Pat Shingleton: "A Slip on the Ice and Covered in Snow"
Yesterday's massive snow event in the northeast will guarantee a white Christmas for those locations. Years ago, an episode of winter weather prompted disciplinary actions from my father. After Mass at St. Agatha’s Church in Ellwood City, PA, Dad would routinely purchase the Youngstown Vindicator or the Pittsburgh Press from the portable news stand. This particular Sunday was snowy as sheets of ice coated the sidewalks and church steps. Unless cleared by the parishioners and without the use of treated salt, care and extra time was needed to navigate the approach and exit areas/ Outside the church, visiting with friends, a robust lady proceeded down the steps, lost her balance, slipped on the ice and went airborne. Spinning and swirling across the icy sidewalk in the midst of ohhhhs and ahhhs she landed next to my brother Mike and me. For every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction. Our Dad was a butcher and had huge hands. Whenever a disciplinary action was initiated a curled middle finger protruding from the fist created the “thump;” launched to the back of the head. So, as the lady slid to our feet, I imitated an umpire and yelled, “Safe!” In the confusion and thinking Mike made fun of the sliding lady, Dad gave him the “thump.” In our younger years, there was excitement at the approach of a snow storm. Reminiscing about another winter item. Our dog "Pooch" was an outside dog and had a dog house adjacent to a chicken coop. When the temperatures dropped and the snow was flyin’ he spent the night in the basement, next to Uncle Emery – there for other reasons. Another treat were the North Sewickley Township snowplows. The eight foot embankment in front of our house, at a 45 degree angle, was where you got the best blast.
We would await the snow plow, settle into the snow covered embankment and once the plow scrapped the road, we were covered – with three feet of snow.
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