They called it the “Groundhog Day Blizzard.”
When the meteorologists started warning what was coming our way in late January 2011, I tried to prepare.
I moved into my mother’s house with my dogs and cats.
I also bought a kerosene heater and a few gallons of fuel in case we lost power.
I was working part-time at a newspaper in Chickasha and Mom, a hospice patient, was homebound.
My house is about 500 to 600 feet from the highway. When the big snows hit, there was no way I could reach the highway in my vehicle.
And with a long uphill grade on Mom’s driveway, chances of getting out in her car were non-existent.
Unable to get to work, I made calls and wrote my stories on a small notebook computer.
Then I had to trek back to my house and my internet connection to email the copy to the paper.
I bundled up every morning in insulated coveralls, boots, hat and gloves to make the trek.
While at my house, I would carry water and feed to my flock of guineas in their coop.
It was interesting going because I’d had foot surgery in late December and wasn’t supposed to be walking on that foot.
Using crutches wasn’t an option in the snow so I would walk on my heel and try to keep weight off the sole of my foot.
The snow was deep, reaching my boot tops and sometimes my knee. I tried to avoid drifts, but couldn’t always tell where they were.
Once I stepped onto what I thought was solid ground. It was the drifted-in ditch and I had snow up to mid-thigh before I struck bottom.
That went on for 8 or 10 days.
I would make the walk between our houses four times a day.
We had hired a young woman from Purcell to be Mom’s caregiver and housekeeper during the day while I was at work.
I called her the first day and explained I would be caring for Mom and to not risk the commute.
She came anyway, bearing groceries.
She and her husband parked on the shoulder of the highway and carried the groceries to the house.
She stayed that day and came back every day.
We were blessed in that the power never went out.
Many other Oklahomans weren’t as fortunate.
Miles of power lines and poles were downed by the storm’s wicked winds and some residents went weeks without power.