MY HEART GOES HOME
A HUDSON VALLEY MEMOIR
by Thomas Sweet Lossing
Edited by Peter D. Hannaford
About the Blizzard of '88 from Chapter VIII:
Saturday, March the 10th, 1888, was a beautiful spring day with little if any
snow in sight, except in the woods in the shady ravines. Edward and I were
making bar posts out south of the house by the woodpile. We were talking as
though spring had come for good, saying there would be no more snow and that
frost was about out of the ground and we could soon begin plowing. . . . Sunday,
the 11th, was still warm, with drifting clouds and some blue sky, though there
was an occassional squall of large, wet flakes of snow.
We awoke Monday morning hearing the sound of driving snow against the window pane and it seemed as though it would never come daylight. We arose at the usual time and it was still dark and snowing hard. It was impossible to see through the snow. . . . Upon entering the barn we found the horses comfortable and warm. . . . Then we realized that we must in some way get a load of hay from the stacks that morning as there was not enough for another feeding. . . . We yoked our oxen to a large sled, not knowing how we would manage a forkful of hay in all that wind. . . . It was now nearing noon and was darker than I had ever seen it at that time of day. The wind was howling through the locust and spruce trees and the fine snow was almost horizontal. The thermometer regestered seven degrees above zero. . . ."
My Heart Goes Home is the account of a happy boyhood in a vanished time-the
1870s and '80s-in Dutchess County, New York. In 1872, Thomas Sweet Lossing was
born at his family's farm, "The Ridge," on Chestnut Ridge above Dover Plains,
the son of artist and historian Benson J. Lossing and his second wife, Helen
Sweet Lossing. This memoir, written in the 1930s after Thomas had retired
to California, recalls his childhood on the Lossing farm, evoking the sights,
sounds, and smells of rural Hudson Valley. It offers, as well, a child's-eye view
of Benson Lossing, as this prominent man of letters and founding trustee of
Vassar College worked at home in his magnificent library.
The memoir was edited by Peter D. Hannaford, whose great aunt, Elizabeth, was
the wife of Thomas Lossing.
Copyright © 1998 Purple Mountain Press. All rights reserved.