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Monday, 21 January 2008

The Nor'easter or Why We Moved Back To Arizona

By Darlene Costner of Darlene's Hodgepodge

Rick had been stationed in Alaska for a year and his wife had spent the entire time planning a wonderful “Welcome Home” party for him. The party was to be held on a Saturday in January in Providence, Rhode Island where his mother lived. Rick's wife invited some neighbors to the party, including us.

The morning of the party we looked out the window to see blizzard conditions in our small Massachusetts town. My husband called Rick to see if the party was to be postponed because visibility from our window was about fifteen feet. Rick assured him that he had phoned his mother in Providence and that it wasn't snowing there and we should be fine driving down.

With great trepidation we started out in a caravan of three cars. Rick was leading and we followed with another family bringing up the rear. By the time we reached the highway the snow had drifted so much we were unable to see the fence posts. Heck, we couldn't even see the telephone poles. Rick was so familiar with the route that he just kept going and we stayed in his tracks hoping he knew where he was driving.

It was snowing so hard that my husband had to open his window and wipe the snow off the windshield manually because the wipers couldn't keep up. The driver of the third car made the mistake of stopping to clear his windshield and they never made it to the party. It turned out they were the lucky ones.

It may not have been snowing when Rick called his mother, but the storm was ahead of us all the way and the further we drove the worse it got. To compound our ominous peril we were driving a Camero convertible with only 1/4 tank of gas, no snow tires, no sand and no shovel to help us if we slid off the highway.

What did a bunch of stupid Westerners know about New England snow storms? I admit we should have been prepared, but we weren't. No lectures, please.

By the time we got to Providence it was getting late. Rick's mother offered to put us up for the night but my husband was a veritable homing pigeon and insisted that we would make it home. We didn't stay for the party but turned around and headed back to Massachusetts. The snow plow hadn't been there recently and it was any body's guess where the pavement ended. Suddenly we found ourselves in the barrow pit. Now we realized why sand and a shovel would have been really helpful.

My man kept rocking that little car back and forth until we were once more on the highway. I considered this a miracle. By this time the snow plow had cleared the road and four or five cars were behind it. Gratefully to have something to follow we started out again. It got dark and all of the cars stopped. My husband said, "Now what?" I looked up and saw the lights of the overpass and informed him that all of the cars had followed the snow plow down the exit ramp where the plow was turning around to head the other direction. We had reached the state line.

There was nothing to do but follow the plow back to Providence and start over. After four harrowing hours we finally reached our driveway. The snow plow had filled the drive and the only thing my husband could do was jam the car into the snow bank to get it off the road.

We had to walk to our apartment (a distance of less than a block) and we almost didn't make it. Only then did I realize the danger we had been in. My daughter was wearing a short skirt, knee high stockings and a hooded jacket. I was wearing high heels and nylons and a coat warm enough for Arizona, but certainly inadequate for freezing weather.

Once I got my daughter in a warm bath and myself in a warm robe I announced, "That's it. We're moving back to Arizona." The next August we did just that and I never looked back.

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 02:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


What a great description of your trip to the party,Darlene.

I was in that car with you every mile of the way, because I've lived with blizzards all my life in PA. and I know exactly what you were going through.

Now we spend our Winters in Florida and just read about the snow.

I loved your story.....

I only spent two years in the snow, but that was enough. I live happily ever after in San Diego now echoing your sentiments exactly.

Great story. Glad it turned out so well.

Living in the Midwest...I totally relate to your story Darlene...only too well. Love it! Take care....

Boy, what a harrowing experience that must have been. Bet you never left the house under similar conditions without all the gear. Glad it is just a distant memory.

As a lifelong resident of Massachusetts, I can certainly identify with your trip. Very scary indeed! I don't dare send this story to my son, who moved to Phoenix 2 yrs ago, because I want him to move back to Boston! :) Great tale...I was a wreck the whole time I was reading.

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