Do We Care?

I am reminded of a terrible blizzard in Northern Minnesota where I grew up. There has been snow storms all over the eastern and southern portions of America and I am just a little nostalgic thinking about snow. We haven’t got any here in Vancouver, Washington.

That snow storm in Minnesota was in the early forties and the snow was coming down sideways because of the wind. You couldn’t see much farther than your hand held before your face. There was already quite a bit of snow on the ground so these drifts added to the  problem. My dad and my sister, who was seven or eight, had gone to the post office for our mail just before the storm broke. Now before you think they were in a car, everyone walked in town wherever they had to go in those days so they were walking. They stopped in at Telephone Johnson’s ( A crazy name for a guy unless you remember that telephones were quite new at that time and he owned the only telephone company around!) My dad needed some scarves in order to get home.

Mr. Johnson didn’t want my dad to go out in the storm. They couldn’t even call home because the lines were already down so Myrtle, Mr. Johnson’s daughter, wrapped Faythe’s faee up with a  heavy scarf and gave my dad another to put around his head and off they went!

In the meantime, Mom was busy. She had us or herself put as many lights on as there were in the house and exclaimed a thank you to God that the lights hadn’t gone out yet! “If they see the light, they’ll be home. You Sonny, go down and fire up the furnace so it will be warm when they come home.” They did see the lights and entered the house looking like snow people instead of like Daddy and Faythe. When we got them warmed up sitting beside our one register in the house, each of us expressed how thankful we were that they were home and warm.

Others were not as lucky. My girl friend, Audrey, and her mother were coming home from Grand Forks when the storm erupted. They had to pull over on the highway because they couldn’t see and the drifts of snow ahead of them was getting too big to get through. They had bought several items of clothes so they used these to cover themselves and had to stay there all night and part of the next day before help arrived. Many of the farmers couldn’t make it from their barns to their houses. Their bodies were found a long distance away. My dad, who was a pastor, had several funerals when the snow cleared later that spring. It runs in my mind that over 300 people died in our county during that storm.

The school buses had come in that morning but were unable to deliver the kids that night so we had four of them at our house. The lights finally went out so we did our homework on the dining room table   by oil lamps. We thought this was fun and cozy and didn’t think how terrible it was for so many folks that night. Isn’t that the way we are though? We fail so often to remember and help those who don’t have it as good as we do.

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