Jan/Feb
2015

Grandma, Mom & Me: Winter Memories

Written by Mariah K. Mihm, Photography by AMN photography
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Grandma: When I was about 8 years old, we lived in Rochester. Our home was on First Place SE, where the government center is now. Our backyard was the Zumbro River. We lived at the end of the street, and next to our house was a big hill. All of the neighborhood dads would get together with pails of water to flood the hill. The kids would flatten cardboard boxes and slide down the icy hill onto the Zumbro. That is my favorite wintertime memory. We could not wait, and it was so much fun!

Mom: I remember Dad plowing the snow into massive heaps. My younger brother and I would make snow tunnels, then bring out the blanket, a flashlight and our books. We loved hiding in there, reading. When you lived in the country, you had to make your own fun.

Me: Remember the time we made a huge snowman at Uncle Dick and Aunt Judy’s? All of the cousins went outside together. We kept on rolling the snow, and all seven of us had to push the huge snowball. The base was over 5 feet high. We had to make a ramp and use ladders for the next two snowballs. No snowman is complete without all the fixings. I know someone has a picture. That was teamwork.

Grandma: I forgot all about that snowman.  

Mom: As I recall, when all the adults came out to see him, we were pelted with snowballs.  

Grandma: I took my three kids out into the softly falling snow, and we would lay on the ground, watching it come down in the sunlight while making snow angels. Then we would come inside for hot chocolate and cookies. 

Mom: I remember how peaceful it was.

Me: I loved making snow angels, though my brother liked to step in them and make a mess. I’m sure I got pretty angry, and I know of at least one time I destroyed his snow fort. What are siblings for? 

Mom: In high school, winter meant preparing for speech and one-act play competitions. We went to sporting events and looked forward to seeing friends.

Grandma: Winter in Minnesota can be a lot of work. In my day, you had to prepare. There were times we were snowed in for weeks at a time. Wood had to be chopped. Water was brought in with a pail. Roads were not cleared, so we had to have enough food on hand. I had to get bundled up to feed the animals. Now I can enjoy my home on a snowy day. I sure do not miss the winter work.

Mom: Snow days are like a bonus day. They have a different feel to them than other days. I like the coziness of reading a book by the fire with a good cup of tea.

Me: Snow days meant sleeping in all day in our pajamas, games and cushion forts. The excitement must have driven Mom and Dad crazy. I try to do some fun things with my son, Landon, but it’s nice to go at our own pace.

Grandma: It sure is a good excuse to slow down.

Me: It is the simple pleasures, the uncomplicated time. After all, who doesn’t like to catch snowflakes on their tongue?