It happened again this week. We had snow … not just a slight dusting but a decent measurable amount that closed down schools and daycare centers as well as caused several business openings to be delayed or closed for the day. This was a result of a “storm” that moved through on Wednesday night into Thursday morning. Some would say “no big deal” but it is for us here in Franklin, NC. We are 18 days into the new year and this is the second time this has happened. I can’t remember the last time we actually saw a decent measurable amount of snow on the ground, twice within a few days of each other AND to have the weather talk about more snow on the way. Weather persons are saying we could get more snow tonight and tomorrow. For those north and west of here who are use to virtual blizzards every winter, they will laugh at my amazement with 3-4 inches of snow that is usually melted away in a couple of days.
All that said to say this … the last winter I remember seeing this kind of weather around here we ended up with the Blizzard of 1993. That was the year that was much like “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” I had heard all I wanted to hear about a pending snow storm only to have hopes and dreams crushed by seeing the temperatures rise and we end up getting a pot load of RAIN instead of the fluffy white stuff we were expecting. Well in March of 1993 everybody around here was pretty much sick of hearing about the pending snow storms and I had plans for a long weekend away from home. I had a sitter arranged for the kids and I, along with my husband Doug (who is now my X), mother, and step-father, was headed out of town to enjoy some relaxing free time. On a beautiful Friday morning we packed up and took off. We reached our destination fairly early in the day, checked into the lodge, then went shopping and sight seeing. Around dusk we went to dinner. Going into the restaurant I was in jeans and a short sleeved t-shirt and I remember looking at my mama and saying “I believe it’s getting cooler” followed by her saying “I agree”. We had an enjoyable dinner and then just sat and talked for a while. As we were leaving the restaurant Doug asked me if I saw what he thought he saw and of course I thought he was insane until I looked over the street into the lights and saw an occasional snowflake fall. I only looked at him but chose not to respond. I definitely did not want to alarm my step-father who would have worried himself sick if he had realized it was beginning to snow. My step-father was not one to be out late nor was he one who wanted anything to do with being out in bad weather OR to be away from home in bad weather. I knew if this blizzard the weather folks were talking about actually materialized we would be in trouble.
Anyway … we went back to the lodge and said our goodnights. Doug and my room was on the back side of the lodge with a balcony that overlooked the river. Mom & my step-father’s room was just around the corner from us. I called to check on the girls and they were excited because it was snowing at home. They were anxious to get out and play in it the next day. I reminded them to bundle up and be careful, told them I would call on Saturday to check on them, told them I loved them and said goodnight. I got ready for bed and tucked in to snuggle with my husband and enjoy a long peaceful nights sleep. We feel asleep early and Doug woke up around 1am, went to the bathroom, then started out on the balcony to see what the weather was doing. He opened the balcony door and in almost a shout all he could say was “$%^#, we’re in trouble.” I got up and went to the door to see what he was ‘complaining’ about and almost passed out. It was barely past 1am, we had been sleeping since about 9:30ish PM and when we feel asleep it wasn’t doing anything outside … actually you could see the moon peaking through the clouds … now a few short hours later there was about 8 inches of snow on the ground and it was still pouring down. The flakes were so large they looked like big goose feathers floating from the sky. We closed the door and went back to bed. In less than 10 minutes the phone in our room was ringing and it was my mama calling to tell us it was snowing. DUH … we already knew that. We told her to go back to bed and to not worry. As long as the power didn’t go off we would be fine. During the rest of the night Doug and I were both up and down watching to see when the snow would end. IT DIDN’T!! We finally got up for good around 7am on Saturday morning. By then there was about 17 inches of snow with no end in sight. Luckily we had not lost power so we were still able to stay warm. We knew we would have to do something about food for breakfast and food to sustain till we could get out of there and get home.
We were watching the news and that’s when the horror struck … we were stranded … there was two routes home and the roads for both were closed ‘until further notice’. This snow storm was predicted to continue throughout the day and possibly into the night. That couldn’t be true because I needed to get home to my babies. We called to check on them and was lucky enough to get through before the phone lines went down … only to find out that the power had gone off at home around midnight the night before and there was about 29 inches of snow with high winds and full blizzard conditions. My girls cried begging me to come home … I cried begging them not to cry and telling them I would get home as soon as I could. I was ready to walk … anything … I needed to get home to my babies.
Well this scenario continued until the wee hours of the morning on Wednesday morning. I woke up early and turned on the TV to find out that one of the passages home had been cleared and opened up for travel. I jumped out of bed and started throwing all of our stuff in the suitcases, called my Mom and told her to get packed cause we were going home. By daybreak we were packed up, loaded up, and ready to hit the road.
It took us about 5 1/2 hours to get home on what normally would have been about a 2 hour drive but at least we were home. Still no power when we got home and the waterlines in our home were busted but thank the good Lord we were home and we had the girls and we were all back together safely. It took about 2 weeks for us to dig completely out from under the 36 or so inches of snow and to clean up the mess left behind but it definitely left a memory that will never be forgotten either by me or by my girls.
I feel the winter weather we are experiencing here is much like the winter of 1993 and I fear that we will experience another major snowstorm that will shut this little town down. The area I live in is much like a little one horse retirement town and major snow reeks havoc for all who lives here.