Winter 2013 compared to Winter 1976... a few changes to be sure.

January 22, 2013

Well, it is Winter – and a time of quiet contemplation of sorts.  In the olden days – people would ‘wait out winter’ in their cabins and farmhouses, fully stocked with provisions and firewood to make it through some brutal weather.  Pastoral scenes of Vermont or New Hampshire with the gratuitous sled full of rosy-cheek excited to be out ‘experiencing’ the winter with a huge thermo-blanket from LL Bean® guaranteed to withstand anything while sipping winterberry inspired sillyfrapachinos with lite ice while being pulled by a horse or two festooned with ornaments just didn’t really happen quite that way back then.  Of course, it made for a great sales promotional… Hey Mildred!!  Let’s pack the kids up and head up to Winterville Vermont and ride a sled for the weekend?  Sure Harry – as soon as you get done digging out the 3 feet of snow and bringing in the firewood that is frozen next to the house and check on the Edsel®.  Granted, our winters are not quite the same as then – although it would be hard to convince most anyone north of the Mason-Dixon Line otherwise.  My early years were in Central NJ – trust me on this one – heavy and frequent snowstorms are a well-known factor in that area. 

Twilight comes to Portsmouth, Virginia on a pretty cold winter evening, 2011. Twilight - Portsmouth Virginia - � John Cadell Photography

Twilight comes to Portsmouth, Virginia on a pretty cold winter evening, 2011.

I used to 'hang out' with another kid across the road from me  – we lived out in the country – how far out do you say?  How about having an address of RD Box 91C in a Township?  Care to answer the RD part?  It stands for Rural Delivery.  Hmmm… can’t ever say that I’ve ever seen a farm in an urban setting… and a Township means that rural area that surrounds a town.  Mine did it in excess… you want to go to Jamesburg or Helmetta?  Sure – through Monroe Township.  Yeah, Jersey is like that – never happy with just one thing, gotta’ go for the twofers… anyhoot, we lived far away enough from town that we could do some ‘pretty interesting’ stuff that would be more than frowned upon today… we had small motorcycles – not the circus types, but small in engine size – well, small enough that folks believed that we only get into but so much trouble… yeah, right.  Anyhoot, in the winter of 1976, after plowing out a dozen driveways in the area and the road that connects them all – and no, neither one of us had a license but the cops tended to overlook that technicality as it helped them out and saved the Road Department time – by the time they got out to us, it would be half-past Spring… we got the clever idea of improving our existing motorcycle trails with the snowplow.  Through the woods.  No, we didn’t go over the hill to Grandmother’s house – we stayed in our little humble valley as such.  We had more fun just being our normal goof-ball selves (as most teenagers are).  Of course, this truck was fairly unique – a Chevy that was a cross-breed of various years.  The front was a 69, with a 71 engine, the bed came off of a 74 GMC, the doors were generally duct-tape shut – and not every time either… which was remembered during sudden turns when you ended up outside of the truck… whoopsies… yeah we had a hoot.  Not exactly Norman Rockwell’s envision of idyllic passing through the countryside as noted beforehand.  Today, although that row of homes still remains on Hoffman Station, the area has a new type of crop – McMansions – those things are sprouting up all over the place and in return our rural way of life is about gone.  Get that horse ride in before it’s too late…    

 

 

 


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