Spring blizzards on the South Dakota prairie are uncommon, but they do happen. This week’s weather reports and pictures posted by friends who live west of the Missouri River attest to that fact. Their pictures inspired me to locate snapshots my husband and I took when we lived in Camp Crook. In the top one, a much younger me is holding our son Allen. The one below shows my husband Hiram doing the same.
Now for a few fun facts to accompany the photos:
- Our son was born in 1982. Judging from his size, these photos are from 1984 or 1985. My gut says 1985, the last year we lived there.
- This snowstorm was in early May. That’s right. May. I believe a week after our school’s spring field trip, which took place on a beautiful day.
- Hiram’s mother was visiting at the time. She was tired of arriving or departing during raging snowstorms and expressly chose to come in May to avoid bad weather. Instead, she watched 18 inches of snow, fall, then melt and create 18 inches of mud.
- The top photo shows the Methodist Church furthest to the left and the Catholic Church to the right. We lived in the yellow gold house. It is still there, but the building behind us is gone.
- Hiram and Allen are standing to the south of our house. The log buildings are a hunting cabin and its outhouse. Hiram made good use of the outhouse when our electricity was out. We had the presence of mind to fill the bathtub with water when the storm began. Hiram’s mom and I used bathtub water to flush the toilet until we had power again.
- I am not making any of this up.
- The Methodist and Catholic churches in See Jane Run! are similar in appearance to the ones pictured above. Since art imitates life, it is safe to assume that spring blizzards on the South Dakota will appear in future books in the series.
- It is not safe to assume the same for the outhouse. Neither Jane nor Jolene consider outhouses artistic. Not at all.