Column by Teresa Brooks
The radio station I listen to in the mornings is very entertaining. I got such a chuckle listening this morning that I had to laugh out loud. I bet people who pass by me probably wonder what kind of crazy woman I am, laughing while in my car all by myself. But listening to the radio crew’s crazy banter back and forth, and hearing them laugh, helps start my day on a lighter note.
The crew this morning was talking about winter, beautiful icicles, and people eating icicles. Some of the crew said they had ate them before, others thought eating icicles was disgusting.
In my mind, I reflected back to eating icicles off the roof of our house when I was young.
The conversation on the radio continued back and forth and led to how icicles form on the roof or gutter and that it could, and probably does contain bird droppings! As one crew member explained, birds fly and do their business and it falls wherever, be it on the roof, in the gutter, etc. Then it snows and the sun melts the snow into water, which runs down to the gutter or edge of the roof forming icicles. Therefore, the icicles you’ve eaten or licked could likely have… bird droppings, or remnants of, in them.
Yuck, yeah, I know. It IS disgusting! I apologize if I have offended anyone by writing about this, but I promise, it gets funnier. Bear with me.
Hearing the radio crew discuss icicles brought to mind a memory from years ago. My husband and I were both young, and the following was definitely a learning experience for both of us.
We bought and moved in to our current home on December 22, 1992. In March of 1993, a huge blizzard hit the eastern part of the United States. It was the most snow I believe I ever remembered seeing at one time.
We measured places in our yard that had 18 inches, and snowdrifts at our basement door measured well over 3 feet. It was awesome and so beautiful. (I like snow when I don’t have to drive in it.)
The weight of the ice and snow on the trees was just too much, and trees snapped like twigs. Electrical lines went down all across the United States. I read where over 10 million electrical customers lost service during that big winter storm.
Our lights went out, our heat went out, it really was a very trying time. However, we were blessed, as our electric service was only off for three days. Other people’s electric was off for much longer. Electrical companies and crews were stretched to their limits. Some crews traveled to other states to try to help out and restore service.
Although the windows in our old house were outdated, (we hadn’t gotten around to replacing them yet), and wind whizzed through our curtains making it so cold in our house, we were young and resilient. We weren’t going to let it get us down. We did what we had to do to stay safe and warm, and fared through it all pretty good, except for this one incident.
While sitting there, bored, I remembered we made snow cream after the first snow when I was little. It was so easy to make with just four simple ingredients; snow, milk, vanilla, and sugar, and I had the ingredients in my kitchen.
I asked my husband if he had ever had snow cream. He hadn’t, so I told him if he would go out and get a big bowl of snow, I would make him some to try.
He went out the back and was only gone a few minutes, when he came back in shivering, shaking snow off his feet onto our rug, with a big bowl of snow in his hand. I quickly got up and took the bowl into the kitchen.
I mixed in the ingredients and dished it out into bowls as he got the spoons ready. He grabbed his bowl and took a big bite. “Yum,” he said, shaking his head up and down motioning that he liked it. He took another bite, then another. Then with his mouth half full, he asked me what was in it. I told him, “snow, vanilla and sugar”.
Then he asked me what the hard crunchy things I put in it were. I was confused. I said, “I didn’t put any hard “crunchy” things in it.”
Immediately a thought hit me and I asked him where he had gotten the snow.
He said he had gathered it from our deck banisters and table. I couldn’t help but laugh, because our banisters and table were directly under a big redbud tree, and I guessed that the “crunchy” things might have been…bird droppings.
I told him what I thought, and watched the expression quickly leave his face as he spit out any and all remaining snow cream that was left in his mouth. He agreed that it was possible that it could have been bird droppings. Although he said he didn’t see anything in the snow when he gathered it.
I hadn’t seen anything when I stirred the ingredients all up, either. But, just to make sure, we both inspected the rest of the snow in the bowl and didn’t see anything else.
So, it may have been droppings, or it may just have been little balls of ice, either way, he couldn’t blame me for it, as he was the one who gathered the snow.
Thankfully he didn’t get sick, but he did try snow cream again with fresh “clean” snow, and from that moment on, we both were very careful about where we gathered snow to use in our snow cream.
When nature is involved, it is like Forrest Gump says, “Momma always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” I guess in our situation, we’ll never know what it was in that particular bowl of snow cream.