Sunday, February 10, 2013
There's no place like home in a blizzard
The generator hums rhythmically in the background as I write on my battery-powered Nook.
The simple things in life are best -- heat, light and well water -- and we have survived yet another massive storm, this time a blizzard named Nemo with hurricane-force winds that dumped about two feet in our backyard.
A driving ban is in effect for Massachusetts and Rhode Island so there is no place to go.
Yet as difficult yesterday was and these next few days will be, they cannot compare to the blizzard of 1978.
A stay-at-home mom with an 11-month-old daughter, I kissed my husband goodbye that morning, and little did I know that I would not see him for five days.
It snowed and snowed and snowed ... and it didn't stop for days.
While the power flickered, it never went off; and I never lost telephone service, even though the line hung low across the street and was swatted by passing snow plows.
My husband worked for a large corporation, and because he was in charge of maintenance and security, he was the last one to leave that day -- only by then the roads were impassable.
Back at home I fared pretty well. The cupboards were well-stocked. I cared for my daughter, and while she slept I read. But I worried about my husband.
Meanwhile, he was living off the vending machines in the lunchroom. When he ran out of money, he pilfered change from the secretaries' desks, leaving I.O.U. notes behind. He slept in the rafters, warmed by a small generator-powered boiler that kept the chemicals just the right temperature.
Five days passed and still dressed in the same clothes, he made a break for it, driving away from the plant despite a driving ban. He made it through a city and two towns before he was stopped at a roadblock.
Abandoning the vehicle, he walked the rest of the way home, another ten miles.
I cried when I saw him walking down our street.
Today, in the aftermath of this latest blizzard, we are doing the best we can, accepting the fickleness of Mother Nature in stride.
We toss another log in the woodstove, admire the beauty outside our window, and thank God we are together.