Yesterday's Magazette

8 – Snow Magic

Snow Magic Of Yesterday

By Barbara Dodge

“Snow is on the way,” was a phrase that Dad would often say when I was growing up in the 1940s and 50s on our family farm near Eagle Grove, Iowa. I lived there with Mother, Dad, and my sister, Beverly.

Each year when Dad flipped the calendar to November, we would start to think of winter. “Will we have snow by Thanksgiving or Christmas? Will we make it to Grandma’s house?”

I can recall many of the fun and exciting things my sister and I would do after the first snow had covered the landscape in white with crystals of ice.

How exciting it was to get outside. We bundled up in snow pants, our red plaid wool jackets, snow boots, and a warm scarf tied in a knot around our necks. After helping Dad move snow, we were free to explore and play in this magical whiteness that only a child can love.


We would quickly make a snowman using a carrot for the nose, pieces of coal for the eyes and mouth, an old black hat for his head, and a scarf tied around his neck. I have a feeling we might have used sticks for arms.

“Let’s make snow angels,” I hollered to Bev, as we were dancing in the snow. We would lay down spread-eagled in the center of an undisturbed flat surface of snow. With our arms and legs extended, we would sweep them back and forth creating a trough through the snow.

If we did it correctly, the snow would have the appearance of an angel; our arms having formed wings and our legs having formed a gown.

Naturally, the next step was to decide who had made the best angel. I’m sure we probably called on Dad to make the final decision. What fun we had in some of those simple acts of play!

“How about having a snowball fight?” Bev would shout to me. We didn’t throw snowballs at our faces, but rather at our bodies. Remember how the snow had to be just right to make good snowballs?

Next, Bev and I decided it was time to get out the sled and check the ditches along the road to see if we could do some sledding. We had no place on the farm where there was a big hill to slide on, but that didn’t stop us from pulling each other on the sled, dumping each other off, or sliding down the ditches. Laughter filled the air as we played in God’s magical whiteness called snow.

Dad loved taking pictures. So, naturally, a new snowfall would give him the chance to do just that. I will always remember the year he took two small plastic Santas, dressed them in red, and stood them on green skis and placed them on a snow bank to get that perfect picture. We called these magical pictures that Dad liked to take his art form.

When the next snowfall comes and you find yourself feeling down, put your thinking cap on, a smile on your face, and recall your childhood memories of winter with snow and ice.

Yes, the long lost child in each of us is waiting to surface and reflect on the whimsical and childlike ways we played in the snow.

Vol. 40 – Copyright © Yesterday’s Magazette – 2013


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