Do you remember where you were 30 years ago this January and February?
I surely do!!!
We had driven down to Florida to visit my Grandmother and Grandaddy for Christmas. We had a WONDERFUL time. I remember that Mom bought us a Rubik's Cube.... and refused to let us open it in the car because she was afraid we'd have it solved in a couple of minutes! Actually, I never DID solve it until I got a solution book, and then could only ever do it WITH the book. They say that Will Smith learned to finish it in under 2 minutes for his film "Pursuit of Happyness" (an AMAZING movie, by the way!); I was never able to do that, and came close to BREAKING it a couple of times, I was so frustrated!
But, I digress....
On our way back from Florida, the car broke down. My memory is kind of hazy at this point, but I believe it was the radiator. Anyway, they couldn't fix it for a day or so, so we spent the night in a motel, and went to see the movie "Turning Point." I believe that was the last movie we went to see as a 'family.' My mom, even then, had trouble sitting in the seats at a theatre because of her back.
So, the next day, quite a bit poorer but with wheels, we trekked on home. It was supposed to have been the first day back at school-- well, it WAS, for everyone else. We didn't get back until late that evening, so no school for us.
That night, it started snowing. And snowing. And snowing. Now, you know that this is Kentucky. In 1994, our INTERSTATES were closed for a WEEK by 17" of snow, and abandoned TRUCKS abounded. Our motto is, "God put it there, God'll take it away (when He's of a mind to)." So, no school.
Then on the 15th, we got MORE snow. And then on the 25th came the 'Blizzard of 1978." It just seemed to NEVER stop. And STILL no school.
We lived on the top of a VERY steep hill. GREAT for sledding, but impossible to get a car up or down with snow or ice. Mom, being a nurse, had to go to work, even if we didn't go to school. Being without an available car, she went out the back kitchen door, down the steps, through the yard and the field behind it, slogging through drifts up to her waist or higher, in some places. Her boots weren't that tall, so her feet must have been FROZEN and SOAKED by the time she got to the road.
Every morning. To the main road about 1/4 mile away. Which was open. To ride the bus. And back again. Every night. In the dark. Through waist-deep or higher drifts. And close to 0-degree temps. With grocery bags almost every night, because she could only carry two bags through that. For almost a month, she did this.
She? Is my hero. For many reasons, but this is a BIG one. It's the best example of, "It needed doing, so I did it."
I also remember finally going BACK to school. They extended the school day more than an hour (2? I can't remember). We were REQUIRED to bring a snack, because we didn't get lunch until 1pm. This went on for most of the school year. Which was ALSO extended quite a bit. We had a LOT to make up. TWENTY days (or maybe a bit more).... 120 hours.
I really didn't realize until I started hearing about the anniversary just how BIG this storm was, and that it affected the ENTIRE Eastern half of the country. I had no idea just how HUGE it was. I always wondered if I'd kind of 'exaggerated' it my mind the way a kid's memory sometimes does. But, nope. I also thought it was much more localized than it was. I thought it only affected our state and maybe Indiana and Ohio. But, no-- this was, and is still considered, The TRUE Storm of the Century. May we never see another like it.
We actually had quite a bit of fun, because we got to stay nice and warm and got to go outside to play when we wanted.... but, as I keep telling my kids now, snow days can be fun, but you WON'T be happy going until the end of June to make them up!!! Thank God we had power (a LOT of people didn't), and Mom was able to get groceries-- she said today that she was LUCKY there was a grocery on the corner of that major road. She had to carry them 1/4 mile, but at least she was able to GET food for us. If it hadn't been there, she would have had no way to get food without a car.
So... where were YOU when the blizzard of '78 hit?