Winter 1978

Mid January was very cold and stormy for us, most of the East coast really, and it was a challenge but we were pretty well set for it.   As in the past we did experience power outages, but what else is new at this time of year.  We did learn something from earlier power outages.  Sterno to the rescue!!  We bought a new Sterno stove, alcohol for the burner and a Coleman lantern.

Much snow came to us on January 20. I was not able to drive to work. There was about a foot of snow, which is a lot for this area.  Not like upstate NY when the road snow blowers handle that much snow with ease.  The road was plowed in the afternoon. So what next? I discovered after I got out that I had a flat tire and was really stuck.  I had a company car and there was not a spare snow tire in it.  I pulled off the road best I could and let it sit there.  This did upset some people, but I could not drive it back home without help.  The Town police officer did come over with a four-wheel drive vehicle and with his help was back in my drive in about 5 minutes.  What a relief!!

And now after about a month of our furnace not functioning quite right, I installed a new relay and it now works properly. Another home improvement was a Radio Shack stereo that I bought from a guy at work.  It is almost new and works better than my old one, so an improvement in listening.

The girls were out of school for 3 out of 5 days due to the weather.  Louise has a cough but it was not serious, quite thankfully. As a break from shoveling snow, therapy or who knows what, I started building a scale model of a Black Plymouth coupé like my first car back in college.  Very nostalgic…fond memories of time in that car.

February brings yet more snow, not good.  We had the most snow so far than we have had in the 8 years since we moved here.  I even missed a day of work. Yet again, the road was not plowed but I took the car out anyway only to find that yet again I had a flat tire after I got stuck.  The car was a company car and the PP&L garage found that the rim had bent and this was the cause of repeat problems.

After the snow the weather warmed and rained.  Woe, Woe, what next?  We had water in the basement from the rain.  Almost Biblical travails this winter. The floor drain and the sump pump took care of the water but…what if we have another power outage?  Another possibility is that the septic system would saturate and back up. It didn’t though, but I did get up in the wee hours of the am , ready for the worst.

Marge and I  enjoyed a pleasant evening with another couple that we know.  We went to an amateur dinner theater production in Allentown.  The food and service were good and the production was enjoyable as well.  Something to do again when an opportunity arises.  And now the winter mini-plague, a cold or touch of the flu.  As usual I had a stiff neck and back as well as a headache.

For home improvement we purchased new carpeting for the family room.  The room does look better but we still need to get a pad for it in the not too distant future.

Mid February brought more snow to our area.  On the 7th we had yet another storm and this time I did get out of our drive but I had to back up because of the road being plugged up with snow drifted by the winds.  I did get to work in the afternoon and the city did a better job on the road’s snow removal that they did before. This weather is not routine for us but they did learn from the earlier experience.  Louise and Ingrid had more time off from school due to all the snow days.  More snow days that the district planned for for and so some holidays will have to be trimmed to get the required instruction days for the year.  We all hope that we will be able to have our regular Easter vacation but that is too early to know at this time.  We will see.

News from the culture front.  Marge and I went to see a production of Ibsen’s “A doll’s House” at the Rodale theater in Allentown. We went on the final night of the production and the company played to a full house.  We both enjoyed the play and I imagine it was more controversial when it was first produced.  The theater is having a bit of difficulty making a success of the venture.  They may have been overoptimistic about the potential for a new venture with a minimum of marketing.  Marge and I both hope they will make a go of it.

We did have a pleasant Washington’s birthday weekend.  We had a visit by Marge’s sister Pat, Adam, her fiancé and children Kathleen and Scott.  Adam seems personable and pleasant company and we did have a nice visit.  I hope everything works out well for them. No reason to suspect otherwise but “getting to know you” can sometimes be difficult for anyone.

As a Washington celebration, we took a trip down to Washington’s Crossing on the Delaware River.  We had not been there in some time and the park had additions and more displays since last visit.  Quite historical as is much of  this area.

In the evening we went to the dinner theater for a showing of the “Fantasticks” which we all enjoyed.

At last we experienced our first warm spell of the year and enjoyed weather into the 40’s. so much for the good news but…… which formed earlier had pushed up the flashing in the roof.  The water which was released by the thaw worked backward and into the upper house walls in some locations. I spent most of the day Saturday, as well as Sunday morning on the roof chipping ice.  I did remove it, but the water that came downward made the floor buckle up in some locations.  What next?  No more I hoped.

I made repairs by cutting into the floor, nailing down the subfloor and replacing the oak parquet floor blocks. We did not have costly damage, nothing that I could not handle by myself.  That took otherwise personal time and effort but the job got done.  I truly believe it looked quite good when I finished, especially considering how it looked after it buckled.

On Ingrid’s birthday the two of us went out for dinner together.  We planned to see “Close Encounters” but there was a long line at the theater. We went home and Ingrid and I went on Sunday afternoon.  We both enjoyed the father and daughter “movie date.”

On that note, Happy 1978 Easter.





About R. F.

I am a retired Professional Engineer who spent my working life in the electric utility industry. I am now a volunteer instructor at the University Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV).
This entry was posted in 1970-1980, Allentown, Binghamton, Coopersburg PA, memoir, Pennsylvania and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Winter 1978

  1. Allan Tucker says:


  2. Louise says:

    I kind of remember that year with all the snow days. Of course that was a highlight for me! I do not remember if/when they trimmed other holidays or if we had to go later in June. I’m sure nobody – students or teachers — wanted that.

  3. Kathilyn Bigler says:

    I love reading your writings!!!!!! I am currently hoping for more snow here as I love to sled ride with my German Shepherd!! Well, in reality I ride and he leaps along beside the sled with great joy!!! He also carries the sled back up and wants to keep going and going!!!! Such a sweet boy!!!
    I am so glad you and your made such special memories!!! I have great ones with my dear Dad!!
    God Bless!!!

  4. ingridmg2014 says:

    Quite coincidentally, I am going to be attending a play at some point next year that is based on the idea of what might have happened next, after the conclusion of “A Doll’s House.” I had never read the story so I recently checked it out of the library (and read it), even though I am sure that the playwright has written the play such that a person doesn’t necessarily have to know the back story prior to watching the play in order to enjoy it.

    I remember hoping for snow days so we kids could go outside and go sledding, or make snowmen, or play with the neighbor kids.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.