Winter Words Vol. 3/New York

It’s snowing! REALLY snowing! (2/25/15 3:50 PM). Me and Paul at home again. School was out today and will be again tomorrow. Unfortunately, they also had to cancel the first gathering of our Lenten Luncheons. I hate that as I really enjoyed them last year. It is a series of six with a different church hosting each week. The first was to be held at Heritage Baptist Cartersville, which is our home church. One of the Methodist pastors was to speak tomorrow as the host church’s pastor does not do the honors. Oh well, we’ll just hope that the remaining ones hold up.

So, back to Winter Words. This is our third in an open-ended series. We’ll see how it goes from here.

Forgive me if I got a little preachy yesterday, but hey, preacher gonna preach. It’s what we were born to do.

All this weather, snow, etc. got me thinking about our three years in Albany, NY. It was a novelty for us Southerners to spend three winters up there, but I don’t see how those folks spend a lifetime doing it.

Oh, we got our car ‘Ziebart(ed)'(rust-proofed) and purchased the requisite down jackets, moon boots, snow shovels and the like. It was fun when it snowed and it snowed quite a bit, but it was nothing like they got in that snow belt that included Buffalo, Syracuse and points north. But we had around 70 days of snow cover each winter, give or take a little.

All neighborhoods had a snow plow too and it was rare, if ever, that school was out.

I loved driving on a snowy day in Upstate New York. Obviously Luke and Leah loved the days it snowed, as did Mel. They would go out and play in it for quite awhile. You’d have to force them to come in or they’d freeze to death.

We would have hot chocolate and fluff ‘n nutter sandwiches (peanut butter and marshmallow cream on white bread). The grocery stores we shopped at were Grand Union and Price Chopper.That was a whole new deal to people who were accustomed to the Red and White, the Yellow Front, Greer’s and Piggly Wiggly. Oh yeah, Winn-Dixie as well.

Luke was five and Leah was 7 months old when we moved up there to the beautiful Hudson Valley. Melodye taught at Pineview Christian Academy and I was a campus minister/chaplain at three colleges (the State University of New York at Albany or SUNY, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute or RPI, and Union College). RPI was located in Troy, NY and Union was in Schenectady. I finally figured out I was stretched too thin and focused entirely SUNYA.

My SUNY ‘kids’ and colleagues remain very near and dear to my heart as does our church family, Trinity Baptist Church in Schenectady.

You can read a previous blog of mine (New York, New York) right here on birdlecroy.com if you would like to know a little more about this time in our lives. It was magical and we were blessed beyond our wildest imaginations.

We became Mets fans when we were there also. I said I would pick a team and we were going to go with them. I didn’t choose the Yankees, I grew up a Yankee fan as Mickey Mantle was my hero in a BIG way, as they were winning and that would be too easy and predictable. We settled on the Mets.

This was late summer 1983 and the Mets struggled to a 68-94 record that season. They finished LAST in the NL East. But, they did have a promising rookie on that team who had all-star potential. His name was Darryl Strawberry.

In 1984 the Mets had a teenage rookie pitcher, by the name of Dwight Gooden, join the big league club. You know the rest of the story if you follow baseball at all.

We made many trips down to Shea Stadium, and one to Yankee Stadium, during those three years. A baseball game in the Big Apple is a special thing. We also got over to Fenway Park for a game in 1986 before we left New York. Roger Clemens was a rookie and having a great season. The Red Sox beat the Orioles that day. Me and Luke and Gus Riberio sat in the center field bleachers at the venerable old gal. Now THAT is truly a special experience. Let’s just say the Red Sox fans are VERY passionate about their team.

The snow continues to fall, heavily, here in Acworth, GA. My eyes are misty as my thoughts waft through my mind, like the frozen flakes in the cold Georgia air.

Number 7, Mickey Mantle, Straw, Doc, life long friends, the Bronx, Queens and 24 Windmill Drive in Glenmont, NY, where me and my most treasured memories lived during the mid 80’s.
Melodye, Luke and Leah. Our chocolate poodle, Fudge, and the great neighbors that loved that family of wide-eyed country folks from Lower Alabama.

I love New York and I miss her deeply, especially on days like this.

Let it snow!

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