hello and welcome to kablpomo 2012. henceforth, i’m hoping to have many pictures, lots of food, and tons of anti-hfcs/monsanto rage.
but first, a story. a tale of wonder and delight, snow and ice, electricity outage, and halloween treats.
yes, it’s been 21 years since the great halloween blizzard of 1991. what makes this worse than it actually being 21 years ago is the fact that i think 1991 was 10 years ago. ack, my youth.
but to get back to the matter at hand.
halloween was not the most anticipated holiday at the wallace farmstead, if only because our mother doesn’t like it. but we would dress up and terrorize the neighborhood for candy. granted, i was getting a bit old for halloween at 12 years old (ONLY in the traditional trick or treating sense; if it weren’t frowned upon, i would STILL trick or treat), but i was still in the age range where it was acceptable.
it was deliciously cold that year – there is a picture of us trick or treating at our aunt and uncle’s house with winter jackets over our costumes. after the regular halloween festivities of placing carved pumpkins on the fenceposts at the end of our long driveway, scouring the neighborhood, and then coming back home to sort through our candy and listen to our dad read the classic donald duck comic book about witch hazel, we went to bed.
i don’t remember much about the lead-up to the storm. it must have been predicted – we must have had some knowledge of a storm coming – my parents must have stocked up on milk and bread like every person does before a big storm. but i don’t remember it. i do remember looking outside in the middle of the night during the storm and seeing one of our cedar trees, which was in the shape of a cone, split into four separate parts, almost parallel to the ground where they were once perpendicular.
and unlike the majority of the state, which got bucketloads of snow, we got 3 inches of ice. when we woke up the next morning, the ground was a giant skating rink, the power was out, and our mom was in the kitchen with the gas oven open to heat the room.
when the power went out at our house, the kitchen was the place to be. in fact, the kitchen was the place to be when the power wasn’t out. the house was old, drafty, and must have lacked quite a bit in the insulation department. during the winters, we would race downstairs with our school clothes and get dressed over the heat registers.
so, thanks to the gas stove, we were able cook food and keep warm. thanks to the cold outdoors, we were able to keep our food cold. thanks to my aunt and uncle a mile and a half up the road, we had running water (they must’ve been on a different power grid because their power almost always came back before ours).
but this didn’t deter my dad from deciding we needed to take a trip into town. (this was also the case of the great state school closing of 1994 when gov. carlson deemed it too cold for school. we bundled up and drove into willmar to go grocery shopping.) my dad and i got in his orange and white pickup and drove into austin on the icy roads. downed trees and powerlines littered the streets, and it was eerily silent. we soon headed back.
after two days of gorging on halloween candy and huddling in the kitchen (and watching the mice scurry across the living room ), the power came back late in the day. we were saved! the roads cleared, the downed trees and powerlines cleaned up, it seemed like a storm had never happened. and the poor tree made its recovery soon enough.