Wednesday, January 17, 2007


I worked late tonight and by the time I started home, lite rain had begun to fall. The temp hovered in the high 30's and when I called home, Jilda said it was sleeting.
The further north I drove that I could see a flake of snow every now and then. I had an irresistible urge to whip into Wal-Mart and buy milk and bread. Every time there is even a remote chance of snow, the folks here in Alabama always swarm stores and strip the shelves of milk and bread like locusts. Sometimes we extend the frenzy to flashlight batteries, string cheese and potted meat. As I sit here and consider these items, I can't help thinking the batteries might actually be more tasty.
I know first hand that it's no fun being caught in a snow storm. I remember back on March 12 of 1993. It was a Friday and I was working in Hoover, Alabama. Jilda started calling before lunch to say they were predicting snow. I'd been there before. Jilda always gets excited at the mention of snow and so I didn't put a lot of stock in her forecast. But as the day wore on, people started leaving early and so I got my stuff and headed home. Had I waited another hour to leave, I would have been stranded on the highway. But I did make it home and it was a winter wonderland. We got out in the yard and played for hours in the snow with our neighbors and our dogs.
A typical Alabama snow will have a few inches on the ground in the morning and by the afternoon the sun comes out burns off all the snow and by sunset it's warm enough to swim.
But 1993 was different. The snow continued to fall hard driven by forty mile and hour winds and by morning not only were we without electricity, but I couldn't see our cars.
The power was off for days which was unfortunate for us, because we lived in a total electric home. I know that looks good on paper, but it stinks when the power stays off for a while. Had it not been for the fact that my brother-in-law who lives next door had a gas stove, we would have had nothing to eat....not even potted meat....or batteries.
On day three of the ordeal the clouds broke and we were huddled by the garden doors at the back of the house accepting what little warmth the afternoon sun could provide. Neither of us had bathed in days and I said to Jilda "we look like street people."
A few days later all the snow was gone leaving nothing but a bad memory and a deep resolve to never be caught like that again.
We still depend on electricity, but we got a propane heater and a gas stove. We also got a generator and other things that will help us weather the storm in the event we have a blizzard like the one of March of 93.

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