The Children's Blizzard
OK - raise your hand - how many people grew up reading the "Little House on the Prairie" series? (Now put your hand down) :)
Do you remember the book "The Long Winter"? How many people know that blizzard - that long, long winter really happened! It wasn't an exaggeration!
I have a very varied taste in books, and for some reason, this book struck a fancy in me - maybe because this is one of the first winters in a very long time that we've had so much snow.
It was such a different time that these pioneers lived in. They came from desolate poverty in their home countries and came to America for a better life. Those who came to the plains states found little of that - locusts, dust storms and, of course, blizzards.
This particular blizzard was not the longest blizzard. It didn't do the most damage, but it was one of the saddest. It was named "The Children's Blizzard" because this was the blizzard that killed the most children. You see - there had been blizzards all winter long, but on this day the snow stopped. The wind stopped. The sun was shinning and people were finally able to emerge from the houses and get some fresh air. People had been cooped up for days and weeks on end, and of course they were anxious to get out. The children wanted to go to school. Any many of them went.
The difficult it that blizzards tend to come up very quickly, and sad to say - too quickly for many people. It would start as a small could in the sky and within minutes - the snow and blinding wind would begin. Temperatures so cold it was difficult to measure. Leaving your house to go to the barn was almost impossible as you would get disoriented. (Remember Pa tying rope to the house and then tying to other end to the barn?).
Well - teachers saw the snow cloud and some of the children tried to make it home. Some never did. Some of the teachers didn't know that there was a blizzard until the wind and snow slammed into the school houses. Some of these people froze there because there wasn't enough fuel.
Yes - there are some depressing moments in this book, but there is also strengh and faith and the courage to carry on. I liked this book very much and I highly recommend it.