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Thursday, Apr. 17, 2014

Snowballs, sledding and snow ice cream spark fond memories

Posted Friday, December 17, 2010, at 11:50 AM

With all of the recent snow, freezing rain, ice, sleet, school closures and delays, it conjured up some fond memories of my childhood and those very rare days that we got off from the classroom because of snow.

My how things have changed?

Snow days didn't happen very often during my school days. In fact, I can think of very few, but when they happened, the fun we had was epic.

Do you remember what it was like to play in the snow as a child?

Do you remember putting on your warm gloves, your heavy winter coat, your stocking cap and how good it felt to go outside and form the first snowball of the season?

That was usually followed by a warm-up treat of hot chocolate with marshmallows.

Do you remember how proud you were when you built your first snowman?

Today, a lot of us gripe and grumble about having to get out and slip and slide around as we carefully maneuver our way to work when wintry weather hits.

When you're young, you don't have to worry about shoveling the white stuff or about getting the car out of the driveway.

You can just enjoy the moment.

I have wonderful memories of sliding down snow banks. Sometimes you did it with your sled, but other times you braved the cold and slid down the snowy bank on your back or on your frozen numb backside.

Who can forget the exhilaration of reaching the bottom of the hill, breathing in the crisp, winter air as you joyfully pick yourself up and head back up the snow hill to do it all over again?

What's your favorite childhood memory about snow?

I asked some friends to share their snowy recollections.

Worthington's Vern Spoor reminded me that he used to ride down a snowy hill on car hoods. He said early '50 Chevys worked the best because they had sides and front so you didn't get thrown off. Fords were too flat. When they would wear out, they'd let the man know that ran a junkyard and he would bring them another one.

I remember using a waxed refrigerator door as a homespun sled at my wife's grandparent's farm in Perry County. Now that was a real adventure that left you dangling with not much steering ability, but the speeds were nearly equal to a modern-day roller coaster.

Another Worthington resident, Kathy Newby Inman, remembers going sledding on the big hill between Holy Name Catholic and the First Baptist Church in Bloomfield.

"Our goal was to find the fastest sled we could to try and hit the doors to the church," she said.

Linda Weiss, a friend from Tell City, made me remember the good times we had sledding on a big toboggan on the levy not far from Main Street. When the Ohio River was high it was a fun and darning game to see how close we could get to the icy cold water with the sleds without actually going in.

She also helped me to remember the city filling up the old pool and letting it freeze over for our own ice skating rink

I remember as a kid that the fire department would hose down a couple of large hills in town when freezing weather was predicted and it soon transformed into a fantastic place to sled.

However, it was dangerous and the practice was discontinued after a couple of serious sledding accidents.

There are plenty of childhood memories of snowball fights.

Was there ever really a winner in a snowball fight?

And who can forget the taste of wonderful snow ice cream?

Making it was a real treat -- especially when the snow was fresh.

First, you collected about 4-5 cups snow. It was easiest (not to mention cleanest) to get a mixing bowl and set it out before the snow starts falling.

Just a reminder. No matter what make sure the snow is white and not yellow.

We kept the collected snow in the freezer (or outside) until we were ready for it. Then we gathered the simple ingredients -- 1 cup of milk; 1/2 tsp. vanilla; 1/2 cup sugar; and 4-5 cups snow.

We'd mix the ingredients in a saucepan on medium-low heat and stir constantly until the sugar melted. Then, we'd put the mix in the fridge/freezer until was cold. (freezer, about 30 minutes - fridge, about 1 hour).

When the mix was cold, we'd get it out and mix it in the snow, stirring constantly. The result was a wonderful yummy treat.

Oh, those childhood memories are so sweet.

What's your favorite childhood memory about snow?

Nick is assistant editor for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or 1-800-947-4487; by e-mail at schneider.nick@gmail.com or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/page....

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When I was a kid, my family always went sledding at Shakamak State Park (when you could hook sleds to the back of a vehicle). We'd hook up several sleds to the back of a truck and sled for hours. Then, we'd head back to whatever cabin we had rented to warm up around the wood stove and drink hot chocolate. After everyone warmed up, we'd go back out and sled all through the park again. Such good times!

-- Posted by ISUgrad06 on Fri, Dec 17, 2010, at 1:08 PM

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