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Snow Day

January 6th, 2014by Joe Ollier

People walking on the Ohio River, January 1978

The January I was in 4th grade at St Bart’s school in Cincinnati, we got hit with the biggest blizzard in the city’s history, followed by ridiculously cold temperatures.  Like sub-zero with wind chills that made it feel like 50 below.  It was so cold that the Ohio River actually froze over.  We missed school for 2 straight weeks, as much because of the cold as the snow. I still remember the snowdrifts that blocked our back door, and using a pick axe to break through the ice so we could clear our driveway. After the first week, instead of cancelling a day at a time, our school called off for the whole next week, and we had to come pick up a packet of work to do at home and turn in on the day we returned.  Somehow that still didn’t dampen our fun.

Since we lived near the end of a cul-de-sac, the plows dumped everything in front of our house, creating snow mountains that were easily a million feet tall, give or take a few hundred thousand.  We used them to play king of the hill and to dig burrows through our front yard.  Our goal was to create a tunnel long enough for us to crawl from the curb back to our garage, and we came pretty close.  Our back yard had a hill that was great for sledding, and that year we created a luge run that bordered on deadly fast.  If you hit the curve just right, you got launched over the side and into the creek.  How we didn’t break any bones is still a mystery.

Looks like this winter is shaping up to be a doozy as well. Now, my family will tell you that I’m no fan of cold weather and they’d be right.  I’ve even been known to praise global warming. (Is there a downside to Dayton becoming a Tropical rainforest?)  I’m kind of a wimp when it comes to cold like this, but I promised them I wouldn’t complain anymore about it, so I won’t do that.  Instead I’ll just keep wearing 16 layers of clothes and smiling through my scarf (and that’s in the house!).  To all you cold lovers, I say, “Happy Winter!”  And to the rest of us sane people, just remember, it only a couple months until the Reds report to spring training!


Joe Ollier

Joe Ollier is the Coordinator of Youth Ministry at Ascension Parish in Kettering where he and his family are. He has 20 years experience in youth ministry and a Masters Degree in Theological Studies from the University of Dayton.