The recent record-breaking snow storm that paralyzed school buses, snow plows
and closed I-70 for about 50 miles has now all been piled up into huge snow
mountains. By last Monday almost everybody could get back to work, school and
doctor’s appointments but not those of us here on Whip-Poor-Will-Hill! A huge
lump of solid ice has accumulated in the small creek that we have to cross to
drive to the county road. Walt and his boys walked in last Sunday carrying
milk, mail and three days of newspapers. He then tried to make a dent in some
humongous snow drifts with our tractor and blade. A neighbor had come earlier
and tried that too, but the ice chunk and drifts stopped them both. We’ll need
a warm rain or dynamite to clear it out of the way.
Nancy and I dug into some early “Granny’s Notes” and decided that today we’d
share a favorite memory of another big snow: a snowy New Year’s Eve party --
The roads all over this part of the country were snow and ice packed; our good
friends Guy and Zee Bass couldn’t drive the 175 miles from Springfield for
their annual New Year’s Eve visit. Nancy and Walter E. were crushed, as we
were, too. I suggested that we drown our sorrows in a Pepsi and some leftover
“Let’s have our own New Year’s Eve Party,” Nancy whispered as we cleared
away the supper dishes. I agreed but said it was up to her to do it. She
pulled Walter E. into her room, outlining the party plans. Soon they brought
decorated paper hats for us all, and they gave us each a paper cup for
popcorn. There was to be a floor show right in our living room.
Walter E. was draped in a tea towel in his role as the New Year’s baby. He
announced the evening’s events and served the “champagne.” Nancy wore a sign
saying “Song Leader” and was dressed in high heel pumps and the bathroom
curtain. Underneath was revealed bright red shorts. She wore that garb like a
bosomless Marilyn Monroe in a mink stole. Walter E. announced that there would
be a cover charge of 2 cents and passed an ashtray to collect a total of 4
cents from we parent-patrons.
Songs for the floor show were original words to the tunes of “Happy
Birthday” and “Jesus Loves Me.” Following the music there was a drawing and
I was chosen to perform my lisping song. Then Chub was called to sing “Old
Miss Simmon Went a Swimmin’*”... but the kids stopped him before the chorus
because they couldn’t wait to get on with their own performance.
After a few impromptu acts, Nancy passed the popcorn and the New Year’s baby
served the “champagne,” the Pepsi wrapped in a towel. He popped the cork and
then poured the contents into my best crystal sherbet stemware. I held my
breath, but nothing was broken, and only a little spilled as the served the
four of us.
At exactly one minute till 9 p.m. we toasted each other and sang “Auld Lang
Syne,” singing the only words we could remember, over and over again. A short
game of Scrabble to celebrate 1958, and the kids were off to bed.
Sound like a tame way to greet the new year? On the contrary, it was a
memorable snowy night and we’ll probably repeat the floor show as soon as Guy
and Zee can make their belated New Year’s visit.