Feature Writer Karen Crowder – When Large Snowstorms Left Us Snowbound

In the course of most winters New Englanders usually get at least one large snowstorm. When snowstorms pair with bone chilling temperatures New Englanders often are content to stay in their homes.

There are two instances when I have experienced being snowbound, but they have been made better by the fact that I was with company, right after New Year’s.

After the large weekend New Year’s Eve party of 1994 was over, two guests remained at our home. A snowstorm was predicted, but we thought they would be at home before the brunt of the storm hit. That afternoon we phoned our local cab company an hour before the commuter train would leave from Fitchburg to take them to Boston. As the minutes ticked by we were anxious because we had not heard the toot of a horn or the rumbling of an engine in our long driveway. Around quarter to three we called and the driver said there was no guarantee he could get them there on time because of worsening road conditions. We canceled the taxi and were happy to have our two friends stay until Wednesday afternoon.

That night we ordered pizza and happily talked and listened to music with good friends. The next day a friend shoveled our driveway. Marshall suggested I make “that delicious ham and cheese soup.” Everyone enjoyed this new recipe, which was partially made from some left over New Year’s Day ham and a maple flavored stock. It was accompanied by my delicious homemade rolls, a good hearty supper on this cold night. We were happy to share this experience with friends who were welcome at our home.

After breakfast Wednesday morning, they reluctantly went home in the bone chilling cold. That afternoon, after I went shopping with a friend and felt the severe bone chilling temperature, I was grateful to return to our warm home away from the snow and bitter cold.

Right after Christmas in 2013 I began monitoring the growing threat of another snowstorm right after New Year’s. By Tuesday the seriousness of the storm was evident. I suggested to Jenny that she cancel her train trip home on Friday.

By Wednesday night, storm watches had turned in to storm warnings everywhere in southern and part of northern New England. NOAA weather said we could receive anywhere from eight to fourteen inches of snow in central Massachusetts. Jenny canceled her New Year’s Day train home and instead opted for the Sunday January 5 afternoon train. As she said to the operator at Amtrak, “we will be snowbound here.”

Thursday night, as we watched the progress of this Nor’easter, I made the macaroni and cheese recipe everyone loves. I worried more about the oncoming zero or below zero temperatures and the powdery snow that would blanket our area. I left my bathroom faucet on at a trickle to avoid frozen pipes at my apartment in Liberty place.

Friday, as the storm died down, I fixed French toast and hot coffee for breakfast. We enjoyed the extra two days and used the time to finish a cassette book, talk, and listen to some old time Christmas radio programs Sunday morning.

We in north central Massachusetts did not receive the brunt of the storm. The Nor’easter blanketed anywhere from sixteen inches on the coast to over two feet in parts of central Massachusetts. Although the powdery snow and extreme cold are inconvenient this will be a memorable winter.

I hope this snowy winter is short and we have warmer weather with budding trees by the middle of March.

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