Snowstorm

Today’s post comes from Barbara In Rivertown.

WELL, I guess we’ve finally got our snow, at least here in Minnesota. I remember, at the end of that December-January dry spell saying “Oh, we really need some snow or there will be a drought come April, when there’s supposed to be a thaw.” Watch what you ask for – request was granted!

It was so pretty that I took some photos, and Ben sent a few taken from his driveway. A friend of mine has allowed me to post one she took on her patio, that is quite naturally dubbed The Birthday Cake.

There will no doubt be more snow – heck, we’re not even through February!

What’s the longest you’ve been snowed in somewhere – where you really couldn’t get out?

What’s a great “snowed-in” story from a movie or book?

64 thoughts on “Snowstorm”

  1. The 1991 Halloween Blizzard was the worst storm I’ve endured. Probably is for most Minnesotans. Gotta go with “The Shining” as the best snowed-in movie or story. Might be able to think of something different/better if I put my brain to it, but it’s only 8:15 am and I’m not usually fully functional until about 9:00.

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 1 person

    1. halloween storm…going through divorce with 3and 5 year olds. went trick or treating at eden prairie mall and dropped kids off at moms at 8 before heading to girlfriends place where i woke up the next morning and sold 8000 snowblowers the best november1st of my life. i smiled for days…

      Liked by 5 people

      1. I almost got stuck between White Bear Lake and North Minneapolis in that storm. Was building a set at Century College – it was days before we were to open the show. The custodial staff came through and said they had plowed part of the parking lot and asked us to move our cars. So we did – and no sooner had we gotten back in and started work again but they came through again and strongly suggested we leave now lest we wind up sleeping on the stage for the next couple of days. They were right. Took me somewhere close to 3 hours to drive what usually took about 25 minutes. Got stuck in the alley – woke up roommate so he could help me shovel and push and get my car into our parking area. Wound up only having one weekend of performances for that show instead of two – no one could really get back on campus until after the weekend.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It is a rare perfect combination of storyline with character development and wonderful choices for the characters. I loved jack, and shelley duval as his wife was perfect. scatman was the best supporting actor that could be chosen and the little boy it turns out was not told about the scenes he was acting in because they were sure if he understood he would be too scared.
          the little secrets they keep from you are perfect and the amount of goosepimple moment is right exactly.

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      1. From a visual standpoint, it was a masterpiece. So many iconic images have stayed in my memory for 30-some years (guessing as to when The Shining was in theaters). Scary, yes, but not nearly as gory as most horror movies. The psychological terror was done masterfully. Nicholson was brilliant, I thought.

        Chris

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  2. Laura ingalls Wilder wrote about the snow in The Long Winter, about the winter of 1881. Her town was literally snowed in, with residents digging tunnels between buildings.

    In the book Pa is warned by a Native American man that bad weather is on the way, with the all-too-prophetic words “Heap big snow.”. Sometimes when we get a foot or so and I’m going out with a shovel, I still think to myself, reflexively, “Heap big snow.

    Liked by 5 people

        1. Father Jean-Pierre De Smet was a Jesuit priest and missionary who was active in the middle of the 19th century. He was a remarkable man who spoke several Indian languages, made beautiful maps and conducted negotiations with native Americans with unusual respect. Known as Black Robe, De Smet showed none of the cultural arrogance so common in Europeans of the time. He was a special friend of Sitting Bull.

          I traveled through De Smet once. I was saddened–but not surprised–to find nobody in the town who knew anything about the man for whom the town was named.

          I continue to be astonished by the conflict between Laura Ingalls Wilder’s experience of pioneer life with her reputation as a romantic chronicler of it. She experienced pioneer life as a horror show of deprivation and suffering. The family lived in Wisconsin, Kansas, Wisconsin again, Minnesota, Iowa, South Dakota and then Florida (with many temporary homes not in this list). She finally found relative economic stability in Missouri, her final home. She lived in Missouri when she began writing books that are generally understood to be charming recollections of her pioneer youth.

          Liked by 2 people

    1. My dad talked about that being an occupancy in the country of the fargo surrounding area. If you put up a building on the north Dakota plains it is a foreign presence and snow will pile up. If you have two close enough to have a wall of snow form between them it will. I bet a smart North Dakota sodbuster figured out how to build so the wind went around I stead of right smack dab against the side of it. Then again what wonderful insulation from the wind and the cold a couple feet of snow would be.

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  3. 1973 hippy in the volkswagen van december in southern california.
    a week or so ago i mentioned the trip to banff springs hotel where my travelmate and i met townes van zandt. i ended up leaving canada soon after and headed south to l.a. to get on with it. i stayed at an acquaintance of my dads house in an odd disfunctional co existence where my desire to get away for weekends etc led me to visit a friend of my brothers in san bernardino for a couple days.
    when i loaded the van with stuff there was a list if required stuff and one of the items paced away was a set of wheel chains for crossing the mountain passes in colorado or somewhere i was factoring into the trips ittinerary. so when we arrived in the san bernardino mountains and it was snowing we begrudgingly installed tire chains for the one and only time i have put on these trip helpers. we laughed at the big 4 wheel drive vehicles with chains on all 4 going off into the ravines and ditched because snow driving was totally unfamiliar. as we drove up the mountain the snow was beautiful and thick with sundown happening as we assended. we drove up and as we went we were forced to drive around car after car that was spinning it’s wheels and out with doors open trying to figure it out. we got to eagles nest california and stopped at the corner store to call john at home to tell him we were here to visit but the snow in town was up over the front bumper and making it difficult to navigate . he put in his boots and jacket and came bounding through the drifts to welcome us and we parked the car and followed him back to the house. i was 18 he was 16 and his parents justifiably wondered who the hell comes to visit during the snowstorm of the century. the next day his family decided to head to palm springs and get away while it was still possible seeing as the local skuttlebutt was that the mountain would be closed for an extended time while the plows figured out how to get life back in order.
    the forecast was for 5 feet of snow. the plows were out and we found a way to get the van into a path that had been cleared and began heading down. now the story… the tire chains made the tire grip the ground so well that it pulled the tire off the wheel and let all the air out. i had a spare but each time i jacked up the car it would tip over because the scissors jack i was cranking up was resting on and compressing lots of snow. i got the tire lugs loosened and the car lifted enough to get the wheel off but could not get the car to stay up while i put on the spare, i pulled over and enlisted a guy with a tractor that had a bucket i wrapped a tow chain aroundctoblift my bumper up while i put the tire on. high fives all around and back into the drivers seat to complete the descent. we got a mile or so and the wheel we just put on fell off and brought us to a stop.
    i mentioned in my post about canada that my travel partner needed motivational encouragement when things were challenging. here we go again. no more tractors with bucket ready to lift the vehicle we decided to go find a pay phone and call my friend to report our predicament and see about hooking a ride down the mountain to return after the scenes in the picture postcard turned epic cluster fug after local authorities got roads cleared etc…

    i naively left the van unlocked with the missing wheel placed on the drivers seat where the tow truck driver would certainly discover and accommodate the situation. we rode down and returned to the couch of our disfunctional host with new handcuffs in our ability to get away, get to work, get around at all.
    urgency settled in and we started calling the mountain to see about when we could return 90 miles away to pick up the van. the streets took 3 weeks to get cleared and my van was located but… there was more. the tow truck driver was a sleep deprived zombie when my van was to be hauled and it’s 3 legged status went unnoticed for a long enough period that it was rolled and crunched to a degree that required insurance notification before driving down the road. it was declared a totaled situation with 3000 dollarsdamage on a 2000 dollar vehicle. drove fine. had new character traits and we got it back and headed away from the couch and on to camp out in the high dessert of sunny southern california before hanging up my travels and returning to study art and music at the university of minnesota, volkswagen mechanics, and to try getting to know my dad by joining his sales agency to learn to modify my people skills used to that point in negotiating deals with dealers and distributors of illegals substances. i loved selling lawn and garden products and the travel involved was always appreciated and enjoyed but snowfall only played a roll a couple of times.
    if i get time i will replay my airplane trip in a blizzard with a plane load of furnature salespeople who were funny funny funny in a moment of nervous energy at a time when joking and smoking and drinking while on the tarmac getting deiced before takeoff in a gale wind by a crazed pilots need to get to a hot date in kansas city
    epic…

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Hilda Lawrence born 1900, wrote a murder mystery novel “Blood Upon the Snow” which takes place in a snowed-in mansion. People are being killed and they can’t leave the mansion because of the snow storm. It is a great read.

    By the way, I changed the header photo to what I thought I had last night. What showed up this morning wasn’t what I thought I had chosen.

    We are expecting up to 10 inches of snow today and tonight.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m trying to remember details of what happened to my outdoor buddy, Bill, when western Minnesota was hit by a blizzard on Christmas Eve. Bill was driving an old yellow Suburban with his wife and two sons, heading for his wife’s family home in Willmar. The blizzard was so bad no sane person would drive through it, and MN DOT told everyone to stay off the roads. Everybody in Bill’s car was intent on getting to their destination because it was Christmas, so he drove on.

    The snow already on the ground was so high Bill couldn’t see the highway, which was US 12. There were no tire tracks to help. Bill looked at the telephone poles and fences to get an idea of the landscape, then drove where a highway should be. He finally drove into a ditch that bogged the Suburban down.

    Bill decided he had to connect with authorities. He struck off walking through waist-high drifts, heading for a distant pole with a light on it marking a farmstead. When he got there, there was nobody to let him in. He struck out again, now so mired in snow he realized his life was in some danger.

    Nobody came to the door of the second home when he hammered on it, but the door was unlocked. Bill entered, desperate to get out of the storm. The house seemed unoccupied, although it was filled with stuff in the way of a hoarder’s home. Bill got to a big chair in the living room and wrapped himself in an old quilt. He sat in silence watching a TV show from New York city as people there celebrated Christmas eve.

    Then an old man silently descended the stairs from upstairs. He didn’t speak when Bill tried to explain his presence. The old man and Bill sat in the dark watching the TV for some time. Then the old man stood and went back upstairs, saying, “I been depressed since my wife died.” Bill snuggled in the quilt and finally fell asleep in the chair.

    In the morning Bill found a phone and called the highway authorities, giving them directions to where his family was stranded in the Suburban. They all got to their destination on Christmas day. Bill didn’t see the old man again.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. In the late 1960s when I was such a fan of Leo Kottke’s music he lived in Saint Cloud, commuting to the Twin Cities to play gigs. On one of those commutes he became snowbound in his car with his girlfriend. Worried about her, Leo hiked into the snowdrifts to seek help. I was told he basically froze his feet and nearly lost them.

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  6. Rise and Shine Babooons,

    All the stories about the Halloween blizzard resemble mine. So I will go back further. In the early 80’s while I finished grad school I still lived in the Cities. We headed down to my ex-husband’s family home in SW Iowa for Thanksgiving, where we were caught in heavy snow in northern Iowa. There was no snow in MN when and where we started, so this was a surprise. Somewhere in Iowa we caught a snowplow and followed that for awhile until the snow got the plow stuck. We had to sit and wait for a few hours for the next snowplow to arrive, rescue snowplow #1, then we followed one of those west. We never got to SW Iowa. We went to NW Iowa where my family lived at the time, suprising everyone there.

    During the hours on the road, waiting, waiting, I had to go badly, and we were stuck. We had a can in our snow kit. I used that, but eventually overflowed it while squatting over it. The overflow froze quickly.

    What a trip that was.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. We wait for the 7 inches of snow to fall. We set up to play bells in church. Husband decided we would stir fry scallops and sea bass with chili sace and ginger for lunch. We are still cooking. I am making chicken waterzooi for a very late supper.

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  8. Another snow book I used to like, but have not read for years took place in Stillwater. “The Wind Chill Factor,” by Thomas Gifford and also made into a movie with Sir Lawrence Olivier, I think. Great scenes in which the blizzard becomes a character which interferes with any number of criminal acts and efforts to catch the bad guys. I don’t even remember the crime part, just the blizzard being really fierce.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Us and our neighbors live on a dead end road. The first couple tenths of a mile come off the country blacktop road and is a gravel township road. Then our driveway is about 3/4 of a mile long from there.
    The county snow plow comes in the township portion and goes 100 yards up our road to a place he can turn around. The rest of the driveway is mine to clear.
    It’s mostly uphill when you’re leaving. We say “If you can get out, you can always get home.” The first two hills and corners are right by the house. The rest of the road is easier to navigate.
    As a kid, with the rear wheel drive cars, it was fairly common for Dad to have to get the 630 tractor and push us up the hill. The tractor had chains on the rear wheels and a narrow front end and the car bumpers were metal. Even Sunday mornings before church; Dad in his suit, pushing us out, then leaving the tractor up there to retrieve when we came back.
    Or our pickup that had chains for the back wheels. (Dad would never do four wheel drive). Dad would have to put a piece of cardboard down before he could lay down in his suit to put the chains on.
    I remember trying to get somewhere and I had the truck. And I was dressed up. And I could get up the first hill but not the second. And I had to put the chains on and I was SO MAD! Cause now I was probably late too.
    Sometimes we’d still get stuck on the driveway coming home.
    We knew enough to dress appropriately and you’d just leave the car, walk home and dig out the car in the morning.
    If it was icy, we would spread cow manure on the road for traction.

    I remember coming home during a blizzard. There was about 1/4 mile up on the county road where it was white-out. I just kept going slow and hoping and finally got to the neighbors farm where they had enough trees as a windbreak I could see the road again. And the rest of the way home was less eventful.

    When I had the cows, the milk truck came every other day. And the tank was big enough if we had a bad storm he could skip a day. But we were never stuck very long because we had to get the milk truck in.

    Once, there was a new truck driver. They were supposed to come down our road empty (because of the hills) but this guy didn’t get the message. He made the first hill and corner going up. But then he tried to downshift on the second hill and corner. The entire load of milk “sloshed” as he shifted and it pulled him back into the ditch. It took the whole day and several tries to finally get a second milk truck and pump his milk into that truck so the tow truck could pull the first truck out.

    I don’t mind having snow days. It’s nice to just snuggle in and know I’m just not going anywhere.
    Even when I had cows; the chores and hauling manure everyday could be an issue, but even the cows enjoyed getting back in the barn.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Sure do appreciate having all wheel
        Drive cars these days.
        Hard to “sit heavy” in the back seat when alone.
        Anyone else know that phrase?
        To be “weight” for added traction, Mom
        And dad always told us to “sit heavy!”

        Liked by 4 people

        1. Never heard that phrase before, Ben, but your stories sure make me appreciate that I’ve never really experienced a real snow emergency.

          As far as movies and snow are concerned, the only thing that comes to mind is Dr. Zhivago.

          Liked by 1 person

      2. I am remembering my older siblings talk about Dad taking them to the hiway in the manure spreader. (Course the spreader would be empty and any residual manure would be frozen) Then he’d flag down some passerby and ask them to take them into school.
        Tying into yesterday, at least I never got a ride to school in a manure spreader.

        Liked by 3 people

  10. I recall a winter in the late 1960’s in upstate New York where snow was 4 -6 feet high everywhere! The snow on our (major) road was level with our yard with a 4 ft fence. Everything was closed, Neighbors got together and shoveled a path down the road to a grocery store (owner lived nearby and walked there to open it). It was a day or two before we were truly plowed out. Plowing improved when a hospital was built up on a neighboring hill. I recall plows constantly working during a typical upstate snow storm. When they were pulled off highway 81 everyone knew you should not even think about going anywhere. Last time we visited in the winter Syracuse got 50 inches of snow in one day! Couldn’t go anywhere the next day but after that no problems traveling. They plowed AND hauled the snow away. My dad was an engineer who loved his huge snow blower and usually cleared all the neighbors walks. So I tell my relatives in Syracuse I moved to Minnesota for an easier winter!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. “Clearing the neighbors walks” reminds me of a dear friend who lived in an old foursquare home in South Minneapolis. She was conscientious to a fault, so when a storm dropped six inches of snow she got out immediately to shovel her walk. Then she got concerned about her next door neighbors, as they were not young, so she shoveled their walk. Then she remembered the next house to that one was occupied by a large Hispanic family. Not wanting to discriminate against them, she shoveled their walk. The next property to that was occupied by some folks who had opposed my friend at a community meeting. She didn’t want to seem to hold a grudge, so she shoveled their walk too.

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