Tag Archives: Snow

Sand in the Trunk and Other Winter Things – Linda Knight Seccaspina

Sand in the Trunk and Other Winter Things – Linda Knight Seccaspina

Sand in the Trunk and Other Winter Things – Linda Knight Seccaspina

Two months ago I got my winter tires on my car. As I listened to the roar of the heavier tires, and watched them throw my tire sensor system out of whack, I had to laugh at some old memories.

My late husband Angelo used to argue that winter tires were “for people from Toronto who have to call in the army to shovel the sidewalks when it snows.” That was until one day he backed down my father’s snowy Miltimore driveway in Bromont and removed part of his fence. Not content with believing his Delta 88 could do such a thing he attempted to reverse again, only this time he hit the mailbox.

Through the years as he got older he began to realize living in a rural area needed snow tires. One day I overheard Angelo tell my oldest son Sky to get his head out of the sand and put some winter tires on his car. I just smiled and realized things just take time to sink in. It was similar to that proudest moment of being a parent when my child agreed it was finally cold enough to wear a hat.

Arthur Knight, my late Dad, always insisted that you kept bags of sand in the trunk for traction in case you got stuck in the winter. His 70s Ford Pinto was loaded to the brim with bags of sand, and when I went to visit him he always insisted on tossing some in my trunk too.  

It was supposed to add weight, and if I ever got stuck, the sand could be used for traction, he said. I never actually got stuck, so I never had to use the sand.  He said he learned the hard way hitting every ditch on the Brome Pond road one winter with no sand or salt in the trunk and a bunch of lightweights riding in his car with him. Somehow I doubt that a couple of sandbags, add or subtract anything is meaningful to the traction of a vehicle today that already weighs a few tons when empty, plus a few hundred pounds with a driver and passenger. But, weight was significant in the days of rear wheel drive, because most of the weight was in the front. I can well remember in my youth, the only way I got up an icy hill (not having heeded my father’s advice about the sand) was to have a couple of my friends climb into the trunk to put some weight over the back wheels.

Every year AAA publishes advice for winter driving and putting sand or litter in the back of a car is always on the list. I personally prefer cat litter because it’s relatively inexpensive (non clumping, non scented) and provides decent traction.

I decided to look this traction myth up on Snopes.com and the page was completely blank. Had Arthur Knight had it all wrong? I found a few discussions on a few automotive boards and one man had this to say.

“So while extra weight generally improves traction, the only safe place to put it is in between the wheels. That’s why, for traction, we suggest car-pooling. In fact, when recruiting car-poolers, you could start by putting up a sign at Weight-Watchers.”

After more research I decided to go back to Snopes where I found another link about the topic. Again the page was blank and the lone entry was about a woman called *“The Human Couch”.

Word on the street goes that a very large woman had to be brought to the ER after she had experienced shortness of breath. While they attempted to undress her an asthma inhaler fell out of one of the folds of her arm. A shiny new dime was under her breast and a TV remote control was found somewhere else on her body. Her family was extremely grateful that she was okay, and that they found the remote.

It’s easy to see I don’t care for Winter one bit, and if there is one good thing that comes out of snow, cold and ice is the fact I haven’t seen a mosquito in a really long time.

*( Brown, Mark.  Emergency! True Stories from the Nation’s ERs. –New York: Villard Books, 1997.   ISBN 0-312-96265-7   (pp. 32-33).

Findlay vs. Bailey in Carleton Place —Horses vs. Cars

When was the First Car Fatality in Carleton Place?

When Things Come 360 –The First Automobile Fatality in Carleton Place– Torrance, Burgess, and Names Names

The Carleton Place Bathroom Appliance Cars

Rollin’ Down the Mississippi River —- Tunes and Cars of Carleton Place 1971

The Snowstorm of March 1947 – Jim Houston

The Snowstorm of March 1947 – Jim Houston
Photo Jim Houston–1947– at the 4 corners/ Lake and Bridge– Houstons who live at 11 Lake Ave East walking down Lake Ave West. It says ” Taken from service station ” I found out it was 1947

Karen McGee this is what I remember winter like in town, walking to school down Lake Ave. They didn’t plow the streets as well as they do now.

Julie Kirkpatrick It was taken from the old Gulf Gas Station on the corner of Lake Ave and Bridge St. Looking towards the high school. I remember that winter.

Joann Voyce Before the Texaco there was Major Hooper’s beautiful home and large green lawn

Doug Thornton Around 55 or 56 when I lived at 92 Bridge Street, across from the Royal Bank, if memory serves me correct, the snow was so deep that no vehicles could drive on Bridge Street. The snow was much deeper than that picture.

anice Bowie the first house on the right is 11 Lake Avenue WEST – we lived and ran our business (Lux Photographic Services) from 2004 to 2012 there – Loved our time in CP as well as this home! it would be lovely to know more of its history – although we did a lot of work for the CP / Beckwith Heritage museum, we were not able to get much on it – though did have a copy of the deed and it was one of the Moores who had it built (1909-1911)

Dan Williams My dad used to tell me about walking 3 miles to school on snowbanks as high as telephone poles whenever I complained about having to walk to school in a snowstorm. Don’t know what year that would have been😉

Houstons who lived at 11 Lake Ave East– This is a picture of Lake Ave East going towards my home. You can see the home on the left that is at the corner of Argyle and Lake Ave East.. my house is next so you can see trees. 1947 snowstorm. Photo Jim Houston
1947 snowstorm
1947 photo Doug McCarten photo
The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
04 Mar 1947, Tue  •  Page 12


The Storm of 1897 – Sons of Scotland

  1. Ya call that a Snowstorm? Linda’s Mailbag
  2. The Storm of 1952 –McKeen’s Hotel Window’s Smashed- Dogs Cats and Fowl Die in Barrage
  3. Wind Storm in Ashton- Heath Ridge Farms 1976
  4. Storms of Carleton Place- Which One?
  5. So Where Did Carleton Place Disappear to on The Weather Channel? Linda’s Mailbag
  6. Yes We Have had Killer Hurricanes in Canada
  7. The Storm of June 1899Ya call that a Snowstorm?
  8. Linda’s MailbagStorms of Carleton Place- Which One?
  9. Lightening Strikes Again –The Storm of 1972The Day The Wizard of Oz Came to Carleton Place
  10. To All the Snowmageddons I Have Loved Before

Plow That! Winter Maintenance of Years Gone By



Our first settlers were not so well-equipped to deal with the New World’s snowy winters. During the 1717 storm (four feet of snow dumped, with drifts of up to 25 feet in some places), only a solitary postman was able to make the trip from Boston to New York. His trick? Abandoning his horse for a pair of snow shoes.

Back then, plowing wasn’t in the picture. Instead, residents affixed ski-like runners to their carts to move through the icy street- and they shoveled a lot.


But urban development brought with it streets, and people who needed to get through them. Residents depended on regular deliveries of food and fire wood. When snow made transport impossible, they would dig themselves out in de-facto teams to allow sleigh traffic to pass through. Though ordinances in many cities required homeowners to clear snow off their sidewalks, snow removal was not yet practiced on a citywide basis.



McCord Street Montreal


That changed in the 1840s, when the first snow plow patent was issued. According to a wonderfully comprehensive history by the  National Snow and Ice Data Center, the first snow plow was deployed in Milwaukee in 1862. They write that the plow “was attached to a cart pulled by a team of horses through the snow-clogged streets.”

New York handled this by hiring horse-drawn carts and teams of shovelers to work in conjunction with the plows.

Photo Courtesy Schwartz Boiler Shop

Around the same time, on the other side of the country, the rotary snowplow—or as we know it, the snow blower—was getting its start in an unlikely place far removed from the suburban driveways where they’re now normally seen. In the Canadian West, railroad men were having a hard time keeping their tracks clear of snow. The railroad snowplows used back east and on the prairies were the wedge-shaped cow-catcher type that pushed the snow to the sides of the track, and they just didn’t work in the deep, heavy snow of the western mountains.

J.W. Elliott, a Toronto dentist, had been tinkering with a plow design he thought might work well on a train. His plow had a rotary engine that drove a wheel rimmed with flat blades. As the plow went down the track, snow collected in a housing on the plow and then got funneled up to the blades, which tossed the snow out through an opening at the top of the housing. The railroads passed on it, but Elliot persisted. He hooked up with inventor Orange Jull to improve the design and commission a full-scale working model. The next winter, they convinced the Canadian Pacific Railroad to road-test the new plow on its line near Toronto. The plow cleared the track easily, tossing snow as far as 200 feet out of the way, and the railroad managers were impressed enough to buy eight plows and put them to work. Over the few decades, snowblowers got cheaper, smaller, and easier to use, with truck-mounted models and, eventually, human-powered ones for home use hitting the market.



I am no fan of snow but I saw these pictures at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum ( bottom one out of the Carleton Place Canadian) and I thought I would share.

Is Spring Coming? Photos of Carleton Place Hold the Answer!


I thought it was Spring– I really did

But the wind still breathes winter- and yesterday it snowed.

The chain fence rattles against any hope of Spring

The shadows are still long and  try to cover the blue that tries to appear.

Winter still floats down the Mississippi River, unable to break free.

There are no cries of children that bounce among the rays of sun, just yet. Do we have any hope? Of course we do–

My neighbour’s invisible car after the storm.

Shot in Carleton Place, Ontario on Saturday.


This was yesterday!! Evidence Spring is on the way!! Hold tight everyone!

Photos by Linda Seccaspina

Weather Whisperings with Linda, Sheba and Pat Robertson?? – Zoomers



Weather Whisperings with Linda, Sheba and Pat Robertson?? – Zoomers.



The weather gods are predicting another powerful weather system that is now sitting in some remote bar in the Rockies. The storm dumped more snow in the mountains and up to 10 inches in some parts of midwest is on its way. The weather whisperers have also spoken – it will move east.

My friend Wanda just emailed me at 5:45 am today. There is another snowstorm today in Arkansas and she will not teach as the schools are closed. They were also closed for three days last week.

Finding Nemo – The Aftermath of Snow Envy – Zoomers


Finding Nemo – The Aftermath of Snow Envy – Zoomers.




“The blizzard they called Nemo in the United States is over, but the discussions are still endless south of the border. In Canada we received the same storm but our media headlines have already been changed to: “Will Jason Spezza return to play hockey for the Ottawa Senators this season?”