Last year, I published an ebook about a snowstorm that left a family of four trapped in their remote farmhouse. I detailed all the steps that they took to protect themselves from whatever might happen along with their fear and how their passion to survive became stronger than that fear.
I got the idea for the story from wondering what would happen if it did indeed snow long enough to bury entire houses, trapping people inside. I remembered all the blizzards I’d witnessed as a child growing up in the 1950’s and 60’s, when I’d watched as the snow piled higher and higher below our porch. But it would, of course, always be over within a day or two, the sun would come back out, and we’d set about clearing it all away as best we could with shovels. Then, we’d delight in jumping off the back porch railing into the snow, something we never could have done during the summer months without breaking a leg or worse.
Of course, everything seems much larger from a child’s perspective. So the banks that piled up after the snow plows went by clearing our street were mountains, and our back yard was the North Pole. Eventually spring came, it melted, and winter was once again just a memory. But what if it hadn’t stopped snowing? What might that have meant for us and for our lives as we knew them? It would have to snow quite a bit and for quite some time to completely obliterate some of the taller apartment houses that lined the streets of the town I grew up in. But then, when I read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “The Long Winter,” I realized that there are places in this world where it does snow so hard and so fast and so long that houses ARE buried, and the people who live in them must resort to extreme measures in order to survive. In storms like that, you can get lost walking just a few feet away from familiar surroundings, and many people did in fact lose their lives during the blizzard that Wilder wrote of in her book.
A friend of mine reminded me last week of my ebook and asked if I wasn’t somehow prescient, given the snowy weather that has prevailed of late in many parts of the United States and how one storm is soon followed by another. I replied that, no, I was just imagining what it might be like if it DID start snowing and started piling up more quickly than we could manage to the point where we’d have no choice but to give in to its power.
Rachel Lovejoy is a retired freelance writer who specializes in nature writing. Her column "From the Urban Wilderness" appears weekly in the Journal Tribune, published in Biddeford, Maine USA. Rachel has also written several ebooks for Kindle Publishing, and is currently working on another. In addition to writing, she enjoys reading, cooking, music, old movies, photography and feeding the birds.