I’ve been feeling oddly nostalgic for this time ten years ago. It’s odd because it was a bit of a scary time for me, and yet it contains genuinely good memories.
In case you forgot, or weren’t here then, we in the mid-Atlantic experienced Snowmageddon in February 2010, as local news outlets have been reminding us recently – for example, there’s this story from Baltimore’s WBAL-TV and this one from The Washington Post.
We experienced two huge snowstorms within a week, and I was full-term pregnant with our second child. My 40-week “due date” was February 9, so when that first storm came on February 5-6, covering our neighborhood in 18″ of snow, we felt a bit of panic in our household. We knew the snow cover was too deep even for a heavy ambulance to get to us and that we definitely wouldn’t be able to get me to a hospital if I went into labor.
But here’s the nostalgic part: Our community – you (UUCC) and our neighbors – were attentive and supportive and went out of their way to ensure our safety. Neighbors brought shovels and snow blowers to clear our driveway and a path to the main road before they cleared their own property. A UUCC neighbor drove his four-wheel drive vehicle up and down our street to make sure it was drive-able if we needed to get out. The neighbors whose house backed to the main road (which we knew would get plowed first) shoveled a path through their backyard to the road and told Graham (my spouse) that they would help carry me (!) to the road to meet an ambulance if need be. Neighbors said they would take in our older child at a moment’s notice, even in the middle of the night. Two different UUCC members volunteered their spouses to help Graham deliver our baby at home, since they’d helped with their own children’s deliveries (or in one case, the delivery of baby sheep on a farm).
I was frightened, but I knew I wouldn’t be alone if I didn’t want to be. And that’s the source of my nostalgia this week. We couldn’t do anything about the storms, but we didn’t have to withstand them by ourselves.
Thank you, UUCC, for reassuring one another that we don’t have to withstand storms on our own, unless we choose to do.
P.S. You know the most important outcome of the story – next week we’ll be celebrating a 10th birthday in our family. But for you who are curious about how those next few days played out in February 2010: The second storm came a few days later, reinvigorating our worry all over again. And still we were not alone, as driveways and roads were rapidly shoveled and plowed again. Thankfully, by the time I went into labor (at the 41.5-week mark), the roads were cleared again. Had they not been, Graham would have been delivering the baby on his own. We were at the hospital for less than 30 minutes before our child was breathing air and being tended by pediatric staff. Whew. Precipitous delivery, indeed.
Wow! There are so many things I love about this story, more than 10 things for sure. Here’s to celebrating all those ways we show up for each other in all kinds of storms, and to a very happy birthday to your soon-to-be ten-year-old child!