But when we do get a major snowstorm, it's a news event. This past week we've been hit with snowstorms and ice storms, prompting our governor to declare a state of emergency.
In thinking of how my ancestors coped with severe weather, I immediately thought of the great Blizzard of 1888 that hit New York City. Grandma Stoelt's great-grandfather John Christopher Varran and his wife Margaret, both in their 60's, lived in New York City, at 301 S. 121st St.
But most of my ancestors were living in Michigan, and the worst storm there was the Big Blow of November 1913.
As for my maternal great-grandparents, Herbert and Claudia (Thompson) Randall were greatly affected by the storm - they lived in Manistee, right on Lake Michigan, and Herbert worked as a ship's engineer. Herbert's father Augustus Randall and Claudia's father Stacy Thompson lived in Manistee, as well. As for the Stoelts, my grandfather Arnold Anthony Stoelt was 12 years old and living in Sebewaing, Huron County, with his parents Johan and Catherine (Dorsch) Stoelt. In fact, looking at the dates, I see that Johan Stoelt died just weeks later, on 26 December 1913.
So in dealing with the weather, stocking emergency supplies and coping with power outages and downed trees, we have a lot in common with our ancestors. Today's ice storms are tomorrow's stories ~ just as I tell stories of living through hurricane watches and warnings in Florida in the 1970's, someday my children will be telling their grandchildren about the high winds they experienced in Western Washington, lo these many years ago.