I’m Just Saying: Happy 25th Snowversary

Published 8:00 am Friday, March 16, 2018

Watching the third nor’easter in two weeks pummel residents up and down the coast of New England made me shiver slightly with the sudden realization that it was our own 25th anniversary of the “Blizzard of ‘93.”

Yes — 25 years!

On one hand, it seems like yesterday, and on the other hand, the further away we are from that memory, the better. As with every other historical event, all of us remember where we were when it hit.

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Thinking this could be a most interesting collection of stories, I asked for details on social media and boy, what tales were told!

I’ll begin with my own, which found me still living in sunny California when the blizzard descended. I had purchased our Upstate South Carolina farm but one week before the storm.

I think I was in our back yard, picking grapefruits off a tree, when the phone rang (“tell us of this strange thing you call a land-line, Grandma…”) and I was informed that the roof of the barn had collapsed beneath the snow load.

Welcome to home ownership.

But really, compared to others, I got off very lightly.

The stories below are far more riveting, starting with my dairy farmer friend, Neal:

“We had 8 inches of sleet. I had to take the loader and bucket a couple of drifts out of the road so the motor grader could get through.

“A woman went into labor just north of here and had to be carried out several miles in the bucket of a loader.”

Carol wrote: “Yep, life came to sort of a standstill. My neighbors and I cut apart huge trees to clear the road so we could get out of the lake to the equally snowed in town of Tryon. No power for over two weeks and no water because the Town of Tryon had no power backup system to pump the water. Flushed toilets with buckets of water dipped from the lake. Lots of memories, and lots of memories of neighbors helping neighbors. It was amazing in that way!”

Mary Ann added: “What I remember about the ‘93 blizzard is that I had a 3 month old baby that was still breast feeding. We lost power and had to dress her in almost every piece of clothing she owned. Every time I had to feed her, I had to bear my chest. Pretty chilly. Also had the dogs sleeping with us on the futon in front of the fire in the living room. Got the full meaning of the phrase ‘two dog night.’

Dean revealed: “I was working as a home health nurse; EMS came and got me to take me all over the county to get to my patients — a few insulin dependent diabetics, older people without power. EMS and I hauled in firewood for some wood burning stoves that day. No cabin fever for me!”

Space doesn’t allow for me to share the full story of Lyn, stuck at a horse show with other riders and forming a human chain to carry buckets of water to 26 horses.

But there is just enough space to add that the one thing everyone shared was what Carol mentioned: neighbor helping neighbor.

I don’t think it’s a Southern thing, I think it’s a human thing. That’s awfully comforting to know, especially when our national conversation can become so hostile.

We are wired to be good. We are wired to help.

Sometimes it just takes a less than great day to remember that.