We had watched the weather channel for days, awaiting the storm that was predicted to hit on New Years Eve. I started home from the store, with the wind picking up. I knew the storm was on the way. I hurried up the steep mountain road, hoping to beat the beginning of the snow. The kids were both home, I felt tears on my cheek.
The television was still on the Weather Channel, predicting “The Storm of the Century.” The kids, 14, and 17, were excited, as they looked out side. I was not so exuberant. We we were alone and I didn’t have a four-wheel drive. I would be stuck up here for days. I knew the electricity would likely go out and we had only a fireplace and a portable radio for comfort.
I went down into the basement to get some wood to start a fire. Gathering the wood, I raced back up thee stairs, wanting to get the fire started before the winds got too fierce and we lost power.
“Mom,” My daughter yelled, it’s snowing like crazy!” The excitement in her voice echoed down the hall.
Sure enough, the air as filled with huge flakes of snow, already sticking to the ground. I rushed to get newspapers for kindling, and ran to the kitchen for matches. My son lit a candle in each of the main rooms, so that we would not be left in darkness. I was proud of how prepared we were.
Suddenly, I thought of our elderly neighbor, Mr. Carter, who lived down the hill around a steep curve. He didn’t have a generator and was not able to contend with making a fire or cooking. We had to go get him!
I yelled at the kids that we had to go find Mr. Carter. It was already dark outside by the time we got ready to go. We loaded up a wagon, in case he couldn’t walk up the hill and started down the road, streetlights still glowing in the snow and stiff wind.
The wind took on a loud roar as we shivered in the blowing snow. I thought I heard a faint voice in the wind. “Oh, no!” I thought. “Mr. Carter had started up to our house own his own.’
“Mr. Carter!” I called back. “Don’t go anywhere, we are on our way!”
I heard a weak voice near where his long driveway started. “I’ve fallen.” he cried out. I think I hurt my leg!”
Suddenly, the lights went out. We could see nothing in the swirling snow. I shouted out, hoping to hear his voice against the power of the wind. “Mr. Carter!” I cried out. “Can you hear me?”
Nothing. The forest was silent between whirls of snow and crackling limbs. “Mr. Cater, can you hear me?” I shouted again. The snow fell on as we wandered in the dark, now on a desperate search.