Sunday, February 17, 2013

Snow again. I think I want to have groundhog for lunch. "Come here, Phil."
I can be thankful my dad was well enough to get out of the hospital yesterday. Earlier in the week, he was curled into a ball and I thought he had given up. He is eighty-nine now.
I think I will share something that I wrote about the time I was in college and had one of our massive snow storms.

It was a huge snow, with the wet heavy snow that breaks trees, damages roofs, and pulls down electrical lines. It closed all of the roads, drifts piling high because the snow plows couldn't keep up. It was the kind of snow that causes heart attacks if you weren't careful shoveling. The storm had shut down most of the eastern seaboard.
In western Pennsylvania, the power was out. People huddled beneath blankets around wood burners, over kerosene heaters, by gas stoves, or near fireplaces to keep warm. Water taps had to be allowed to trickle to prevent the pipes from freezing.
Candles were dug out of drawers. Kerosene lanterns were pulled from the attics and basements. Not having electricity meant that folks had to rely on the ingenuity of  their ancestors.
Road workers worked around the clock in a gigantic struggle to open roads for emergency vehicles and for electrical companies the make the much needed repairs. The road crews used snow plows, road graders, huge snow blowers, and powerful high lifts with huge scoop buckets on the front of their machines. The state of Pennsylvania even pressed private contractors to help open the roads.
The power companies brought in extra manpower from other states. The damage was widespread. Often there would be multiple breaks along a mile stretch of the lines.
Opening the roads and restoring the power was a cold, grueling, and time consuming job, but lives were depending on them. Thank you linesmen and road workers. Although I complain about the cost of electric and having my drive plowed shut, thank you.

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