Saturday, April 1, 2023
April 1, 2023

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Everybody Has a Story: Snowy forecast stirs up magical memory


Listening to the meteorologist forecast heavy snow in Hood River recently reminded me of childhood winters in the Columbia River Gorge. Flakes will be falling on the little house I grew up in 50 years ago. If I could go back …

Dad would be shoveling snow at the crack of dawn even as giant flakes are still falling. Mom would be stoking the fire in our wood stove to keep us warm. School would be canceled.

Icicles would be forming on the eaves. I remember them stretching almost to the ground. My sister and I would be out building a run in the backyard for sledding, as well as at least one shaggy looking snowman. We would come in to warm up with hot chocolate made in that little aluminum pan Mom used so much. Our wet boots and damp clothes would hang around the stove to dry before we headed out again for another run.

If we were lucky, the power would stay on and we would have chili or stew for dinner. TV reception was terrible on a good day and impossible in stormy weather so we would bring out a game to play.

If we lost power, which happened often, it would become a real adventure. Out would come all our camping gear and meals would be prepared on the wood stove. Bedtimes came early, but it was OK because we were exhausted from playing outside all day.

Thinking back, I can almost smell the wood smoke and see the ice crystals forming in the windows. It was magical for me and my sister, perhaps not so much for our parents. The storms usually only lasted a couple of days before it all started to melt and turn into a slushy, muddy mess. Our impromptu winter vacation would end until the next storm front rolled our way.

Everybody Has a Story welcomes nonfiction contributions, 1,000 words maximum, and relevant photographs. Send to: or P.O. Box 180, Vancouver WA, 98666. Call “Everybody Has an Editor” Scott Hewitt, 360-735-4525, with questions.