Thursday, March 6, 2014
This 2014 winter reminds me of the old time winters back in the late 40s and the 1950's. Winter consisted of continuous snow days and was taken with a grain of salt. It was winter, and that meant snow. No one was ever disappointed.
I lived in the city as a child and teenager, walking was a given. Kids walked everywhere, school, home for lunch, back from lunch, back to school, to the store, dentist, doctor. If parents didn't want their kids to go, they made them stay home and the next day wrote an excuse to the teacher that their child was sick. The adults walked also, everything a person needed to do was in walking distance when living in the city.
My friends and I played in the snow constantly. We made snow angels, built snowmen, went sled riding. had snow ball battles and built forts out of snow. I never went skiing or ice-skating. It was never mentioned or it wasn't popular with my group.
In order for the cars to go in the snow, ice, or both, snow tires always had to be used. All the cars were rear wheel driven during those years. When it was really bad, metal chains had to be put on all four tires. The chains had to be straight on the ground, then back the car on top of the chains, when that was done, the chains had to be connected to the two ends that were loose around the wheel.
In the glove compartment of the car was a box of monkey links. Every car had to have this box because if the chain busted it would continually hit against the inside of the wheel well and that could cause a hole.
If a chain would break you would have to see what chain it was and position the tire so you could connect the two broken pieces with the monkey link than the weight of the car would compress the chain together and you could be on your way. One thing you never wanted to do was drive on dry pavement with chains still on the tires, - they broke instantly. I can still remember seeing the cardboard box in the trunk with the rusty old chains inside.
They were truly a pain in the arse to use, but cars didn't have front wheel, all wheel, or four wheel drive back then, only Jeeps. Today the mail trucks, and fire trucks still use chains when they need them, They never know where they will end up going and even with four wheel drive, they still need chains in some situations.
I miss my Jeep, I could go anywhere driving and feel absolutely safe. Now I have a front wheel drive with winter tires. No, I do not feel safe in it and I hope someday I will again be driving a Jeep.
I loved being a city girl, and it was very difficult for me to adjust to not being able to walk to where I needed to go once I married. We lived in Port Vue, which is on a hill. In order to go to the store or visit the doctor's office, a person had to have a car to drive. We remained a one car family until we built our home in Springdale Township. With kids growing up and going here and there
we needed two cars and have had two ever since.