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Trying to write in these times of uncertainty...

Bread and Milk?

Back in the early 90s, the region was struck with a once-every-100-year snowstorm. Its intensity and strength were unexpected. Elizabeth, who was about 10 at the time, Henry and I headed out of Charlotte on a Friday afternoon for a weekend getaway in Blowing Rock, a resort town a couple of hours away from Charlotte. While we expected to see a few flakes of snow, and that's why we went up there, it was March and no one, I mean no one, predicted the couple feet of snow that fell.

Hilariously, on Friday evening, we were interviewed by a Charlotte television station exiting the Blowing Rock grocery store, talking about our weekend plans to see the last bit of winter at this late date. Unfortunately, when we went in that grocery store, we only bought food for that night's dinner; we were in a hurry and figured we'd be back out to town in the morning.

The place we were staying was an inexpensive timeshare joint and only two other units had people in them that weekend. None of those folks knew what was about to hit either. The resident managers of the place checked us in and then the pricks booked it for the flatlands. We didn't know they were gone until the next day.

Suffice it to say, we got hammered with 2+ feet of snow and high winds. We had almost no food and we were stranded. It snowed so much over the next 48 hours that we could not find our car. All we could do was stock up the firewood in case the power went out; a trip to the woodpile outside would take an hour in snow as high as my chest. Fortunately the power stayed on and the local cable operators turned on all the channels.

The cable channels turned out to be a problem, though. For one thing, you can't believe how many food commercials are on when you don't have any. I actually retrieved the bones from the lamb chops we'd had Friday night and put them in a pot with water to make a sort of broth. And, we had some popcorn. Meager. The other cable problem was that when Henry and I were ferrying ourselves out and back to the woodpile, an operation that took several hours, Elizabeth was watching a movie that scared the beejeesus out of her. It was a real gem called "Night of the Lepus" starring Stewart Granger and Janet Leigh, who clearly had some debts to repay. It was about giant man-eating rabbits. Seriously. I am not making this up.

By Sunday morning, we banded together with the few people from the other occupied condos and decided to break into the office/residence to find food. The county sheriff's office told us to do so. It turned out we didn't have to break anything though; the completely inept and inconsiderate management who had booked it on us had left a window open. The taller guys in the group shoved my skinny ass through it and we were in business.

We got a few frozen hot dogs and some basic staples, leaving behind money and a note to cover what we'd taken; these few supplies got us all through the next few days. We didn't get out until Tuesday morning, all survivors piled into a Jeep, riding behind a huge state bulldozer with a plow on the front of it. It turned out there was an emergency services worker they desperately needed who lived on the road up above the timeshare place. We didn't retrieve our car for another week.

But I digress. Suffice it to say, none of us had any interest at all in bread and milk and had we actually stocked up the night before, I would not have bought any bread and milk.

We're actually EXPECTING 10-15" of snow starting this evening here in the mountains of NC. I will not be buying bread and milk, although I will doubtless see carts and carts full of the stuff when I stop at the store today. I will get hot chocolate mix, popcorn, veggies for a nice stew -- a great big pot -- enough for several days. Yum.

Really guys, would you be buying bread and milk today? What would you buy?

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