Childhood Memoirs: Lake at 2 yrs old; Blizzard of ’78

One weekend, my parents took us all to a lake house owned by fellow members of the church.  I remember sleeping in the little cottage, and the lake smell.  I think I had sandy feet.

We stopped at a little shop with fish and some ice cream, bars I believe.  I wanted and I believe I got the ice cream.

I actually swam around the lake as my dad watched.  It’s amazing because I was never able to swim again in my life, yet that time, I could do it.

I wore a bathing suit with a roller skate on the front, which had real shoelaces.

Then when we went back home, I was excited to finally go back to the “gold house,” which is what I called our home.

Years later, my mom was surprised that I still remembered this–and calling it the gold house.  Seems I was only about two years old.


The blizzard of ‘78 in South Bend is proverbial, still referred to on Facebook by my generation and the ones before, in little memes and pictures saying “Remember this?”  I was five.  I remember one of my parents opening the back door, and the snow went all the way up!  I don’t recall ever seeing it get that high in one dump, before or since.  Or even collectively.

My dad, of course, called Diebold, saying there was a terrible blizzard and there was no way he could get to work, roads are closed, etc.  But Diebold was based in Ohio, where there was no blizzard (yet).  They thought he was lying, and told him to go to work. !!!!!!!!!!!

My poor dad, and this was South Bend in 1978, not Wisconsin in 2022, where even a blizzard can be quickly plowed through.  One time about a decade ago, when we visited my family in the winter, it snowed and my husband hoped they’d plow it in time for our departure.  My brother snorted, because heck no, not South Bend.  Here in Fond du Lac, however, they’ll plow before the snow’s even done falling.

A runner-up to this year was 81/82.  That must be the year that I remember walking home from the bus stop on top of the snow banks between the sidewalks and the street.  It’s hard to remember, but for us not to use the sidewalks, they probably hadn’t been cleared.  But the banks were packed hard, so we could walk up there instead of sinking right through.

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