Winter 2014’s been full of snow and there were some flights canceled out of Pearson Airport in Toronto this March Break week. As a winter, this last one kind of takes the cake for persistence and weather-caused drudgery. I cannot remember having to figure out, in sheer desperation, where to put the stuff. I’ve already broken my record for the high snow throw and – because the blessed stuff keeps failing to melt or sublime – each snowfall the record gets higher.
And the cold! The cold!
Our area usually gets some thaws through the winter that cause periodic melting to limit the height of the snow banks beside our short, two car driveway. I think we’ve had close to record total amounts of snow.
But the March Break of 1993 was unforgettable for me. A cyclonic freak that stretched from Central America to Eastern Canada hit the Eastern US and dumped well over a foot of snow on New York State on Saturday March 13th and Sunday March 14th. Drifting and lake effect squalls with winds to 6o mph produced drifts five to six feet high.
The New York State Thruway was closed from Buffalo Eastward. States south and east of New York were shockingly hammered as well.
Anita, I and our youngest daughter, Lisa, were planning to visit friends in Raleigh, N.C. On the way we wanted to check out Washington, D.C. This thruway was the key to our route from Ontario’s GTA south and east. We were to cross into New York at Buffalo. We delayed leaving a day or two until it seemed likely that the Thruway would be reopened, and then left in our trusty, red, 1992 Honda Accord. As we drove through New York State and Pennsylvania, the roads opened just before we passed through. Staying overnight in Pennsylvania, we arrived safely in Baltimore, peeked at the ocean, and carried on south to D.C. In Arlington, where we stayed while in D.C., we had to get a wheel checked out at the Honda dealer as a buildup of snow and ice had caused it to make a rubbing noise. The Accord is very close to the ground making it delightfully stable on curves and turns but perhaps a little susceptible to super-extreme ice. It checked out OK. I remember the dealer asking me about the lights automatically turning on when the engine started, a requirement for new cars in Canada that was not yet law in the D.C. area.
We visited the Lincoln Memorial, the 1982 Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial, with its 58195 names, and the Smithsonian Institute in Washington. We were awed by its brilliant Air and Space Museum.
Our friends showed us around a relatively balmy and lovely Raleigh, N.C. Raleigh was the beneficiary of the 1988 “Free” Trade Deal between Canada and the U.S. In our community up here an important Caterpillar plant was one of the victims. Ninety per cent of its workers lost their jobs when it closed. Our friend was one of the fortunate 10% who were moved to Raleigh and stayed with the company.
It was a fine trip, made memorable by good friends and the powers of Mother Nature.