Monday, November 15, 2010

Snow Day Memories - And a Giveaway to Go With Them!

As we prepare for yet another winter here at Our Little Acre, I'm reminded of one of the very first winters we experienced shortly after we moved into our house.  It was January of 1978 and on a Wednesday evening late in the month, snow began falling lightly. The weather forecasters had said we were to get a lot of snow with a lot of wind. Little did we know just what "a lot" meant.

Romie worked second shift at that time, so I was usually asleep in bed by the time he got home from work. When the phone rang at 1:30 a.m. and I awoke to answer it, I noticed he wasn't in bed beside me. His voice on the phone let me know that the blizzard had arrived, but he wasn't going to make it home that night. He'd followed a snow plow as far as he could, which was to my parents' house on a major highway (US 127).

I could hear the wind howling like nobody's business outside. I peeked outside, but could see nothing but white. By morning, there was more snow than I'd ever seen. Huge drifts were all around the house and the front windows were packed with snow - on the inside! The unbelievably strong winds had driven it through the smallest spaces, and it was still blowing.

Our high school. That's Romie up there on the drift.

Romie didn't make it home until Sunday, and then it was on a snowmobile. We weren't plowed out until the next day, and then we made a trip to our nearby village store, not for food, but just to get out and about to see all that snow and to talk to neighbors.

That was  the Great Blizzard of '78. It was definitely one for the record books and one that many have heard about. I'm glad I was old enough to experience it. We didn't lose our electrical power, so we stayed nice and warm; others weren't so fortunate.

(For a more detailed account and some history, see my January 2007 post, The Blizzard of '78.)

We didn't have a snow thrower back then, but it definitely would have come in handy! We could have given it a good workout! We'll likely not see a snowstorm like that ever again, but we've had some good amounts of snow in recent winters. A snow thrower is a good thing to have when you live in Ohio!

Our car in the driveway of my grandparents' farm.

I walked right up this drift to the roof of our old neighbor's house!

Well, guess what? Troy-Bilt is giving you a chance to WIN a snow thrower! All you have to do is leave a comment here, telling one of your best snow memories, and you'll have a chance to win your choice of the following two Troy-Bilt snow throwers:

Storm 3090 XP

The Storm 3090 XP 2-stage snow thrower features a wide 30" clearing width, Touch 'n Turn power steering and heated hand grips, plus an in-dash headlight and reflective strips for greater visibility in low light.

Other specs:
  • Touch ‘n Turn power steering
  • Push-button electric start
  • Just One Hand operation – steer with one hand, freeing the other hand to adjust the chute direction without stopping
  • 30” clearing width
  • In-dash headlight and reflective strips for safer operation
  • Standard heated hand grips


 Flurry 1400

The compact Flurry 1400 is ideal for milder winters, smaller driveways and lighter snowfalls. Designed with features that make it easy to operate, including a dependable push button electric start.

Other specs:
  • 11 amp electric Troy-Bilt engine
  • Push-button electric start
  • E-Z Chute™ manual pitch chute control
  • Auger-assist drive system

So tell us your best snow memory and one of these could be yours!


This giveaway is sponsored by Troy-Bilt and is open to U.S. residents only. The contest will end at midnight on Friday, December 3, 2010. Winner will be selected at random from all eligible entries, using the Random Number Generator.  Our Little Acre will also be receiving a snow thrower from Troy-Bilt as host of the giveaway, and will be posting a review at a later date.


That Bloomin' Garden said...

I have to comment as I have never seen snow quite like that. The biggest snow fall I remember is getting about a foot of the white stuff in 1996. We couldn't back out of our driveway and all schools were closed. Here we are lucky to get an inch of snow and we don't use snow tires at all. My kids loved the big snow fall and it brought such quiet to a busy town.

Nutty Gnome said...

We had big snows in January 1981, but not as awesomely big as yours! It was about 4ft in most places and about 8ft after ploughing. Fun times!
We got about 2ft last winter, which was the heaviest for many years.

SuzOH said...

I've only lived in Ohio 10 years, and never saw a snowfall that bad. My best snow memory is about 7 years ago struggling to get to work through unplowed streets (thank God I have a Subaru) only to find out it was closed (missing your shift is only OK if you're dead). The message that they put on the phone system to tell you if you have to come in was wrong.
It took me 3 tries to get back up my own driveway when I got home--too much ice under the snow made the steep drive too slippery.

mr_subjunctive said...

I have one memory from about 1983-1985 of an unusually large snowfall, but aside from being fascinated by the way the drifts formed between the house and garage, I don't remember much about it. I think that may have been the snowfall where Mom and Dad explained how snow can melt and refreeze, leaving a hard crust on top of the drifts, which was a new concept to me at the time.

Cassie said...

My mom still talks about that Blizzard o'78, how she missed it because she was on the west coast and how it was probably nothing compared to the time she had to be dug out by the National Guard as a child. Oye. But I digress, MY favorite snow memories were the days I missed school and got to romp around my gram's (nana back then) property. We'd make snowmen and angels, she's make hot chocolate and "egg pancakes" (crepes) for lunch. It. was. awesome.

beachgrl said...

Oh yes, here in Connecticut I remember that storm well! I was a teacher in Hartford and looking out the window during the day watching the snow continue and not let up. They did not let the schools out early and boy was that a huge mistake. My trip home was normally 20 minutes, but on that day it was 3 hours. Me and my VW bug chugged along at a crawl past broken down cars and trucks. The plows could not keep up with the snow and the highway looked like it wasn't even plowed, but somehow I made it home with no problem. I loved that little red beetle.
Oh, and our driveway to our house and the path to the front door looked just like your photo!

Joseph said...

Growing up as I did in NE Ohio, right in path of lake-effect show from Lake Erie, I have LOTS of snow memories. One of my favorites was the year (I think it was '96? I'm not sure now) we had FIVE feet of snow. Yes, 5, and that was before the drifting started. Dad was worried about all that weight on the roof, so he sent us kids up to shovel some of it off. So I was on the roof, shoveling away, when I saw my Mom in the window, motioning for me to come down so she could talk to me. I looked at the ladder, then at the 5 feet of fluffy snow, and jumped off the roof. My Mom screamed -- then laughed. We spent the rest of the afternoon climbing up on to the roof and then leaping off into the giant heaps of snow. It was a blast.

Heather said...

the blizzard of '78 was the best! I was a child so was able to make snow tunnels in our front yard. I loved it! My husband remembers he could open his bedroom window and slide all the way to the ground on the snow blown up to his house. It didn't take his mom too long to figure out what was going on, but it was fun while it lasted.

Unknown said...

The blizzard of '78 will always trump any other snow memories. Having my dad shovel paths to the driveway from the front and back door. Tunneling into the piles of snow that the plow left at the end of our driveway to make awesome, and (in hindsight) extremely dangerous forts, and climbing up a drift on the roof of my friend Pat's garage and sledding down. There have been a lot a years and big snows singe then, but it will take something HUGE to eclipse '78.

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Kylee girl I don't think a Canadian can enter but I really enjoyed hearing and seeing about your snow story .. when we were stationed in Petawawa, Ontario (large army base) we had snow fall in '78 as well and it was amazing .. must have been the same storm system .. but guess what we were chasing all over town where we could actually drive .. a toilet plunger !!! hahahaha
I won't go into that story but yes .. we had snow up to our arm pits?
Joy : )

Lona said...

Hi Kylee. Girl I remember that Blizzard so well.My Dad and Husband were working in Columbus and they told of the tall building they were working on swayed from the wind and the lights inside were swaying. Also my Grandfather fell and broke his hip and no one could get through so we slowly managed to get him to the hospital with a four wheel drive truck. It was terrible! It is flatter in your area of the state so I can imagine the drifts like the one where your car was all over your area.

jeannine said...

The blizzard of 1978 is definitely my best snow memory. I was 7 then and my sister was 8, and I remember we got off a whole week of school. My mother was the custodian at our rural elementary school, which was only about 5 or 6 miles away from our house. After the roads were cleared, my mother still had to go to work even though school had been called off. My sister and I went with her several days, and we got the play in an empty school. Fun!

Kimberly said...

I'm fairly certain that the great blizzard of 78 is why me and like 80% of the kids I grew up with were born at the end of 1978 :)

Kimberly said...

Also, thanks for sharing the pics. I moved to California so I have to live vicariously for the snow :)

Bethany said...

I was a wee babe (5 months old) for the blizzard of 1978, although my parents tell great stories!

For me, snow is all about trips to Oglebay in West Virginia. We'd meet another family there every year for a winter weekend of snow angels, snowmen and, my favorite, taking the tobaggan down the hill over and over and over again.

As an adult, that hill seems awful small but as a child it was a GIANT mountain. In fact, one lucky adult got "car duty" and would drive the kids up the hill again and again while the other "unlucky" adults trudged our sleds back up for another trip down.

Fires in the fireplace. Family games. The baked potato bar. As long as the snow kept piling up, it was the perfect winter weekend year after year.

strmywthr3 said...

one of my favorite memories is going sledding at a friends who had a huge hill. we went all the way down the hill and into the marshy ditch at the end! we were flying!

Heather's Garden said...

I have many fond memories of sledding, building snowmen, snowball fights, and best of all snow days growing up in CT, but the one that stands out the most in my adult mind is the Blizzard of '96. I was all of 21 years old and working at my first grown-up, but very junior, job as an administrative clerk -- that's one step below the receptionist in case you were wondering. I was still living at home and commuting the 10 miles or so to my office. You become inured to the weather forecasters predicting huge snowfall when you live in southern CT because you seldom see more than a few inches and most of us can deal with that, but this storm hit overnight and it hit hard. We woke up to several feet of snow and it didn't show any signs of letting up. I couldn't see my car let alone the street. Just then the phone rang, it was the president of the company paying me $7.25/hour. "Hi Heather, we're calling everyone at home to let them know we're closed today." I just said okay, thanks for letting me know, but I was thinking: Really? The governor has declared a state of emergency and ordered all non-essential workers to stay off the roads. I really thought that I was going to make it in today. Of course, if I had Troy-Bilt Flurry 1400 to dig out my car and the 10 miles of roads to the office I might have!

Rose said...

What great photos, Kylee! But I hope never to see such a similar scene again:)

I entered Linda's giveaway at Garden Girl and talked about my memories of the storm of 67, since that is what she remembered, too. But I remember the late 70's and the awful blizzards we had then even more vividly. During that time we lived in an old farmhouse on a T-road, the only house on the road, so we were often the last ones to get plowed out. We couldn't get out at all, and then the electricity went out. I remember bringing the boys' mattresses downstairs (the upstairs was so cold!) to sleep on. We gathered snow and heated it in pots on the gas stove to keep semi-warm. Finally, our neighbor was going to come across the fields to get us with his tractor, because that was the only way to get across the snow. But fortunately after many hours, the power came back, and we were warm! I don't think my two boys will ever forget that experience either.

Goodness, now I'm shivering...

Benjamin Vogt said...

My family moved from Oklahoma to Minnesota in 1986. The winters were mild, but still brutal for us Okies, until 1991. The Twins were on to their second World Series win, and I felt like I belonged, especially with ticker tape parades in school hallways. That Halloween began with a dusting of snow, and when we woke up the next day it was approaching 30". Heaven? Delusional disbelief? Yes! Surviving--and enjoying--that snowfall made me a Minnesotan, and my often-ridiculed southern accent seemed to finally melt away inside the cold snow fort we built, which was the size of a small house. Minnesotans, no matter where they end up (like Nebraska), embrace and thrive in the snow--so bring it, Troybilt. Bring me home. Let's play.

Benjamin Vogt said...

My family moved from Oklahoma to Minnesota in 1986. The winters were mild, but still brutal for us Okies, until 1991. The Twins were on to their second World Series win, and I felt like I belonged, especially with ticker tape parades in school hallways. That Halloween began with a dusting of snow, and when we woke up the next day it was approaching 30". Heaven? Delusional disbelief? Yes! Surviving--and enjoying--that snowfall made me a Minnesotan, and my often-ridiculed southern accent seemed to finally melt away inside the cold snow fort we built, which was the size of a small house. Minnesotans, no matter where they end up (like Nebraska), embrace and thrive in the snow--so bring it, Troybilt. Bring me home. Let's play.

jason said...

When I was growing up, I lived very near a number of my cousins, and we were all relatively close in age. My best snow memory is of the group of us getting together after a heavy snowfall and just playing--whether it was throwing snowballs at each other or just sledding down the hill, we had great fun together!

Rebecca said...

Winter weekends holing up with our friends in a cabin in West Virginia. Hot cocoa after hours of sled riding. Scary "King Yucca" tapping on our windows at night and the snow would fill in all trace of his footsteps by morning. Snow angels, group annual winter weekend that went on for years.

jen said...

I don't have one specific snow memory that is my favorite. Rather, I love it any time we get a good amount of snow so that everything is covered in a blanket of white. I love to curl up with a good book near a window so that I can watch the snow as it is falling. It always feels so peaceful. I love days like that!

twcarmann said...

I'm a Colorado native, but my folks grew up in central Nebraska. It's not often that there is a winter storm in the Mile High City that can compete with my old man's stories of farm chores during a blistering cold flatlands blizzard. But the blizzard of 2005 that hit Denver came pretty close.

I didn't have to brave high winds and pelting snow to get to the milking barn. Nor did I have to take a bearing on the yard light to find my way back from the hog shed. Cows didn't find their way to the neighbor's pasture using a snow drift to cross the fence.

But I did have to leave work early because the drywall in the boss's office started cracking - the flat roof was getting too much snow and yielded to the pressure.

The Denver metro area traffic was snarled, but most everyone got home before the real brunt of the storm hit. One of the drifts on a highway overpass looked like a model of the white tents of airport terminal building from a distance.

But as typical of Denver storms, the sun was shining the next day. Snow plows cleared the drifts. And everyone was back at work with a great story the day after.

Anonymous said...

The famous 1991 Perfect Storm left our (and everybody's) Halloween under a couple feet of snow, unusual even for the tundra of Minnesota. It was followed by a similar storm a month later on Christmas Eve. But, there really is nothing like snuggling up before a crackling fire while fluffy snow falls throughout the night.

Anonymous said...

During one of the past snows, I had fallen twice and my back was in horrible pain.
my email is

Gizkok said...

Oh boy! Last winter was the first one for my new house. I have a long, steep driveway and I soon realized my trusty minivan would not get up and down the drive. So in late February I got a new car with AWD. I thought I was all set until a few weeks later we got roughly 2 feet of snow! The car was safely in the garage and with that kind of snow, it wasn't going anywhere. I had to shovel. And shovel. And then did some more shoveling. It was at least a couple of weeks before I could get my car out!
My sister's advice? Get a snow blower! Ah, yes, great idea since moving to Hawaii doesn't seem like an option for me!

Loraine said...

My favorite snow memory is from childhood. We had a blizzard which knocked out all power and my parents and all seven kids camped out in our living room where we had a wood burning fireplace. What an adventure for the kids and I'm sure a nightmare for our parents. To make the experience even better - no school for days, just hours and hours to play outside in the snow and skate on the creek that ran through our yard.

raindrop71 at sbcglobal dotnet

Anonymous said...

I like the pics. I have some from the blizzard of 78, but they are buried in a closet of photo albums.

During the 78 blizzard I was driving home. I thought it was bad. I didn't know how good I had it; because after I got home, it got much worse.

r.specht at

vargasgirlred said...

I grew up in a two-hundred-year-old farmhouse in central Ohio on 120 acres.Our house was at the end of a two-hundred yard long lane,and we had to walk that to get to the bus.The blizzard of '78 brought a six-foot drift immediately off our front porch,and we had to duck to miss hitting our heads on the roof of the porch!We used to be snowed in for days; but the worst part of it all was that long walk to the bus down a frozen rock lane that always had drifts over it. They only plowed it if it was impassable by vehicle,so there was no snow-blowing. Dad finally got a snow plow for the front of his Ram truck, and when it snowed, he said it was pennies from Heaven. We, too ended up sleeping downstairs in the winter, as the windows would frost over in the inside, even with weatherstripping. I shoveled the walk to the garage so many times as a kid...I was the only one who could do it, and I fell many times. Happy to have the milder winters now!

Unknown said...

I loved sledding down the hill at our grandparent's house! Building snowmen and catching snow flakes was always fun too! : )

sespecht at

Unknown said...

I love to get up early in the morning and sled and ride four wheelers in the snow. The hunting is always great after a big snow too!! The best is when it snowed so much we where able to get out of school.
bengoodman2010 at

Brewer said...

I loved playing in the woods with my friends with a bunch of snow. We built snow forts and had snow ball fights. I also enjoyed playing with my puppy in the snow. He would roll around and go crazy!

steven.andrew.corcoran at

Anonymous said...

It is great to get together with family and celebrate Jesus' birthday!! Sledding, building snowmen and playing in the snow are alot of fun too.
douggoodman at

Anonymous said...

I love the snow and everything about winter. Especially since it is my birthday today and it is snowing!!! I love this time of year!!
ellieg20 at

Anonymous said...

I love snuggling up by the fire and reading a book while watching the snow come down outside!! My husband loves to watch basketball too.
emily.edwards14 at

Anonymous said...

I love to watch all the sporting events on tv during Christmas and Thanksgiving. I am so blessed with great family and friends and I love spending time with them.
jason.edwards at

Hosta Nerd said...

I have all kinds of snow memories, coming from Wisconsin and all. I think we also had the same storm in 78, which would have made me about 7. I can remember snow all the way to the roof of our garage. I thought maybe it was just because I was a kid that I remember it that way, until you pull out of the old photobooks and sure enough the snow really was that high. Our snowblower was my grandfather's originally, I think it's from the early 60's, so we could really use a new one:)

Anonymous said...

Never have owned a snowblower...certainly could have used one for the Blizzard of '78 here in Indianapolis.

Saw some pretty fierce snow storms when I lived in Colorado Spring too (as you can imagine). The precip would come rolling over the mountains and dump a lot of snow on their east side: Colorado Springs.


sean DOT fulper AT gmail DOT com

Anonymous said...

It is hard to pick just one growing up in Ohio and then moving to Virginia. I would have to say when we were kids in the winter of 1978 when I was in the first grade, It snowed so much we made tunnels through our yard to the neighbor's houses so all of the my friends could play. Once we got the tunnels dug out, then we proceeded to build an igloo one block at a time. We needed a bit of help with the dome and we got my Dad to come out and help. My Dad thought it was always "hot" and ran around in shorts and t-shorts in the middle of winter. So, he comes out in feet of snow with boots and shorts on - boy, did all my friends think that was funny. What a great winter.

Lynne Phillips

lafever said...

In the blizzard of '78, it was my turn to feed the cows we were raising. I remember going out to feed and sinking into the drifts up to my waist. It took forever to get to the barn and do the feeding...and those poor cows were so cold and stuck in the snow. All of us survived and what a memory that was.

Angie Johnson said...

In 2004, Ohio had a horrible winter! I worked third shift at a ConAgra popcorn packaging plant, just outside of town. Anyone not living within fifteen minutes of the factory was sent home mid shift. Those of us who lives nearby were asked to stay to shifts end. I drove a beat up old half broken down honda accord and when 7am rolled around, I was set out to creep down the road.

I had a few stops to make before I could go home, and plowed through drifts I saw other, bigger, heavier cars get hung up on, with little to no problem. Two hours later, a block from home, what looked to be a small drift in the road proved to be up to my waist and I didn't knwo this until I was waist deep, crawling out of the driver door I had to jam open.

Already tired from 12 hours of hard work and 2 hours of stressful errands, I dragged myself through the snow to my house, came back in boots, heavy gloves and a snow shovel. When an hour of trying to dig my car out to get it home, I was saved by a neighbor.

After getting dug out by said neighbor, we tried to get my car off the drift and around the corner to my house. My street was even worse and we were chaining the tires and pulling out of that drift as well.

Eventually we just dragged me back to the main road and parked a block away at a grocery store for the next few days.

Love having neighbors with big trucks and big hearts!

Could have used a snow thrower that day! At the time it was a pain in the tuckus... But now, I look back and smile. I love the snow! I just wish it would only fall on the grassy areas!

Brian Tiger said...

Growing up in Oklahoma, I had never seen much snow. When I moved to Colorado for work, I was jazzed to have had two blizzards in one week.

The first one slowed down the town. Blizzard number two, Shut it down COMPLETELY!

I love the snow!

Birdie S. said...

My best snow memory was my fiance driving me up the Mtn. & we built a snowman & he brought a special snow hat for the snowman which had my engagement tucked SECRETLY insided ...YES was my answer after a kiss in the falling snow !!!!!

Heather R said...

My best snow memory when my fiance and I flew up north to visit my family so they can finally meet him. I didn't grow up around snow so I really enjoyed this visit. I went on long walks to enjoy the scenery, took photographs, and made my first snow angel! It was a great experience!

Mel said...

My best snow story happened and I cant remember it. My Mom was pregnant with me during the blizzard of '67. She went into labor, but my dad couldn't get home to take her to hospital. So she (and I) hopped on the back of the town cop's snowmobile, and headed out. I decided to hold off on making my appearance until we arrived at hospital! Now I live in Chicago, and really could use a snow blower! Snow is coming tonight!

Melissa in Chicago melcrawf at

Kylee Baumle said...

As Joy mentioned, and as it states in the contest rules, only U.S. residents are eligible to win the snow thrower. So, after taking the names out of the ones that I know are not U.S. residents and using the Random Number Generator, the winner of the Troy-Bilt snow thrower is...

Hocking Hills Gardener!

Thanks to everyone that entered - I loved reading your snow stories! Congratulations to Hocking Hills Gardener / Lona!! I'm not sure how much snow you get there or what your personal situation is, but let me know which of the two snow throwers you would like and send me your shipping address so that I can give that information to Troy-Bilt. You can send it to gardengeek57 at gmail dot com.

Again, congratulations!!

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