True northerners do enjoy the snow

Jerry Apps
This children in Jerry Apps' neighborhood had fun building a tall snow fort and a snowman.

With much of the upper Midwest covered by a decent coat of snow, the other day I got to thinking about what people do with snow. There is a small group who curse it and wish it would go away—those able to do so, go to Florida or Arizona for winter.

Those of us who I consider true northerners have a different attitude. (The only time I spent a winter with no snow was when I was in the army, stationed at Fort Eustis, VA in 1956.) Today, true northerners enjoy snowmobiling along with downhill and cross-country skiing, as well as snowshoeing, or merely hiking in the winter wonderland and perhaps snapping a photo or two.

 When I was a kid on the farm, we shoveled lots of snow—paths from the house to the chicken house. A path from the chicken house to the granary. A path from the house to the barn. A path from the barn to the pump/milk house, and several more. A major shoveling challenge was the driveway from the country road to the pump/milk house so the milk hauler could pick up our several cans of milk each morning.

Skiing, sledding, making snowmen, building snow forts, organizing snowball fights at the country school—these are fun snow memories. Kids today continue to have fun with snow. The photo above shows a snow fort that kids on our block in Madison built over several days. It’s as tall as their house. And what fun they had building it. 

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: So many memories of snow and how we enjoyed it as kids.

Jerry Apps

Jerry Apps, born and raised on a Wisconsin farm, is Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the author of more than 35 books, many of them on rural history and country life. For further information about Jerry's writing and TV work, go to