A Snowy, Blowy Memory

May 25 – Here’s a memory from the late fall of 1956…


1956 Thanksgiving Storm

As the train rattled along towards Erie, my husband Dale stared gloomily out the window. “I’ve never seen so much snow in my life!” he muttered. “Those drift must be 10 feet high, and listen to the wind. A real blizzard…”

“Don’t worry, we’ll soon be home, and Frank will be at the station to meet us no matter how much snow there is!”

Three days before, Dale and I had landed in New York, on our way home from Rhodesia where I had served as a missionary teacher. He had grown up in Africa where his parents had been missionaries for 25 years.

The train slowly pulled into Union Station. Snow was everywhere, both coming down and pushed into huge piles. Outside, I found a different world. Because of the high winds and blowing snow, I could see nothing I recognized. No traffic, no people – except for my brother! There he was, bundle up in a heavy coat, stocking cap, and scarf hat covering his face.

Giving me a bear hug, he said, “Hi, Sis! You didn’t think I’d make it, did you?” Oh yes, I did. Faithful Frank; he had always been there when I needed him.


Pa sitting outside the Zimmerman Road house

After meeting his new brother-in-law, Frank led the way to his car sitting in the middle of what should have been 14th Street, but was now a snowfield. With the luggage loaded and the windshield cleared, the car moved very slowly onto State Street. We slid, we inched our way, we used the shovel many times as we got stuck. We passed not a single car or bus, but two hours later we were on the porch of my parent’s Zimmerman Road home.

Inside, the stove was giving off the red glow I remembered. Mom and Pop, with smiles on their faces, but tears in their eyes, hugged me and hugged their son-in-law whom they had never met, welcoming us home. After five years of trying to celebrate the best of American holidays in a British country, it was good to be home once more. I was more than thankful for my family, and especially for Frank who had made sure we actually got there! – CHRIS

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