What were you doing during the blizzard of 2009? Many people will have stories to tell in the years to come. I have a story of the blizzard of 1996 that brought us 30.7 inches of snow. I was stranded in a hotel in Philadelphia where I had gone for a chiropractic seminar. The highways and the airport were closed and no one could leave the city. The hotel had no restaurant so my fellow classmates and I had to venture out on foot and try to find some place that would sell us something to eat. We found a convenience store with a line of people wrapped around the building. But we bought food and then stuffed the containers in the snow below our window at the hotel so nothing would spoil and we could later heat our meals in the one microwave in the lobby.
This blizzard was mild by comparison, but I hope we will all remember it with a smile and with gratitude for a special weekend. The four of us were home together, gladly stranded and unable to go anywhere. Fortunately, we had no obligations like many others did, so we watched the storm arrive with an increasingly dense, dark gray sky as the light snow began and then quickly turned to a furious, relentless storm.
The girls couldn't wait to go outside and were delighted when the lawn was quickly blanketed in white. Fred and I did a quick shoveling after a few inches of snow accumulated, then retreated indoors for snacks, hot drinks, and movies by the fire. Is there anything better? At dusk we decided to shovel again even though the storm was still blasting through the area. I pushed all the snow from our wooden deck and then started on the driveway. Fred said to leave it be, that he would get out the snow blower in the morning. But I didn't want to quit. I felt like I could shovel forever. The falling snow was beautiful, magical somehow. The outdoor Christmas lights switched on and cast a colorful glow on our yard. I walked up the road in front of the house for a picture and then called the girls to come and see. Liana spent most of her time digging a big hole in the mound we had shoveled and then sat in it for quite awhile, transfixed by her own imaginary world. Arielle piled high a huge mountain of snow to make a fort. No one wanted to come inside.
Sometime in the middle of the night the Nor'easter left us to head further north. More shoveling awaited us. In the bright, cold sunshine we cleared at least another six inches. This time, our work was more drudgery than fantasy. The girls bickered and threw snowballs at each other. Fred and I just wanted to get done. The magic was gone. But I will always remember the snowfalll that evening when we were caught up in a winter wonderland.