Having just lived through one of the many winter storms that is a part of life here in the Appalachian Mountains of Western MD – and yes Maryland actually does have a Western area that is mountainous- I can’t help but think of a couple of memorable storms that we have lived through. We have had several with large amounts of snow and wind – especially storms like Hurricane Sandy that really caused some changes in activity for a few days to a week or more, but there were a couple storms that I can remember for different reasons.
The first one I believe happened during the winter of 1978 – and I believe it was 1978 because that was a memorable winter overall – I know we had school maybe 2 or 3 days in February total. This storm lasted for a couple of days with heavy snow and lots of wind. I would have been in high school still and my younger sisters were in high school as well. When the storm finally broke, we woke up to enormous drifts and the roads completely shut down everywhere in the area. After my sisters and I shoveled out our driveway – I don’t remember doing that but I am SURE we did – we spent the rest of the day playing in the middle of RT 219 with our Amish friends and neighbors without any fear of cars coming along – there were 10 ft drifts in the middle of the road on both sides of the tree lot we lived in. We would play for a while, go in and warm up, and right back out we would go – we had a blast! I can remember warming up because we had a coal furnace with gravity heat with an interior chimney and I can remember standing over the register with all that heat coming up and hugging the warm wall where the chimney was located. Oh, that felt so good! I believe it was the next day that we finally heard a noise from the road and a large snow blower was on its way to cut out one lane of traffic and I can still see the line of plows and cars behind it as they creeped along. Of course, those plows filled up our driveway – so back to shoveling! No snowblowers then!
The second one that comes to the front of my mind was the first winter my wife and I spent in our new home. This was a new log home, and we were living in it as we were finishing the rooms so other than the living area, the bathroom and our bedroom there was a lot of work being done inside it. We also had a small coal furnace that really struggled to keep the house warm. During this particular storm the temperature got to -25 degrees Fahrenheit with a strong wind and scary windchills. Of course, the electricity then went out. Our furnace was forced air but there was some heat if we kept the fire going. A new pine log house makes a lot of noise when it gets cold too, so my wife and I stayed under the covers and jumped each time those logs cracked and boomed. Newlyweds together for their first winter – as cold as I can remember, and very scared. Of course, we got through it like we have together now for over 37 years. I can also remember a phone call in the middle of the night when we learned that my grandfather’s home was completely destroyed that night by fire.
These storms were memorable for different reasons, but they still stand out in my mind. How about you? What storms come to the front of your minds – I bet they have special memories tied to them.
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