Sunday, December 19, 2010

Ten miles to school, barefoot, in the snow, uphill, both ways

We of the status of elder, from time to time, consider today's youth pampered and might probably could benefit from some of the hardships we endured in our growing up years.

I'm not so sure; every age has it's own hardships and you just live the times your in.  They aren't better or worse, harder or easier; they just are.
Different for sure and I like to think back on some of those differences nostalgically.
Back in the day, it seems to me we had more snow in the winter than we do today.  I don't mean the the snow banks that towered over the two year old standing in the driveway.  No, even in my teen and early adult years there seemed to be more snow and it seems to me that we had colder winters then.  I did walk to school in those days (1 mile each way)  and some days the temperatures were minus 20 to 30 degrees below zero.  In fact the only day I ever remember our school closing for weather conditions was the day the water pipes in the high school froze from the thirty below night and the building had no heat because if it.
Those were also the days of  one car families and the cars were 2 wheel, rear drives,  There were no snow tires, nor studded tires in those days.  Chains were needed to drive around safely because only the main boulevards got sanded. No, there wasn't any salt in the mix in those days either.  The side streets were left to accumulate snow which turned to ice with day time thawing and then refroze at night.  So, the street in front of our house in the middle of winter served us well as a sledding course and even as a hockey rink, to say nothing of hooking cars (also called, today, hooky bobbing).  Sometimes the thickness of the compacted snow/ice mix could be 3 - 4 inches in depth.

We've received a bountiful amount of snow so far this winter.  Nothing to compare to Minnesota and Iowa and other parts of the Midwest but enough to make one reminisce about winters of our youth.

Because I live 47 miles from my place of work, and since I'm required to take call for the OR a third of each month and since the hospital has no call room accommodation I've had to find a place to rest my head when not actively involved with easing someone,s pain, fear, and anxiety.  Together with a co-worker who is in similar circumstances we've rented an apartment in a quiet residential area just a few minutes drive from the hospital.  My wife came over to spend a couple of nights with me this call weekend so as to be able to attend a couple of holiday get-to-gethers.  She has dubbed the place "The Frat House."
All that aside; I've noticed that this village has hearkened back 50 years to the extent that they don't sand the side streets.

 the frat house
 And so the buildup of snow reminded me of my growing up years and the streets of my childhood that provided so much enjoyable exercise.  Exercise you ask?

the street in front of the Frat house
Well in addition to walking one mile uphill each way to school,  in winter,  spring and fall.  I didn't have a TV in our home 'til I was 12 and so I was forced to find something of my own choosing to entertain myself by.  If I dared to complain that there was nothing to do my mother never failed to have a list of chores just waiting for me should such an occasion arise.

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Blogger Suz said...

Oh boy I loved this
I grew up in Chicago and we had more snow growing up too
and I did walk to school everyday!
and my brother skitdched..sp?
on car bumpers..remember them/
Yeah we had it good
cold rain sleet
frozen feet
cold lungs
but we had it good didn't we
bless your wife for staying with you in the frat house
I can only imagine its decorating

10:10 AM  
Blogger Churlita said...

We didn't get that much snow in Central Iowa last week. Can't say I miss it much either.

2:44 PM  
Blogger Lee said...

We're going to have lots of rain for started (restarted) today.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your family, Rel. Take good care.

1:06 AM  

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