Green Fields and Leaves and Blossoms of Gold

It is pleasant to think, just under the snow,
That stretches so bleak and blank and cold,
Are beauty and warmth that we cannot know,
Green fields and leaves and blossoms of gold.

-Fay Hampstead, American poet (1847-1934)

Here is the snow all bleak and blank and cold.

Green Fields from last summer


Blossoms of Gold (False Sunflower)

We've experienced 35 days of winter so far and have 54 more days until the official start of spring. Winter seemed to start later this year, with our first real snowfall on Sunday.

Today, by the way, marks the 29th anniversary of the "Blizzard of '78", as we old-timers call it, a blizzard that set records which, thankfully, have not been broken. And where was I? I was at Purdue University. A freshman. (I'll let you decide if you want to do a calculation of my age with that little tid bit of information.) We had a lot of snow. A lot of snow. For the 1st time in the history of the university, classes were canceled... for two and a half days.

One of the big bonuses of the blizzard was a chance to go to a basketball game for free. Purdue vs. Minnesota. The Minnesota team was already in town, stuck, so they decided to go ahead with the game, and somehow got the word out that they would let students in for free if they just came to the game. So several of us bundled up and trudged through the waist high snow to the arena. (Okay, it wasn't waist high snow, but we did trudge a bit). I don't remember who won the game, but I know I loved going to that game and I quickly regretted that I had not purchased a season ticket.

But I purchased season tickets the next three years. You know who I saw play during those years? Magic Johnson, with his Michigan State team. We beat them in the LOUDEST basketball game I've ever attended. Larry Bird from Indiana State came for a game, too. I can't remember who won that game. Of course we did not know at the time that we should pay close attention because they would be Hall of Fame basketball players. We did know they were good and there was a buzz about them.

I'm thankful I've never seen snow like that since then. I'm also thankful that we did get some snow this year, finally. It just seems right, like it is really winter. And when it is really winter, we are much more appreciative of spring.


  1. "And when it is really winter, we are much more appreciative of spring."

    Carol, you almost make me wish for a real winter in my garden. Probably our mild winters are why I don't eagerly look forward to spring. I always think of spring as the beginning of summer, my least favorite season, although, to be sure, spring is Austin is quite pretty. Is that how you look at fall---as the beginning of winter?

  2. Pam... I look at fall as the end of summer. Spring here is quite pretty as well. We go from browns and tans one day and then almost overnight, it is suddenly all green.

  3. The blizzard of 78 occurred on the day I was to get my driver's license. To this day, I'm sure my parents arranged for that blizzard to delay my journey to independence - LOL!!

    I love the change of seasons. Life would be very boring without them. I love the deep snows, I love the storms of spring and the changes that seem to occur overnight. I like the heat of summer, and I love the changing leaves of fall. I love them all!

  4. I've always said I wouldn't want to live in a place with only one or two seasons (warm & warmer). But as I get older I"m re-thinking about that, not that I would consider being a snowbird (people who go to Florida in the winter)

  5. I was stuck by myself in the Blizzard of 78, but my husband had a rocking good time. He longs for another blizzard and every year makes plans for how we will spend it.

  6. You saw Magic Johnson AND Larry Bird? Even for those of us with minimal interest in sports that's impressive! The big games at my college were basketball - we had no football team - and I liked live college games, too.

    Sometimes I miss being out in snow - but I absolutely do not miss driving in it. We know some retired IL and IN people who can stay active by spending winters in Florida. Age and mobility issues had them trapped indoors in their northern homes.

    But, oh Carol - Snow is so beautiful!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  7. I was two years old during the Blizzard of '78... my poor Mom was dealing with me, 6 months pregnant with my brother, and worried as heck about my Dad and his coworkers. (They all worked for ODOT, doing maintenance in the summer and plowing in the winter.)

  8. I loved "sister with the homesteads" post about the delay for her drivers license!
    The snow that we remember here in Illinois was "The storm of 82" Everything here stopped. We were lucky and lived in walking distance of a store. It was a mess for days. The boys were toddlers and I was pregnant with our daughter. My husband managed to walk a few blocks for milk, bread, etc. I remember piles of snow lasting well into spring that year because the snow fell in March.


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