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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • TODD G. HIGDON: Snowstorms of writer's past remembered

  • As I am writing this column early Wednesday morning, I notice that snow flurries are flying through the air, my only thought – no more accumulation.
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  • As I am writing this column early Wednesday morning, I notice that snow flurries are flying through the air, my only thought – no more accumulation.
    I remember growing up in Newtonia, on how the snow would come and for the most part, it would be up to the 2-feet mark, canceling school and giving the school children a snow day. I can't remember the year, but it must have been in the early 1980s, one winter, Greg and I and some friends of ours decided to meet at our house and build a snow fort, equipped with tunnels.
    We built the snow fort where my parents would have a summer garden. We were out there for hours upon hours, hoping to make the fort and use the fort before a heat wave would come through and melt it. It was a success. We had built it and played in the fort for a number of hours. And there is nothing like having an old-fashioned snowball fight. I remember back then that the snow was more compact, unlike what we experienced recently with it being a heavy wet snow.
    As I was driving around in the snow recently, I also remembered a couple of snowstorms that caused our electricity to fizzle out in years past. One such storm was back in 1987 or 1988 – on Christmas. We had just unwrapped our gifts at Mom and Dad's house, and were getting ready to go to Nanny and Pop's house down the road for Christmas dinner. Shortly after other family members made it in from Neosho, the lights started to flicker, a few minutes later (and yes the dinner was all cooked), the electricity went out. We ate and prayed that the electricity would come back on – it was out for days.
    For the next few days, we cooked using our fireplace. Prior to the loss of power to the water tower, which serves Newtonia and Stark City, we put water into one of our bathtubs so that we could use it to flush the toilets. And we even slept in the front room by the fireplace to keep warm at night. I also remember that we shared stories and used candles in the night. We also played board games.
    About the third day into that storm, we drove into Neosho to eat at Pizza Hut. On our way out of town, I remember we drove by Don's Honda and they had a sign for a generator. My parents almost bought one, but with the price being too high and the roads being cleared, plus the electricity to be back on the following day, they opted to not purchase a generator and save up to purchase it later on.
    Fast-forward until 2007, and we all know that mid-January ice storm, we were without power from five days to even two weeks depending on where you lived. Personally, my parents were without it for 13 days. By the third day into the storm, Mom and Dad decided it was time to purchase a generator. They went to Neosho first, finding they were already out of stock. They then traveled to Joplin and I remember them saying there were only two on the shelves at this particular location – they bought one of them.
    Page 2 of 2 - I hope that this recent snowstorm will be our last for this winter. But if not, I think that it is time that Tina and I put an emergency kit together with spare food, water and a lot of candles.
    Todd G. Higdon is a staff writer and writes a weekly column for the Neosho Daily News. He can be reached at tghigdon@neoshodailynews.com. Follow him on Twitter at @toddghigdonNDN

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