The storm seems to come out of nowhere.
It brought with it, of all unlikely and miraculous things, a hope for my future, an image of my adult potential. The day was February 6th, 1978, one of the most exciting moments of my young life. The blizzard of the century was in progress and the sight was awe-inspiring. The snow swirled between the buildings as ferocious winds whipped it into a chaotic frenzy like a tornado. There was no forward visibility, and you couldn’t see across the street most of the time. This continued for hours, starting early in the day and continuing right into the night.
Lying down to sleep, I kept my curtain opened so I could watch the snowfall. Of course, I couldn’t sleep as I peered out the window every ten minutes, gleefully watching the swirling clouds of white beneath the streetlights.
Eventually as the wind shifted, the window became caked with snow. Frustrated by this development, I snuck around the house after Mother had gone to sleep, looking for a better view of the storm. I imagined myself trekking through the storm like an explorer, struggling to find my path through the blinding snow. My favorite large black and white cat Fat Man curled around my legs and purred softly, providing some extra warmth against the chill in the room. His sister, a gray and black cat, jumped up on the bed and made herself comfortable as well.
I finally managed to lie down and I soon drifted off to sleep. I awoke at dawn to the sound, which could only be described as a hurricane or tornado. I ran to the nearest window expecting to see the snow had ended, but to my frustration I couldn’t find a window I could see through. Maybe the wind had plastered the snow on all the windows. Amazingly, I discovered that not only had the snow not ended, it had gotten worse. Or better, to my way of thinking!
The TV weathermen said the winds were now over seventy miles per hour and climbing quickly. Over a foot of snow covered the ground and more was expected to fall. The power went out about halfway through the storm. The temperature plunged inside the apartment. The wind whistled through many of the windows of the old building, causing the old yellow curtains to flutter in the draft. Within just a few hours, the temperature inside fell into the fifties while the outside air temperature dipped into the single digits. The snowplows had given up on the arduous task of clearing the street. Columbia Road disappeared in the spreading sea of white, as does all traffic.
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