General Non-Fiction posted March 19, 2017

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An ice storm in the fifties.

Mother Nature's Artwork

by prettybluebirds

I remember, sometime in the mid-fifties, a ferocious ice storm struck Michigan.
The wind howled throughout the night; shrieking around our old farmhouse like a demented being. Fork lightning cracked in the sky, followed by huge claps of thunder. The sky opened up, and a deluge of rain, sleet, and hail smashed the windows with tremendous force. Such a storm in the middle of winter was extremely unusual.

I pulled the quilts over my head and snuggled up to my older sister. The night seemed long with little sleep. Downstairs, my father paced the floor as he did when worried.

Come daylight; the silence seemed ominous following the storm. I ventured from under the warm covers to see what it looked like outside. What I observed was nothing less than awesome.

In all my life, I never saw anything as beautiful. In every direction, the land was sculpted, each fold of the ground, and every tree outlined in stark silver contrast to the crystalline dome of the sky. Everything glowed as if possessed with an unearthly tint of blue. The dawn seemed eerily bright in the frozen land.

In the front yard, electric lines were strung across the ground like broken guitar strings. Dad and my brothers crawled on their hands and knees to reach the barn and care for the livestock. Us younger kids thought it a grand adventure.

Fortunately, our family didn't rely on electricity to survive. Wood was our source of heat, and mom cooked on a wood cook stove. A pump-jack, run by either an electric or gas engine, provided our water. Even our toilet was a no-flush outdoor version. All-in-all, we fared better than our neighbors who depended on electric to live. Kerosene lanterns gave us plenty of light.

My dad did lose most of the young cherry trees he planted in the fall, and a lot of the older fruit trees sustained quite a bit of damage. Other than that, we came through in excellent shape. I never forgot the incredible beauty of the ice-covered land. It is something I will remember to my grave.

I Remember contest entry


I have never again witnessed an ice storm such as this one in the fifties. I must have been eight or nine years old at the time. I wish I had some photos of it, but I couldn't find any.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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