With the two recent winter storms, some would say March is coming in like a lion. However, our area didn’t fare too bad during these two storms. The southern and eastern parts of the state seemed to have more damage from the high winds of the first storm and we don’t seem to have gotten as much snow in the second storm as we could have.
So maybe March came in like a 2-year-old lion rather than a full grown one. In the old days, as grandma would say, we had several feet of snow in March. And, yes, I remember those snowstorms that seemed to blanket the area with a foot or two of snow from Thanksgiving to almost Easter.
In fact, I don’t have to strain my memory too much as just the other night Dad and I sat down and watched one of home movies made when I was little. Mom and Dad, thank goodness, would document our life by taking movies. Of course, back then it was the 8 mm film strips. Dad would splice them together and we’d have “home” movies. Later on he and mom had them copied over on to VHS tapes. One of these days I’ll have to put them on a CD and then onto the computer so they are preserved.
The VHS tape we watched was simply labeled 64-65, which I know means 1964-65.
The fun thing about home movies, at least our home movies is there is no order to them. Oh, they are label by year and those are the years on the videotape. However, once the tape is playing you may see Christmas, then Easter, then Thanksgiving, then Easter again. But that doesn’t seem to interfere with our enjoyment.
As we watched the screen the other night, Dad and I would name long gone family members and friends as they’d appear on screen. I think it must be from watching the movies so much as I was growing up that now I can recognize some of my grandmother’s friends from their hairstyle and their names instantly pop into my head. I find that interesting as I don’t always remember names that quickly.
The movie was of simple family gatherings or visits by friends and families. They were also of just day to day life – dad taking down the swing set in the fall to store it away until spring. Dad hitting a ball to my older brother Jim. I in my straw hat trying to get into position to get a ball but Jim wasn’t having any of that. I ended on the ground at one point, while Jim ran for the ball with what looked like a whiffle ball bat in his hand. All I can figure is he must be trying to hit the ball back to dad. Funny, we never see Jim try to hit the ball, he was just chasing the ones dad hit, the same as I was trying to do. A few screens later, and dad was putting a picked posy in my straw hat.
There were shots of scenery – all in black and white – that had dad and I pondering where they were taken. Some we knew but others we could only guess at. Was it Parker Dam or Lake Rene or Kyle Lake ... or none of them? It might have been something we passed on our Sunday afternoon drives.
Then there was the dancing – usually doing something similar to The Twist. I was always dancing, and Jim would join in. There was even one portion of the film that Grandma was dancing by herself in the living room. I’m not sure what prompted that but it was fun to watch her being young and spontaneous. We don’t often think of our grandparents in those terms.
This particular tape also had younger brother Brian showing up. He wasn’t quite ready to dance but there was shots of him holding on to the side of the crib and standing up and trying to do almost a jump move. He bounced up and down for the camera and we watched him go up and down for a few minutes.
The film offered slices of what our lives were like back then – us kids playing, dancing; mom taking the curlers out of her hair; dad taking us swimming at Parker Dam, or shoveling snow, etc. They showed what our parents were like, what our lives were like and helps boost our memories of those days. Each frame provided a flashback to what seemed, even on film, simpler days. We were always outside playing, even in the winter. Those snowstorms with several feet of snow didn’t keep us inside. We were out playing, bundled up in layers, for sure. Just watching that portion of the movie made me think of how we’d come back inside, taking off the outer layers at the door that were wet by then from melted snow. The wet mittens, scarfs and hats would be dumped in a pile, per mom’s instructions. Then it was time for hot chocolate and possibly a cookie or two.
I’ve grown out of the need to play in the snow, but hot chocolate and a cookie still sounds good.