I have decided to end Blizzard Week with the President’s Day Blizzard of 2003, which was the storm which had the biggest impact on our family. It was senior year, and Kelly was waiting to hear back from all the colleges she had applied to—from Miami up the east coast to Boston. Not one application had gone to a New Jersey college. We all remember the moment when Rowan was eliminated from the mix. It happened even before we arrived on campus when one of you mentioned all the cows they could see from the car windows. Kelly wanted to attend a school in a city—New York, Washington, Boston, Miami. She really had a thing for the University of Miami, but had not heard back from them by the time she headed to Boston with the forensics team for the annual tournament.
So she boarded the bus for a weekend of speech-making and fun on the campus of Harvard. On Sunday night, back in New Jersey, the first flakes began to fall and did not cease until Monday evening, dumping almost two feet of snow in town. Boston’s snow did not began until Monday and ended Tuesday, dumping 27.5 inches of snow—the most snowfall in a 24 hour period on record.
Kelly tells me they had to stay in Boston an extra day, which they all enjoyed. They did not, however, enjoy getting stuck on the Massachusetts Turnpike on their return trip, necessitating a wait a rest stop for another bus.
When she got home, I announced that we would be making a return visit to South Carolina the next month. “What about the trip to Miami?” she asked. I went on to inform her that while she was away frolicking in the snow, she had received a letter from USC informing her they she was awarded a scholarship and was invited to attend scholars weekend. Since she still had not heard from Miami, and it was now over a month after when the acceptance/rejection letters were supposed to be sent, the Florida trip was on hold.
We all know how the story ended. The blizzard cemented her decision to eliminate all schools north of the Mason-Dixon Line, and she loved what she saw at Carolina. She met Mark that year in her dorm, and later learned that he and his mom were standing in line behind us at breakfast one morning during Scholar’s Weekend. It was fate.
Stories always surface on the news about the increase in births after a storm or a power outage. In this family, a snowstorm in the Northeast resulted in the births of two babies, but ten and thirteen years later, not nine months.