Sunday, February 12, 2006

The Great Blizzard of '77

I don't do cold very well. I guess it's because I have no natural insulation. I've always been skinny, and as a kid growing up in Massachusettes I never really liked playing in the snow. Since I moved to Miami it's never been a big concern. On the rarest of occasions I've seen a few flurries during a cold snap but they always melted as soon as they touched the ground.

In February of 1977 we hada few nights when the temperature dropped below freezing long enough that the blades of grass and tree leaves got below freezing also, althoughthe sidewalks and streets still had some retained heat from the previous day. One morning about 6:30 I heard my wife Stephanie yelling for me to get up. "You've got to come see this!" she shouted excitedly. I'm not much of a morning person, but about thetirdtime she called I got up and stood in the chill looking out the open front door. The entire yard and all the shrubbery was blanketed with a light dusting of white and snow flakes were still drifting down from the sky in the pre sunrise half light. The pavement was just wet looking.

I poured a cup of coffee and went to get a camera, find some film, load it, all the while listening to the TV weather man as the sun rose and it got brighter outside. It also quickly got warmer. By the time I went back outside and it was light enough to take some pictures the white was gone. Now I always have at least one camera loaded and ready but in the past 29 years we've never had snow flurries when it was cold enough for them to stick. I guess it was a once in a lifetime thing and I screwed up.


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