This sketch by Julie tells a great story! I’ve never seen the sort of winter storms she describes, but her descriptions almost make me feel like I have. The whole style of the sketch reminds me of my creative writing class; we just had an exercise about writing detailed descriptions of nature. It’s harder than it seems, and Julie did a great job here. I love the contrast between nature and city life that she writes about.
Read the story and let Julie know the parts you loved about her story and the things you wanted to know more about by submitting a comment.
I was born in Michigan, where there are storms every winter. Occasionally, we had thunder snow. There are lots of lake-effect storms. The winds usually blow from west to east and Chicago weather will be in Detroit the next day, picking up water in the lakes resulting in a heavy winter snow storm. Salt trucks routinely dump salt on the streets, making it easier to travel; also giving the region the nickname “Rust Belt.”
Heavy sleet and ice storms cover bare tree limbs and it looks like a fairy land, sparkling in the sun. Cars parked outside during an ice storm could have several inches of ice, making it impossible to see through windows or to get the doors unlocked — and also making many people late for work.
Every year the first snow means that most everyone will be two or more hours late to work. People forget how to drive in the snow. The traffic is so much slower it is backed up for miles. It is just expected every year, and most companies do not require employees to make up the time lost that day.
Sometimes the snow is so heavy that the cities have to shut down. No traffic is allowed on the streets except for emergency vehicles and people who were essential, for safety or medical occupations. Snowplows are constantly at work, trying to clear the streets of snow. Some of the snow is scraped up and put into dump trucks then taken to the Detroit River and dumped there. After the snowplows are gone, cars left parked in the streets have to be dug out. The piles of snow sometimes last for weeks before they melt. We felt like we were driving through tunnels of snow.
When I was a little girl, it was fun to sit in the back seat of the car when we were going somewhere and watch the snow as it seemed to fly through the window. Playing in the snow with my friends was always fun. If it was a wet snow, we could make a fantastic snowman. A great treat was to get an icicle hanging from the house roof and eat it, almost as good as a popsicle. We loved our Wonderful Winter Wonderland.
When our son, Luke, was born there was a storm that lasted several days. I remember standing at my hospital room window watching the snow fall down and pile up, waiting for Ward to come and visit us. The storm raged on after we were home from the hospital. One day Ward was picked up at 6:30 a.m. for work as usual and was back home at 11 a.m. They finally gave up trying to get to work, turned around and came back home.
Luke’s friend, Matt, lived next door. The year Luke was three years old, the snow drifts between our houses were higher than Luke was tall. I had to carry him and wade through the snow to visit Matt. As I carried Luke, his feet were dragging in the snow and we both giggled as we struggled to get through the snow to Matt’s house.