Central New York Research. The eclectic ramblings of doing genealogy and growing up in that part of Upstate New York that is the central and Finger Lakes regions. With ancestors all over the northeast and beyond, there will be forays outside the area with trips and news on family history as well as local history.
As things have been slow on the genealogy –front around
here, I’m posting a writing that I did from a prompt I got from Amy Coffin in
her The Big
Genealogy Blog Book, which I have
started using to try to record childhood memories and stories from farther
back. Even if you don’t blog, it is great to use some of these prompts to get
you thinking and record those memories for future generations. Who knows, you
might even be able to create a book out of them!
We lived when I was growing up in the 1970s below where the
Lake Effect storms from Lake Ontario usually hit, so our storms weren’t that
bad. We’d get at least one blizzard each winter that dumped a foot or more of
snow on the ground before it ended, but nothing like what the Tug Hill plateau
an hour or so away got. Winter was cold and snowy, but to a kid it was just
In front of the barn after a storm
I looked forward to sledding in the backyard and building
snow forts. I had an active imagination and would drag the sled all over the
place going on expeditions and building outposts and houses in “the wilderness”
of our yard. For much of my childhood there were two other yards that I was
free to play in, making quite a stretch of area for me. Next to our house was a
building that contained my mother’s craft shop where she sold crafting
supplies, just beyond that was a mobile home site where my brother lived.
Therefore, these two backyards were free reign and used.
Mostly I was playing alone with my imagination, as I was an
“almost-only” child as my parents termed it. At other times my brother had his
sons there and I played with them- just 5 and 7 years younger than me, they are
far closer in age to me than my brothers who were 17 and 21 already when I was
One activity from the other seasons that I missed was
camping. I loved going camping and except for a few rare trips, the camper was
in storage for the winter. In fourth, sixth and eighth grades, though, it came
out was loaded up and we headed out on an extended campout. The first night
would be in southern Virginia, the next night in the Carolinas or Georgia and by
the third night we’d be in Florida where we remained for about three weeks.
Camping about 1974 or 75
I can’t remember many changes in food during the winter
months. There were the special days with special, more elaborate meals to be
sure. Christmas dinner, Mom’s birthday, Dad’s birthday and then near spring,
Easter. Otherwise, it was routine, we weren’t grilling out so there were less
hot dogs and macaroni salad. I’m sure there was more hearty winter type food on
the menu, roasts and stews, but nothing drastic enough to make a child notice.
Mom never panicked over storms either. If we got snowed in, well, we would be
snowed in. There was plenty of food in the cupboards and the freezer to last
out any storm. About the only thing that might run short would be milk and
there was always a box of powdered milk used more in baking, but could be
brought out if necessary.
We were country, but our road was a main north and south
route from the village of Moravia, north along the lake to the city of Auburn.
It would likely be one of the first in the area plowed out. Dad would have the
drives cleared and if necessary, could swing south five miles to the village
for added supplies easily with his four-wheel drive truck. He usually headed
north to work in the morning, but on occasion he’d go just about a mile and
turn around. The town of Moravia had plowed, but the town of Niles hadn’t yet,
so when he got to the town line, he changed his route. Back he’d come, tooting
as he went by to let Mom know the roads were exceptionally bad and also to expect
school would be closing I imagine. Into Moravia, a quick right at the first
four corners and he was on “the state road”, Route 38 north along the other
side of the lake into Auburn. This took a little longer, but in those instances
was the best choice.