Deep Snow

Okay, I admit it. I’ve been thinking a great deal about deep snow recently.

When I was a child growing up in southwestern Iowa, my dad would regale the family with stories about how he and his siblings walked three miles through waist-deep snow to reach their one-room, country schoolhouse. We never really took his stories seriously. But this week’s blizzard made me reconsider that dad’s tale was more than a family legend.

It wasn’t just that the whole of southeastern Iowa was blanketed by more than a foot of snow Tuesday night. We experienced a raging blizzard with 35–50 mile per hour winds throughout the night that whirled the fluffy stuff into massive drifts. Wednesday morning, we awoke to the reality that we were snowed in. There wasn’t a spot in our eastside Iowa City neighborhood that wasn’t covered in three, four, or five-foot drifts. How were we going to walk our senior golden retriever, Quinn, in all that snow?

Bundled up and dragging the pooch behind me, I ventured outside. I learned in seconds what a feat it is to walk through hip-deep and higher snow—nearly impossible! The effort zaps your strength quickly, all the more so with a very reluctant dog trying to pull me back to the house. Quinn’s head was buried as he attempted to snow plow his way through the drifts. We repeated this process often over the next two days, until the snow removal service arrived late yesterday afternoon to clear our street. I can’t begin to tell you how relieved I was to see them!

I have a newfound respect for my father and his siblings, who made their long trek to school day after day through Iowa farmland drifted shut by deep snows. I feel connected to my dad and that Iowa pioneering spirit that founded our state and the university, if only because I fought my way through deep snow repeatedly with Quinn. No one in the nation seems immune from the winter realities of struggling against the worst mother nature can throw at us this year. May Punxsutawney Phil’s weather forecast come true. Let spring be just around the corner!

Susan E. Sweeney
Alumni Records Manager

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One Comment

  1. Norman Lyzenga
    Posted February 10, 2011 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Sounds like some of the same stories my dad tells of growing up just across the Iowa border in Leota, MN. I like the one about snow so high only the tops of utility poles showed. FYI, here in Michigan we received our total usual February snowfall in 6 hours on the 2nd

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