The Charles Joseph Larkin

Family Memory

His granddaughter Kathi recalls with humor her experience during a snowstorm in Upstate New York. 

My Worst Snow Storm -- Ever!

By Kathi Larkin, October 30, 2011

The worst snow storm ever (and I grew up partly in Syracuse, so I know bad snow storms) but guys, this brings back a mind picture that is one of the funniest of my life.

It was 1987 -- Stephen had just turned 7 months -- Sara was in 1st grade at Grafton Elementary -- I had just gotten a high school social studies teaching job at Berlin High (pronounced Burr- lynn (with an emphasis on the Burrrrrr!) by the locals.

I was renting a brand new 2-bedroom mobile home on "Maxwell (or Maxfield-I don't remember) mountain - located about 10 miles off Route 2, running east from Albany via Cropseyville (our nearest town-basically a crossroads) through Grafton to nearly the Massachusetts border and Burrrrlynn. Basically, there would never be any reason to be on that road, as it went NOWHERE!

Michael, Stephen's father and my second X, had arrived in New York just recently and, having grow up in Santa Fe [New Mexico], was entranced by the beauty of upstate NY in the fall. However, he was already starting to gripe about the cloudy skies. "Oh Katie, big surprised," (he would say upon opening the curtains in the morning), "It's cloudy, AGAIN!!!!" Like it was my fault!

He was also not amused by our [rural] neighbors and would read the pretend-local paper...."For sale - two used sheep. Wanted - two new sheep." (Later-he would tell his family-"They say there are four seasons in New York, there are really only two -- WINTER and the Fourth of July!).

Then the weather really turned bad REALLY BAD. It snowed, and sleeted, and snowed, and snowed. The next morning we walked out to a bright blue world of sparkling white.

Ice clung to everything - tree limbs - power lines -house eaves - Diamonds everywhere! It was gorgeous! 

Michael freaked out! The power was out- our water which ran off an electric pump - was out - the phone was out (there weren't cell phones in the 'old' days). The radio said that power lines, downed by ice, had closed route 2!

NOW Mike really freaked out! He looked at Sara and me and said, "How long will it take for the snow to melt? ...or when will the snow plows get here?"

It was hysterical!!!!! We started rolling around in the snow laughing...

But wait ...that's not the funniest part...

He just didn't understand. He had a brand new red SAAB, and starting clearing the snow off the car and for about 3 feet around. It was wonderful.

A few problems remained. Our driveway was about 100 yards long (and we had no snow blower). Then, the dirt road we lived on was 10 miles from Route 2, which, if we ever got there, was close anyway. 

So the bottom line was that the likelihood of a plow reaching us in under a week was slim, real slim.

Picture this. Mike is standing next to his little red sports car in the middle of a field of snow! It was PRICELESS -- again,

Sara and I stood there laughing, and I asked "So, are you planning on having that air-lifted out of here?"

We melted snow for water and the propane ran the stove which kept us from freezing. I was still nursing the baby and used cloth diapers, but some kind neighbors turn up on snowmobiles bringing formula and disposables.

Before the power came back, but as soon as the roads opened, Aunt Shelly and Uncle Dan showed up with supplies and kisses.

They took the kids down to my mom in Schenectady until we got real heat, and Mike and I got to know each other. [Turned out that was a big mistake - We DIDN'T like each other! But that's another story.]

At any rate, I hope all is well for all the Larkins everywhere. Just had to share this funny memory.