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The Calm Before the Storm

The generator is gassed up and positioned by the garage door.  The snow blower sits ready.  Wood is stacked in the garage, the tack room wood-crib and the basket by the fireplace.  A warm glow emanates from the fire.

Pots of hot water steam on the stove giving the air moisture and a feeling of warmth.  My bathtubs are full in case of a loss of power.

Flashlights, candles and oil lamps are positioned throughout the house.  While the generator will run most of the house one never knows how long a power outage could last.

With Yo-Yo Ma softly playing cello in the background, my world is secure.  

35 years ago the Northeast endured the famous Blizzard of ’78.  I was living in Southern Illinois with my husband.  Roger worked in the oil fields selling chemicals to drill wells.  He was traveling to Michigan when the storm hit the Midwest and was trapped for days at a motel on the highway.

While I was hunkered down in our drafty old house, he called frequently as his stress levels rose.  First, the motel ran out of food.  They formed a human chain across the highway to retrieve food from a diner.  When the diner ran out of food, Roger and his new-found “friends” convinced the stranded truckers to open their trailers and they all enjoyed beer, chips and quickly rotting vegetables.  Eventually the plumbing failed and the motel became intolerable.  The roads were still closed so there was nothing to do but wait it out.  The final call was terrifying.  “Some Asshole just stepped on the last ping-pong ball!”  “I don’t know how much longer I can take this,” he yelled.

Be prepared, be warm and look on the bright side – at least you aren’t stranded with a bunch of strangers.

One comment on “The Calm Before the Storm

  1. ChrisF says:

    Can you explain why the television is making this out to be the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse? I wasn't even in N E in '78 and I remember it because people were stranded in Foxboro at Fayva living in their offices. This sounds like high winds and 2 feet of snow. Not remarkable for NE in January. Right?


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