When we lived in DC, our Capitol Hill neighborhood saw the occasional snowflake. Indeed, we were inundated several times by inches....nay, feet...of the white stuff.
Mrs. Scribe even remembers sledding down the steps of the West Front of the US Capitol. Snow had piled up so high on that descending granite filigree, down the sharp incline headed toward the fountain at the bottom of the hill, that neighbors had constructed a makeshift ski jump.
These were, of course, the days before September 11th. Now it's darn near impossible to get on to the Capitol Grounds, regardless of the weather, much less toboggan down the steps.
When we moved to the 'burbs in '93, the winter temps seemed to plummet & the snow total just about doubled. Mrs. Scribe remembers more than one winter bumper-to-bumper afternoon commute, featuring jack-knifed tractor-trailers and fruitlessly spinning wheels; she was a SAHM back then, but one or the other of the kids was finishing up the school year in DC.
Stupendous snow accumulation was always a hallmark of the MLK holiday in the middle of January; snow days supplanted school in time for President's Day in February, and more than one snowflake marred the annual Cherry Blossom celebration at the end of March.
Until The Blizzard of 1996, that is.
In a series snowstorms to beat all snowstorms, this particularly precipitous form of frozen precipitation started piling up around King's B-Day, and didn't really stop, except for a few intermittent breaks, until the end of February. We had snow up the ying-yang, as Mr. Fairway would say. We had more snow than Carter's has pills (another MFW saying, whatever it means).
We were so overwhelmed back in '96 that the county brought in back-hoes & other Serious Looking Construction Equipment to move the snowy stuff off our street. The landfills were full of it, as were the vacant lots. Not to mention several side yards, including ours, which hosted a mountain of some 20 feet or more. Some of the frosty gunk didn't melt 'til well beyong Tax Time.
What was left to do but have a little fun?
The Canadian Guy down the street flooded his yard with a garden hose, & set up a makeshift ice hockey rink. That sucker was frozen solid for a good month! The kids built a toboggan run off an old van that was buried under several feet of the stuff, and scared us all silly as they Swooshed! into the street.
Even the adults got in on the act, in a grown-up kinda way.
The neighbors on our cul-de-sac pooled their resources & bought a snow-blower. Mr. Fairway & the neighbor with a mega-HUGE pickem up truck & a big ol' chain prowled the neighborhood, helping out hapless folks who'd gotten stuck in the snow. Mr. Fairway went down to the local screen-printing store and ordered T-Shirts.
We live on Saint Roman Drive. We think the developer was a lapsed Catholic, playing a little joke on the neighborhood. No such holy person seems to have ever existed in the annals of Catholic liturgy.
The black, long-sleeve T's honoring our Snow Team have a snowflake, natch, emblazoned across the front in white, & framed by the label, "Saint Roman Snow Team." As neighbors have moved and houses have changed hands over the years, the new inhabitants of our 5 little houses on the cul-de-sac buy their shares of the snowblower from the previous owners; the T-shirt gets handed down to the Man of the House.
3 members of the Original Saint Roman Snow Team still live on our court. They rescued us again Monday.
All Hail to the Saint Roman Snow Team!