Fall snowstorms had dust in them

From our December 2012 issue

By Hilda Hass – Saskatoon, Sask.

One storm I remember was in January 1946. It snowed and blew for three days.

We were expecting our first baby and I had a doctor’s appointment in Saskatoon. We couldn’t get out of town with horses so my husband and I caught the 3 p.m. train in Dundurn for Saskatoon. There were a lot of people we knew on the train, because of blocked roads.

We got to the appointment okay, but what do you do for all those hours until the train left again for home at 11:30? You couldn’t do any shopping after 6 p.m. in those days, so we had supper out and then went to a show. There still was lots of time to wait to catch the train.

It was not too comfortable trying to get some rest on those cold, old benches in the railway station. We arrived in Dundurn at 12:30 a.m. Our home was only two blocks from the station, but because of the storm, we were pretty cold by the time we walked home.

We had to shovel the doorway open before we could get in. Then we had to start a fire in the stove and the wood heater. There was no furnace to keep your place warm.

The water pail had a skim of ice on it. By the time we got the house warmed up and a couple of hours of sleep, it was time to go to work.

Our little house was cold in winter and hot in summer. It had no insulation of any kind in it.

The second winter we got an oil heater, and we had to fill a tank on the back of it. It smelled of oil all the time but at least it kept a more even heat. When we went away, we just turn it down and there would be some warmth when we returned home.

Several years were very dry. There were so many duststorms – even our first snowstorms in the fall would have lots of dust in them.

What a duststorm it was when we had some rock wool insulation blown into our place! Everything in the house had to be washed. There was dust from one spot to the next. However, it sure made our little place a lot warmer and saved on our fuel bill.

In 1950 we had our second baby. In January and February when I had to go for doctor appointments, we had a time getting to the city and back home because it was storm after storm. We had a lot of snow that year. The snowbanks were as high as the telephone poles and when it blew you could hardly see where you were going.

One time, we were about 10 miles from Dundurn when it started to blow really bad. My husband had his head out of the car window on one side and me on the other watching so we didn’t go into the ditch. I was never so glad to get home as I was that day.

We complain of roads today, but believe me you never forget those old days and snow.