Dad and I just made it home. We both worked in Trifari in Providence, but on different floors. I went out on the loading dock at 10am and noticed a UPS truck having trouble backing up on a slope that was barely five degrees. I called my mom and told her to get home because she was working in a little jewelry shop at the bottom of a steep hill. She went home, then worried about us for the next six hours.
Dad and I didn't end up leaving work until 2pm when Governor Garrahy shut the state down. It took us two-and-a-half hours to get the ten-and-a-half miles from Trifari to our house in Cranston. I still don't know how we did it. The defroster in my car could barely keep up and all I could see in front of me was my dad's bumper. There were already cars piled up on snowbanks on either side of I-95.
We finally got off at the Elmwood Avenue exit and worked our way home through there. Mom was making buttons by the time we got in. Once we were in the door, Dad went right back out to get the snowblower going. He finally had to get me to come outside because the snow was already higher than the intake of the snowblower; I had to knock it down before he could use it. I can't remember how many times he went out with that thing. Once was in the middle of the night, I know.
We never lost power and had enough food in the house except for milk, which I drank a lot of. Thursday or Friday I climbed UP to the street and made my way through the snow to climb back down to Gansett Avenue and walked to the Sunnybrook Farms store on Cranston Street. There were a dozen other people doing the same thing. The storekeeper would only let people in five at a time. I remember there was a big stink about profiteering on food supplies, so they hadn't boosted the price on milk or other food, but a roll of film was ten dollars!!!
All the other streets in our neighborhood got plowed out on Monday, but we got "lucky" and had ours done on Saturday. No, we didn't know anyone. Someone down the street had a heart attack. The paramedics went running down the street with their bags while a guy with a backhoe dug out the street to get the ambulance through.
We had a great time, anyway. As far as I was concerned, being out of work for a week was a "get out of jail free" card.
Originally posted to the alt.rhode_island newsgroup, February 7, 2003.
Linda has much more to say on this subject. Read her excellent essay, Like Snow Business I Know.