What were you doing during the winter of ’78?
That might seem like an odd-ball question, but for those of us living in the Midwest, January ’78 was the year of The Great Blizzard. So we remember 🙂
Needless to say we were home-bound, so my sisters and I started something like this~
The one we had in’78 was an original DoodleArt Poster. Remember those? They’re still around. I think ours was a tropical print.
The pictures are elaborately detailed with plants, animals or both and intertwining motifs. The bright markers against the black-line outlines give the posters a stained-glass effect.
Ours was rolled out on the card table in the front room, the new skinny markers scattered around it. It was a place to get away from the t.v. and each other. It was quiet in there . . . unless The Carpenters were singing from the 8-track, then there was singing with Karen and Richard. I know, the album came out in 1970 but we still liked them. “Why do birds suddenly appear . . .”
The beauty and challenge of the design is the intertwining. We’d begin coloring one leaf and end up following a vine twisting and turning across the paper. Sometimes we’d start a flower then butt against where someone else had started with a different color in another area. Watching the design gradually fill in was a little like time-lapse photography – the slow revealing of the picture.
Even with the occasional cabin-fever, the dwindling food supply and five of us cooped up in a small ranch-style house, I loved being snowed in. It was cocooning. In Ohio, evening darkness descends early; those first few days of the blizzard it seemed to never lift. Drifts reached the gutters and partially covered the windows. We played board games but working quietly on the poster seemed to match the stillness outside.
After about a week people were allowed on the main streets, even if the cars weren’t, and we were ready. My sisters and I walked half-way across town to our grandparents’ for jigsaw puzzles. Mom and Dad trudged to the grocery store and brought back what they could find and carry. The snow was still deep everywhere but just getting out changed the spirit inside the house. I don’t remember if we finished the poster.
This past weekend was the anniversary of that record-holding blizzard. South Carolina had its first wintry mix on Friday, Ohio was bracing for another icy pelting. I’d found this poster in a craft shop a few years ago. What better weekend to pull it out of the closet. It’s on my dining table with the markers. I can almost hear The Carpenters “There’s a kind of hush . . .”