Saturday, January 26, 2008

Blizzard of '78, and Aftermath

Well, yesterday was the 30th anniversary of the Blizzard of '78. We lived in a different town then, and I can't remember exactly how many inches of snow we got--twenty-six, I think. But being a "lake-effect" place, the drifts were plenty-big.

The next day, Charming took off down the street to a neighborhood grocery we heard was open. He walked in the path right down the middle of the street that had been broken by other neighbors. You could only see his head and shoulders above the snow. He brought back milk, a loaf of bread, and Pepsi. That felt like such a treat when I was housebound with a 2 1/2 and a 1-year old.

My favorite blizzard story was about my friend who went into labor. The police took her to the hospital on a snowmobile (think about how that would be, girls...) and when she got there, they decided that she wasn't really in labor and that she Should Be Sent Home. She said, Over My Dead Body, or somesuch, and just rested there until she went into labor again the next day.

Hello. Did anyone ever think that maybe the snowmobile ride scared the baby into retreat???

What is the "aftermath" to my story, you ask? The weatherman on the local news we watched was really, really good. These were the days before Weather Radar, and his weather map was painted on a blackboard surface. He would do sweeping arcs with his chalk, showing the Arctic Fronts and the Jet Stream and the cold fronts/low pressures/ and anything else you Needed to Know. Well.... On that day in 1978, he predicted... one to two inches of snow.

He actually kept his job for years afterwards. I mean, as Charming says, what other job can a person have that they can keep as long as they have a 5% success rate? (joking) He really was very, very popular, so his faux pas became legend, like the time Robert Goulet forgot the words to the National Anthem he sung before that football game. (ooh. I'll bet some of you not only don't know about that incident, but don't even know who Robert Goulet is. I'm feeling old, here, people...)

Now, of course, winter weather is kind of a roulette-game of Boy Crying Wolf. "Oh, no, the Front is coming! We could have twelve to fifteen inches of snow!" Then, we get a "spit." Or, even Nothing. The advent of radar gives us much more info, but weather is still a guessing game. Jesus said, "you know when the sky is red at night, the weather will be fair, and when it is red in the morning, it will storm." God has given us signs. One of my favorites is in the summer, when the earth "turns," and you can smell the dirt with its great smell, and you know that it is about to storm.

Still--gotta love Tornado Warnings. Now, there is something for which to be thankful. And, when those Big Snow forecasts come, I stock up on milk, bread, and chocolate chips.* And when the snow Doesn't Come, at least I don't have to go to the store...

*During the Blizzard of '78, tho' I was married, my two brothers were still at home. Their friends plodded up the street, and the four boys and my parents played both Bingo and Poker using chocolate chips. Nothing like eating your winnings. So, in honor of that, I always have chocolate chips on hand for a snowstorm!


Inglesidemom said...

Love it! We are about 40 miles outside of Cleveland and were bombarded with the weathermen's walks down memory lane this week regarding the big blizzard. Funny thing is, we got hit with a bunch of lake effect on the anniversary and that made it even a bigger deal!


Anonymous said...

Mommy: The local news has an awesome webpage devoted to the blizzard, where people are posting photos and stories. You should share yours!


Julie said...

Our newsmen should be covering teh anniversary in the next week or so. It hit my area the weekend of my 11 birthday, Feb. 6th. I just remember bigger snowfalls in general back in those days.

ztoamom said...

OKay there are several things to comment on:
1) I think I would really love to live near you - we have so many little things in common I bet we would get along nicely. For example, I drink white unsweetened coffee. Porcelain, like you.
2) Oh, I forgot - I have to go back to the posts.

ztoamom said...

3) burned potatoes or rotten potatoes are absolutely the worst. Once we followed a truck down the highway that was carrying a load of rotten potato mash and leaking it all over the road. There are several pertinent questions that one must ask about that scenario in the first place, but it is memorable as the WORST SMELL EVER SMELLED. EVER.

4) My husband, who does not drink coffee, wrote a wonderful coffee poem and your husband's poetry reminded me of it!

Coffee speaks to me
liquid candy , dark and steamy...
I down it like a fool...
it lingers in my remembering.
Tough I drink only once
I awake its prisoner.
Come, delicious poison,
pierce this morning,
warm this belly,
dazzle my eyes.

And I love the Thomas fabric and the pertinent Math lesson. You can teach coupon expiration some other time.