Thursday, January 29, 2015

"Snow" Back Thursday

One of the most popular posts on Facebook is Throwback Thursday. People usually post photos taken in their younger years, which is a fun way of creating an online gallery of their lives. In honor of the Snow Blizzard that bore down on my home state of New York this week, I thought I thought I’d share some “snow” back memories from my years growing up in the Empire State. 

I spent the first six years of my life in a very small town (maybe 300 people) one mile from the Canadian border in upper New York State.  Winter was always a challenging time for my family, but as a kid I enjoyed it thoroughly. Even in the winter I loved to play with my cousins on my grandparents’ front porch. The snow dripping from the roof onto the porch overhang would refreeze at night and produce amazing stalactite and stalagmite icicles as big as six inches around and three or four feet long. We would break off a length of ice to hold in our mittens to suck on and sometimes to use as a sword. We totally ignored the taste of roof soot in our Popsicle.

The annual Sugar Social at the Methodist Church was a much anticipated event. In March when the maple sap was rising in the trees, it was collected in buckets, then boiled down to make thick syrup. Fresh snow was gathered in big metal pans and the syrup was poured on the snow instantly making maple syrup taffy—a delicious treat. 

I fought many battles from the snow forts I helped to construct. A mound of snowballs was stored for the inevitable snowball fight that would follow. It was mostly the boys against the girls and sometimes I was on the winning side.

I moved away from that rural lifestyle and eventually ended up in Georgia where snow is an exception and not the rule. One winter I returned to the place of my birth to visit my father who was very sick with cancer. The closest airport to my small town was several hours away, so my sister and I had to drive on icy roads to reach our destination. Snow drifts covered all the surrounding farmland as far as my eye could see. The full moon rose over the horizon and cast an ethereal glow on the snow laden fields. It was a beautiful sight and a much needed reminder of God’s beauty in the midst of human suffering.

Here’s hoping for snow this year in Georgia—enough to shut down the roads for a few days, but not enough to affect the power lines. The world will stop and peace and quiet will prevail until the temperature rises again. 

A Bible verse about snow:  Isaiah 55:10-11 "For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”


  1. Oh, I loved this blog. I also thought of snow angels we used to make in the lost across the street. What wonderful memories. Thank you for the Scripture! I miss seeing the snow at least once a year, so when you have some in GA, send me some. Middle Sis also remembers the very "soggy" ski pants we wore.

  2. Frieda, I had no idea about the sugar social with maple syrup on ice...winter fun! Keep writing and I will certainly learn!
    Love from Carleen

  3. What wonderful memories and what a beautiful scripture. Thank you for sharing.

  4. I just look forward to your blogs, & am never disappointed. Thanks for the messages & scripture. Looking forward to the next one..

  5. As always, enjoy reading your stories. Very special from a very special lady. I too would love to enjoy a few days of watching a winter wonderland and have the world stand still and enjoy the beauty. I always make a batch of soup on those occasions and my freezer could use that.

  6. Wow! How interesting to read about a winter lifestyle that is totally foreign to this Southern girl. I love reading about snow but you need to behave yourself and stop wishing for snow here in the Peach State! Lol! I love your blog, dear friend. God bless you!