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  • February 10th, 2009 | 11:21 AM
Tuesday memory challenge - cold weather

It's been a wee bit cold here in California which made me think about the weather when I was a child. I'm thinking just cold, winter weather now.

I remember that we had floor furnaces with big grates, 3 feet long by 18 inches wide. They would get so hot when they'd been on for a while but I'd come in from outside, freezing, and I would stand on the grates in my tennis shoes. When I stepped off because I couldn't stand the heat, the bottoms of my shoes would have melted valleys from where I stood on the grates.

When I had the attic bedroom my grandmother or my mom would open the door to the attic early in the morning and then shut the other three doors that surrounded the grate. The idea was that the heat would rise to my bedroom because there was no heater up there at all. It never got toasty warm but it did take the edge off and help me get out of bed.

In the kitchen we would shut the pocket door from the kitchen to the dining toom and shut the door to the back porch. Then Nana would plug in the big space heater. It was tan with a grate on the front and I could stand in front of it until the backs of my calves were on fire. I remember it had a cloth-covered cord and I love to watch the inside of it turn bright red as it made the room, if not toasty, a little bit warmer.

I remember that hot chocolatewas best when it was freezing out. We made it with powdered Ghirardelli chocolate that came in the orange canister and had a lid that you had to pry open with a spoon. I liked to try save the canisters for a bank or storage but it was cardboard and always melted when I tried to wash it out. Marshmallows in the hot chocolate was a rarity. I can't remember having them very often. I do remember hot buttered toast that I would dip in the chocolate though. One of my favorite comfort breakfasts as a child.

I remember rainboots I had to pull on over my shoes and I didn't like them at all. And the funny looking clear shot booties my mom had to wear over her high heels.

That's about all I can remember but then California wasn't super cold very often.

Your turn. What do you remember about cold weather as a child?
There are so many stories only you can tell.Tell them, please.


( 5 comments — Leave comment )
February 10th, 2009 07:35 pm (UTC)
I grew up, in two extremes, really.

In North Carolina (Charlotte) we got a dusting of snow and automatically, no school. That lasted until I was about 11 -- after the trampling. I always thought NC was cold cold.

... Then we moved to Ohio.

I learned about cold. My first snowfall, I was still in a wheelchair and couldn't go anywhere. The cold made my bones ache and I decided that hibernating was a really, really smart thing to do.

Mostly, I don't have any winter memories, save sitting in my wheelchair, buried in blankets, watching my siblings play in the snow.
February 12th, 2009 11:12 pm (UTC)
Brrr...the image of you in the wheelchair buried in blankets, watching from the sidelines...you twang my heart, again.
(Deleted comment)
February 12th, 2009 11:13 pm (UTC)
"I hate cold weather. It terrifies me."

Wow! That's like the first line in a book!
February 10th, 2009 08:14 pm (UTC)
I remember Mom kept the upstairs registers CLOSED because unheated bedrooms were healthier. Of course, we had a big open staircase, so it wasn't like we were freezing to death. I remember Dad's 4-buckle overshoes. I remember a snowfort that was built in December and we played in it until the middle of March. I remember my best friend Valerie singing "Holy Mackrel there, Randy!" (a song she made up, and I call still sing it!) I remember eating icicles, and my mother telling me that's why I got a sore throat. (Never had my tonsils out until I was 21). I remember laying over the register to dry my hair, because you MUST NOT go to bed with wet hair. Especially in winter.

I remember climbing up the hill and belly flopping on my sled. Tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, after HOURS spent outside playing in the snow. I remember great big snowflakes, the size of saucers, it seemed. I remember someone built a LARGE snow-rabbit one winter, and I do mean LARGE (8 feet tall, I think).

I remember flannel pj's and big warm bathrobes and fluffy slippers. I remember learning to skate in our driveway, in a pair of figure skates that were black and white - one of each. My mother knit the best mittens!

I remember that winter was much more fun before I was 10 years old.

Edited at 2009-02-10 08:17 pm (UTC)
February 12th, 2009 11:15 pm (UTC)
Oh, grilled cheese sandwiches, yes, they were totally cold weather food!
( 5 comments — Leave comment )

Who am I?I was born on the Cancer/Leo cusp and share a birthday with Ernest Hemingway and Robin Williams. The similarities don't stop there as I can go from depressed to ecstatic without ever passing go. I feel scared most of the time though my friends call me brave and I find it easier to believe in my friends than to believe in my own abilities to make what I want out of my life.

Who am I? A wife, a mother, a daughter, and even, gulp, a grandmother.

Who am I? A writer who never gets tired of playing with words, even when the words are hard to find. A writer of books for children and articles for grown-ups and many things in-between.

Who am I? A motivational speaker, writing instructor, workshop leader and full-time follower of dreams.

Who am I? Read and find out.

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