Tattered Past

Tattered Past: My ongoing journey through genealogy, history, writing, self-exploration and art. ~~~ Rita Ackerman

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Kansas Winters

I lived in Kansas until I was thirteen. Yes, I had to walk to and from school in the snow. It wasn't fun and I don't miss it one bit.

I was talking to my massage therapist yesterday and she said, "I'd rather sweat than shovel." We were discussing how people in Arizona complain about the summers but they are shorter and easier to deal with than the winter most of the country is having.

This photo is from Montezuma in southwestern Kansas. I don't know the year but I'm sure it was a common sight.

The article below was cut out and saved by my great grandmother, Nellie Keith Martin. The date is February 7, 1956 but the story is from 100 years before that. 



Basically the story is that Miss Martha Perkins, about 16 years old, went to visit her brother-in-law and on the way home it started snowing, hard. She was on foot and lost her way a mile from home and took shelter in a deep bushy ravine. She was able to build a little house out of weeds and spent the first night without food, warm clothing and fire.

The next morning she started out again but went the wrong way. She wandered through the day sometimes in four feet of snow. That night she built another weed house where she lay for days. Finally a search party found her. She had been lost in the storm for four and a half days in weather reaching 17 to 20 degrees below zero.

Somehow she kept herself awake during that time fearful that if she fell asleep she would never wake up. The prognosis was that she would totally survive although at the time of printing they weren't sure if she would loose some toes.


Here's another Kansas winter with my great grandmother standing in front of the family home with five of her grandchildren including my mother on the far right.

Imagine all the winters she saw during her lifetime first in Illinois and later in Kansas. I'm glad I don't live where it snows and am certainly glad I don't have to deal with the cold as she did.

Did you grow up or do you still live where there are heavy winter storms? Do you have stories to tell of your own or somebody else's struggles with living in that type of weather?