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OLD MAN WINTER SLEEPS IN
He Doesn’t Arrive Until January 7, 2015 On January 7, 2015, Old Man Winter
is startled awake
as his alarm clock bbbrrriiiinnngggsss.
“Dang,” he says surprizedly. “I slept in.”*
Not only is the weather bitter cold, It is the first big snowfall. Motorists sometimes just don’t know how to handle the first several snowfalls until they get used to driving in snow again, according to PennDOT spokeswoman Juliann Sheldon.***
As I pushed our cats out the door I admired the artwork on the frosted windows and noticed the temperature on our little protected step-in porch: 180 Fahrenheit. Brrr. I shivered as I reminded myself the cats are wore the cutest fur coats—King’s a beautiful shade of gray, Little Dog’s white with calico markings.
I poured myself a hot cup of coffee and sat down to review my January 7th file folder, which contained journals of January 7ths past. The tree lights were lit for their final morning display, soft music was playing on the radio, as I reviewed the papers in the folder.
On January 2, 1998,I’d flown to Bangor, Maine, where my mother was in the hospital. Unfortunately, she didn’t survive, so I’d traveled with siblings to her hometown, Presque Isle, where I spent the past few days.
Maine winters aren’t known for being gentle. Caribou, Maine, a short distance from Presque Isle, has been reported on no few occasions to be the coldest spot in the nation.
No, Maine winters aren’t gentle, and 1998 was no exception.
I take that statement back. It was an exception. I flew into Maine during a massive ice storm that covered the northeast from Pennsylvania north. Although the storm had passed the ice remained, creating cold and hazardous conditions.
Landing in Boston en route to Maine—tien ice storm had arrived
On January 6, after spending several days in Presque Isle, I drove south to Bangor in the backseat of my niece’s sports car, which I could barely squeeze my body into. Down the icy highway we went, and I stayed in a room at the hospital’s inn.
On January 7 I took a cab to the airport. There was ice everywhere. Old man winter was still wreaking havoc. My flight was delayed and delayed until it was cancelled and the airline put the passengers up in a hotel for the night. The next day I was able to fly to Boston, then to Buffalo, New York, where my husband met me and we visited with family.