Thursday, November 1, 2007


R. D. Ice

Snow was falling heavily from a darkened sky and the wind shrieked around the house. It was November, 1950. Thanksgiving was still a few days away. The big snow had begun.

Roger pulled on his boots and bundled himself up against the cold. He went out and began sweeping the wet, sticky snow off his car. There was at least six inches already.

He went to get the snow shovel. It took some time to dig around the car. He got in it, started the motor, and tried to back it up. The tires spun and it didn't move far. "I should have bought chains," he said to himself, "or at least some good snow tires."

The snow was getting deeper all the time. There must be 8 or 10 inches of it by now.

He went to the barn and cleared the snow away from the door. He went in to see about the cows, threw down some hay for them, and made sure they had water. Then he went to the chicken-house and gave them food and water.

When he got back to the house, the phone was ringing.

"Roger, this is Johnny. Dad and Mom are stranded in the snow over near Picktown. I'm taking the big tractor over to get them. I need your help."

"Sure. I'll bundle up and be ready."

He closed the door and walked across the porch to the driveway. The snow was at least a foot deep now and still falling heavily. The wind was blowing the snow into deep drifts. He waded through a drift to the edge of the road. In the distance he could hear the bark of the tractor.

The tractor pulled to a stop in front of him, its headlights shining.

"We've got shovels and a chain," said Johnny. "If the snow doesn't get any worse, we can go dig Dad and Mom out and get back before dark."

Roger climbed up on the fender. Ronald was sitting on the other fender.

"What do you think of this weather!" Roger shouted. "It'll certainly set a record."

"I've never seen the like!" Ronald shouted.

The wind shrieked through the trees. The snow blew in gusts which would blank out everything in a curtain of white.

"Look at that drift," Roger shouted!

The front of the tractor hit the drift and snow blew up over them. Johnny shifted to a lower gear, and the tractor roared as it spun the tires and broke through.

"It's four miles to Picktown," Johnny shouted. "We won't make much speed at this rate."

The wind kept blowing up deep drifts of dense snow. It seemed like hours were passing. Again and again they met drifts that stalled them. Each time they would jump off and begin digging out a path. The tractor would break free and surge ahead.

Finally they knew they were near their goal.

"Up ahead," Johnny shouted. "Dan Green's house. Look at the cars."

Four cars were stuck in snow drifts near the house. A bus had skidded off the road and leaned crazily in the ditch.

"That's Dad's car in the driveway," Ronald shouted. Johnny drove the tractor through a drift into the driveway.

"Come in out of the cold," Marge Green shouted from the house.

They waded through the deep snow to the porch. They swept the snow off each other, stamped their feet, then went into the house.

"Are you cold," Marge asked?

"Naw," said Roger. "We've been working hard digging our way through the snow. But it's good to get inside."

John Arledge [that's Dad] was sitting over in the corner by the stove. There were twenty people crammed into the small room.

"You're stuck here for the night," Dad said. "You would never get us anywhere in all this snow. None of us can do anything until they clear the roads tomorrow."

"You are all welcome here," Dan said. "You'll have to sleep on the floor, though. There just isn't any room."

Marge Green stood in the kitchen doorway.

"Come and get some hot soup. I've made a big kettle of potato soup. There's home-made bread too. Plenty for all."

It surely tasted good. We made pigs of ourselves.

"We've even got a TV," Dan said. "A big seven inch screen, and the station is on all night. They broadcast those English movies at night."

So most of the people just sat up and watched the movies. It was a real treat to see TV. Not many people had them as yet.

Some curled up and slept. Roger stayed awake watching TV until about an hour before dawn. Then he dozed off for a little while.

Marge was up early, making coffee and baking biscuits.

Johnny woke up and roused Roger and Ronald. "Hey, sleepy heads! Let's get at it. We can take the tractor and go into Picktown and see what's happening. We can't help Dad and Mom until they clear the roads."

They ate a good breakfast, then bundled up and went on their way. It was beautiful! The sun was shining on a scene that was entirely white. The snow was at least two feet deep, with drifts four or five feet high. The cars were completely covered. Just the top of the bus stuck out of a drift

They dug out the tractor, got it started and backed it into the road. It stood high enough that it went through two feet of snow easily. But three times in the short distance to town they came to deep drifts and had to dig their way through.

In Picktown even the mayor was out digging snow, along with most who lived there.

"Hey boys, it's good of you to come. Give us a hand will you? Isn't this some snow!"

Johnny pulled the tractor off the road between drifts. They began helping to dig out the city building. Their shovels made the snow fly!

The road crew came through in the middle of the morning. They had borrowed a big bulldozer. "Acme Construction," the logo said.

"All our scrapers are stuck," one of the men shouted. "We had to get something big. This'll move the snow."

They went on down the road, clearing it, shoving the snow over into piles as they went.
By now it was almost noon.

"Thanks for your help," said the mayor. "We certainly do appreciate it. You can go now, if you need to."

"We better do it," said Johnny. "We've got to rescue Dad and Mom and get them back home."

When they got back to Dan Green's, the road had been cleared. They quickly shoveled the snow from around Dad's car and backed it out onto the highway. Dad and Mom came out to watch.

"Snow is beautiful," Dad said, "but enough is enough!"

Dad and Mom got in the car and headed for home. The boys followed on the tractor. It was an experience to remember. It took several days to get everything back to normal. The piles of snow would last for weeks before they melted. And the winter was just beginning!

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