April Snow

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We had a bit of a snow “storm” Sunday morning. I didn’t amount to much, but enough to make the grass white - for a while. It didn’t stick to the sidewalks or the streets. For the most part, all traces of snow melted by mid-afternoon.

Mrs. Robin was hopping around in the snow looking for lunch, then she hopped over to a small puddle in the sidewalk and had a sip of rainwater. She was clueless that the snow on her tail signaled the official beginning of Spring.

The saying goes: Spring will come when it snows on the robin’s tail three times. To my recollection, Sunday’s snow was the third time since the first robins were spotted in our area this season.

April snow is not unusual. And not just snow, but outright blizzards. I’ve been caught in a few.

Iowa Press Women always held its Spring Conference in April and my friend Dorothy Muckey and I would head out on an adventure to another part of the state. No matter where we went, Dorothy and I always took the “scenic route” - sometimes right up to the door of a farm home or rural church that looked “interesting.”

It seems we always had good weather going to the conference. And most of the time we had good weather throughout the three-day weekend event. The trip home was uneventful - most of the time.

Then there were the years that we would get halfway home and run into a snow storm. Like the year we were coming home from the Quad Cities. The conference was held at Jumer’s Castle, which was somewhat of an experience in itself. When we departed about noon on that Sunday, it was raining. As we angled north and west, the temperature dropped and the rain turned to sleet and the sleet turned to snow. Not a big deal ... until ... we got about an hour or so away from home. The snow was heavier and drifts were forming on the roads. At some point, we realized that the plows had been pulled and we were on our own. Still, we plowed our way through several inches of wet snow, traveling slowly lest we slide off the roadway. The driver (Dorothy) held her gaze steadily on the road, staring into swirling snow. The passenger (me) held her gaze steadily on the side of the road, making sure we were not going to stray into the ditch, or worse, stray too far to the center of the road. The farther we drove, the more stressed we felt. It was dark and the hour was late when we finally arrived at Dorothy’s home in Algona.

I had only another half-hour to get home, but the road conditions and late night hour prevented that. I stayed the night in Algona, knowing I had to get back for work on Monday morning. It was well after noon before it was good enough to travel that last half hour to Emmetsburg.

That was not the only time we came home from the Spring IPW Conference in the snow, but it was the most memorable. You really had to be there ... with two crazy women ... in a car ... in a snow storm.

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