March 4, 1991: The Great Ice Storm

Monday.  Today, while not overly dramatic in the grand sense, proved to be a pretty substantial one overall in my life.  And one that anyone from the region would remember and talk about for decades to come.  I write this post when I am forty one and sitting in an office in Phoenix, Arizona, that I share with my cousin Jeremy who was just one and currently shares an office with me!

Today is my Aunt Sharon’s birthday.

We woke up this morning to an epic ice storm, the worst that anyone can remember hitting the region.  The ice was inches think on top of everything.  Roofs, trees, all destroyed and roads were all but impassable.  School closed, obviously, as even buses could not get to and from houses.  It was not safe to be out at all.  The roads were solid sheets of ice.

The Richardsons came up from Leicester to our house for the day.  Since there was no school we just had a birthday party at the house.  Jeremy and Sara were very little.  Jeremy was only one and a half!

There was no power this morning, power lines are down nearly everywhere.  The entire region is without power right now.  But there was loads and loads of sunlight, what a bright day.

One of my most vivid memories of the day was my mom cooking a French silk pie for Aunt Sharon’s birthday over candles and then, in the middle of the afternoon just as the pie was finished, the power came back on!

This would be a rather important moment.  Because I go to school in Livingston County, but live in Wyoming County, the house and the school are on different power grids with different power providers.  So our power was restored after a long morning without it.  But the school and nearly everyone that I know from school would not get power back for two weeks!  That meant that I got an extended school vacation, starting today, for two weeks and got to stay home with power, video games, television, heat, and everything else while most everyone else had an awful “vacation” dealing with being out of power.

The ice storm fell one third of all trees in the region.  Today completely changed the landscape that I had grown up with.  The look of the whole region was affected by so many trees, and a few buildings, changing.  Today was the day that the woods across the street from our house, the woods that I grew up with, stopped being a part of my life.

Up until today, at least during the summers, the woods had always been this major component of my childhood.  When I was little my parents and I would go walking back there all of the time.  We had loads of trails there, plus a large pond with a dock back there.  With this storm, the trails are gone, the pond is basically inaccessible.  After this, I would basically never return to the woods again.  I am in high school now, so going back into the woods like I used to is already something that I was not doing very often.  But now, the trails are gone.  We would not really know this until late spring when the snow was gone.  But for now, that part of my childhood just vanished literally overnight.  I would not see much of the woods again for decades.

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