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December 28, 2013

Looking Back: Snowfall brings back memories of fights, forts and figures

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The Daily Star

---- — How exciting those first fluffy flakes are as they drift past the window. 

As old as I am, the first snow of the season has always delighted me. (It’s funny to say that for there are those that feel just the opposite … ho-hum.)

I must say that too much snow is too much at times, but a few inches of beautiful pristine white fluff covering the ground is so pleasant to the eyes and the silence of the snow falling seems to be so peacefully quieting. So I do welcome just the right amount of fluffy snow to cover the dullness of the wintry terrain. (It’s a good time out for the rocking chair and a day off … if you can do that in this day and age.)

Looking back, I can remember all the happy times we children had. We couldn’t wait to get our snowsuits on and dash out into the newly fallen snow. There was lots of excitement and exercise along with healthy fresh air as we built creative snowmen, snow forts and pathways going anywhere and nowhere.

We just couldn’t keep our mittens dry as we gathered the first ball of packable snow together and start to roll, over and over until the ball gathered layers upon layers of snow almost to the point of immovability. Walls took shape, one large snow boulder side by side and on top of another. Then came the time to stock pile the ammunition: snowballs.

The neighbor kids were on their way! (Of course, this was always done in a friendly atmosphere, I think!)

The snow and icy igloo took more ingenuity: The town snow plow usually pushed great hunks of ice and snow up along the side walk. These we gathered up to heap on the side of our driveway on top of the pile from snow shoveling. We packed all this down and then hollowed out the inside. One of mother’s dust cloths of white sheeting was spritzed with water and hung over the doorway opening. This froze overnight to create a functional door that blended in with the entire pile — and it looked just like that, at a glance, just a pile of snow. What fun we had with our accomplishment and a great hiding place — a secret hideaway.

Now, today, as I glance out the window and wonder: Where are the children? Why aren’t they out in the newly snow-covered front yards enjoying themselves as we once did? I don’t see any snowmen, any snow forts, or any implication of disturbed piles of our wintry mix. Maybe our wintry weather has changed a bit but all in all it still snows here where we live and there still are children.

There’s no school today and still no children enjoying themselves in the healthy fresh air. 

Where are they? Good question!!

Years ago I remember my husband lamenting about a young family, that we both knew, with several children having many problems. The largest problem came from the influence of what was termed the “boob tube.” The TV was continually on the moment their eyes were opened to when their heads hit the pillow — morning ‘til night!

The young boy of the family, almost braggingly, spoke about how he spent many, many hours watching TV. Of course now, today, there are all the other interesting gadgets of our modern technology to take up a lot of our youths’ time.

But one may ask: Did many of the problems come from the lack of parental guidance along with the influence of whatever was watched on TV? How about the lack of spending needed time with studies and the health benefits of getting more fresh air?

Well, to make this experience shorter along with a happy ending: Help was given, accepted and appreciated as to applying the needed suggestions. When you couple Proverbs 22:6 with Deuteronomy 6:6&7 there is certainly good advice and it works. 

Elaine W. Kniskern is a 81-year-old resident of Schenevus and a grandmother of five. She can reached at elaine-kniskern@stny.rr.com. ‘Senior Scene’ columns can be found at www. thedailystar.com/seniorscene.