been able to worship.

Our attendance yesterday was very low—and understandably so. As I drove away from worship at about noon I saw many people still blowing out their drive ways. I’m sure many people at Chain of Lakes were not able to get out of their driveway on Sunday morning.

My parents’ furnace went out during this blizzard. They endured temperatures in the 50’s in their house. My sister and I encouraged them to stay in a hotel for a night, but they were made of the same stock as many other hearty Midwesterners. They were going to grin and bear it.

Last night Amy, Hannah, and I watched the movie “White Christmas.” None of us need to wonder whether a white Christmas will happen in 2010.

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