CHARLESTON, W.Va. - I think I'm part of a crazed minority that loves winter in all its frigid, snow-packed majesty.
Having grown up in Beckley in the 1970s, I have fond remembrances of the winters of 1977 and '78, seasons so full of awesomeness that we lost day upon day of schooling and even had to have a neighbor bring in a backhoe to clear off our street because the city couldn't reach us.
This year? Meh. Once Superstorm Sandy blew over, we had enough snow for my boy and me to make a couple of snowmen, but not much else.
Whenever we have mild winters like this one, I always console myself come March that there's still the chance that the Big One could hit.
And it's all because of the Blizzard of '93.
My brother flew up from Florida that March to celebrate my parents' 30th anniversary and arrived Friday. The airline didn't get his suitcase to Charleston and said they would bring it to Beckley in time for the party the next day.
Then the snow started falling. Suddenly, the dude living the good life in the Sunshine State was part of a Saturday shift shoveling what seemed like six inches of snow every hour.
By about midday, it became apparent that no one was going anywhere.
We had a pair of miniature schnauzers that needed to make their regular rounds. We were running out of places to take them.
As the drifts went knee-, thigh- and then waist-high, we had to blaze paths that the little critters could follow. And even then, they had to do this odd hopping motion, kind of like furry, land-locked dolphins, making their way through the deep snow. We had fun tossing them into four-foot banks and watching them disappear with a poof.