Although we didn't receive many submissions regarding leap year memories, the Brainerd Dispatch featured a story today about a young couple getting ready to take a leap into marriage - today.
Besides the normal memories of a wedding day, choosing to get married on Feb. 29 will certainly give them stories to share for years to come.
Below is a sampling of the leap year stories we received.
The snowstorm of 1948
B. Tom Johnson, Plano, Texas, posted the following recollection of a 1948 snowstorm on the Brainerd Dispatch Web site readers' comments. He was 14 at the time of the snowstorm. They lived on Third Avenue Northeast in Brainerd: "Leap day, 1948, was one of three or four days over which Brainerd had a record or near-record total snowfall for one storm. I believe the total came to 36 inches. The snow was light and fluffy, made up of big flakes. We had a mountain of snow after we shoveled our driveway so we made it into a snowhouse. The snow was so light that the inside of the snow house was brightly lit in the sun. Regrettably, the roof of the snow house was fragile and fell in shortly after we dug it.
Another recollection was that our pastor's wife had a baby on that leap day in the middle of the snowstorm. The pastor's name was Sam Diskerud."
52 going on 13?
"My niece will be celebrating her 13th birthday this year. It was 52 years ago and I was 16. My boyfriend had a nice car. He worked for my brother who only had an old drafty truck to take his wife to the hospital 35 miles away. This was their fourth child so they were relaxed. We weren't!
When we got to town they wanted to have coffee. Then they wanted to see a movie! With the chat I had with my sister-in-law, I knew she was in control.
Finally she was checked into the hospital and we headed for home. My brother gave a sigh and said they almost had a leap year baby. I said not to be so sure.
When I got home from school the next day my brother was there to say I was right after all. Lynnea was born just minutes before midnight! She has a younger sister born on March 1 so they celebrate together the other three years." -Beverly Norgard, Brainerd.
Almost a 'leap-let'
"It was the year 2000. I was pregnant with my daughter and we saw our due date of Feb. 24 come and go. As Feb. 29 neared, I couldn't help but wonder what it would be like for her to be born on a leap day. Would she think it was cool and unique? Would she dislike it, thinking she was being cheated out of her special day all but every four years? My mom liked the idea.
'She'll be a 'leap-let,' she exclaimed.
I thought it was not a good idea and I was determined to keep her with me for just a while longer. Feb. 29 arrives and lo and behold, I go into labor! Typical first baby, she took her time making her grand entrance.
Finally, in the afternoon, on March 1, Lillee Jae arrived and our world was forever changed." -Rhian Hardee, 32, Baxter.
Only as old as you feel
Colleen Morgan-Hess, 51, Brainerd, recalled, "In 1964, my family and friends helped give our ma a leap year birthday party. There were eight kids and ma and pa. We lived on a farm in St. Mathias.
The whole family put together an early supper like Swedish meatballs, gravy, mashed potatoes, carrots and Jell-O fruit salad.
My mom dressed up in her skirt and sweater and the rest of us had our good clothes on too. Ma had really enjoyed this birthday. She was 48 years old. Our cousin played "Happy Birthday" on our old piano that sat in the corner of our living room. Other family and friends banged on the keys of the piano and sang along on other songs too.
My ma might have been 48 years old on Feb. 29 that year but 12 years in leap year.
Like they say, you're only as old as you feel."
Husband recalls year after
Bob Booth, Brainerd, and his wife, Shirley, will be married 52 years in August. They married in Cohasset in 1956, a leap year. And even though it was a leap year, Booth said that wasn't as memorable for him as the following year was.
He recalled how he brought a birthday gift home to his wife on Aug. 4. She was gracious and thanked him for the gift.
Three days later, on Aug. 7, he took her out to eat at the Rainbow Club in Grand Rapids for their anniversary.
He looked across the table at her and said, "Just think, we've been married one year today."
But much to his surprise, his wife said, "Not quite. It's been one year and three days. Today is my birthday. Aug. 4 is our anniversary."
And for every year after that, he says he hasn't gotten the two mixed up again.
DELYNN HOWARD may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5850.
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