The Wonderful Winter of ‘77

 

It was 1977–the winter of my 13th year.  You guessed it—not a great year:                                                          Eighth grade.  Junior High.  Need I say more?

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I’ll add that I was nearly 6-feet-tall, a GIRL, gangly, with B-R-O-A-D shoulders, glasses, AND braces. Oh, and short hair that was supposed to be a cute “shag,” but mainly caused folks to mistake me for my older brother.  Ha-ha.

But then, a miracle happened.

Just before Christmas break ended—a snow blew in. The dreaded return to school (and all that yucky PEER PRESSURE) was delayed!!   Not only did it snow once– on it came, snow upon snow, until we missed six straight weeks of school! For middle Tennessee–where a couple of one or two-inch snows per year is the norm…

            this was incredible.

What a glorious gift those weeks were—a last chance to press pause— before re-entering  teen life.  I don’t know when puberty hit me, and have no idea when it left.  But like everyone—I knew when I was in the middle of it—and it wasn’t good. But oh, those 6 weeks were like an instant rewind to being a 9-year-old again.

                                                                 A gift from heaven.

There was nothing to do but simple chores and play in the snow with my brothers and the neighbor boys. No worrying how your hair looked, or if you had a pimple, or what clothes to wear.  No worrying if you were “good enough” or if so-and-so liked you.

No one cared!

We were too busy finding the best sledding slope, daring each other to catapult over the creek, or hooking up the round silver sled to Sugar the pony and trying to sling each other off–as she galloped giant pony donuts in the pasture. We went to bed aching and sore from bumps, crashes and laughter.

And once again..who cared!

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Some days we’d slide around on the pond, if the temperature stayed well below freezing, or hike through the woods with BB guns, shooting at squirrels–as if we might hit one. When we were frozen, we’d stomp back inside to play long games of Monopoly, Crazy Eight, or ping pong in the garage. Maybe read a book by the fire–or watch old re-runs  (selected from one of our 4 attenna-TV stations!).

We didn’t know it then, but how lucky we were that there was…

No internet.

No cell phone.

No video game.

No cable TV.

Because we played together like children–and laughed—or sometimes argued!  But still together.  And together might not have happened much–were it not for the pure simplicity of those weeks.

Now, the memories feel as close as the winter snow outside my window today —        fresh, cool, and enticing.

And I’m left smiling…and longing for a simpler time.

 

 

 

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16 thoughts on “The Wonderful Winter of ‘77

  1. Hi,
    Ahhh, the good old days of carefree innocence! Thank you for that time of reminiscent joy of just being a child in discovering the world around us! We don’t do that enough, do we?
    I have ten grandchildren, so when I am with them I get to explore that joy of discovery, in the small things around us again, we have such fun! 🙂
    I have a rule though, no technology when having special treat times with Nanny & Poppy! It works 🙂 ,they always comment on what a fun time they have had with us when they go home to their parents ;)…

    Drop by with your favorite beverage, add a treat & reflect with a fellow counselor & blogger for awhile you will be most welcome.
    Jennifer

    Liked by 2 people

    • I will do that, Jennifer– I actually saw the title to your blog site the other day and made a mental note to check it out, it sounds like my kind of place–and oh, what I could learn from someone with 10 grandkids! My daughter is 23 and she and her hubby are hoping to get pregnant in the next year or so..We’ll see! I was thinking of changing the name of my blog site to “Koffee with Kam” because i am a true coffee and chat person–and that’s really what I love to do with my good friends–chat about life…(and drink coffee (and tea sometimes,too!) So what do you think? “Grace and Grit” does describe how I cope with life, relying on both, so I go back and forth, haha!

      Liked by 2 people

      • How exciting Kam!
        Grandchildren are precious little people when they come into our lives!
        Although I do remember that they are my adult daughter’s & their partner’s child & as such they will do things very differently to how I did things when raising my girls….remembering & respecting the boundaries of this important realization with our grandchildren & their parents…. creates joyful & harmonious relationships with all! 😉

        Liked by 2 people

      • Yes, such good stuff to remember! At least I am 600 miles away for now, so helicopter-grandparenting will be a little tough, but I know it is more about the attitude! Praying I am supportive and kind to kids and parents, not judgmental. I think my daughter will probably be verbal enough to remind me of my own parenting flaws if I step over the bounds too much anyway–encouraging that independent spirit has it’s “oops- I can’t believe she just called me on that” side, LOL.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh, the good golden old days! Thanks for sharing!
    Since you visited my blog cause I liked a comment of yours on another blog and now that I am following your blog…
    Don’t want to assume!!!
    Thanks for visiting my blog, Kam .💟👍

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That was truly a delight to read! I was tall, too, not six feet, but still taller than all the boys at 13. Such a confusing, messy time. For me it was in the late 60s. But being outside in nature is a gift from heaven that makes it all better. I remember walking and playing in the woods felt more real than school or parties, still does. I love that your memory of this special time is so clear. Thank you for allowing us to treasure it with you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much for the encouraging words, JoAnna. Yes, there was/is something real and anchoring about being in nature, no matter our age.
      I always wish I could be transported into the world of CS Lewis’ Narnia…something about the trees being alive. I always feel as if they are my friends, and when one is gone, like the huge Sycamore that used to grace my parents’ front yard–it’s like the whole demeanor of the place is changed. They exude comfort by their presence… Ahh. Thanks so much for taking time to comment and help me reflect!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I’ve been thinking a lot about those teenage years. How self-conscious I was! How I wish I’d known that the eyes I thought were always on me, judging that pimple or awkward hair cut, were really not looking at me much at all. At that age–maybe at any age–I’ve learned we are all much too prone to think people are thinking things about us that they never thought at all. It’s one of those cognitive biases I’m working to better understand. So, reading about your six week reprieve and all the joy you felt, I couldn’t help but think about how that’s how it always should be. We each in the moment, worried less about what others think of us, and all just focused on the “doings” of living. Thank you for the lovely walk in your thirteen-year-old shoes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for your kind and thoughtful comment, Angela…You are so right..even as older adults I think we all still struggle with worrying unnecessarily about what others are thinking of us and miss out on enjoying the everyday things in life. I know I have improved since those old days of being 13, but I definitely could loosen up a little more! Ah, for another 6 week snow, maybe?! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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