Each season brings its own kind of inclement weather. None is more palpable than the sharp decline in temperature and the winter snowstorms in areas with strong seasonal changes.
Many people bundle up from the cold, stay indoors as much as possible, and hope the season will pass without too much trouble. No other time of year can produces weather as majestic and disruptive as a bonafide blizzard.
Kids like blizzards because they usually don’t have to go to school. But for adults, daily responsibilities persist.
For those who lived through the “Great Blizzard of ’78,” the hurricane force winds and nearly 3 feet of snow can’t be forgotten. But for Ohio resident Shirley Rodgers, it’s a day she recalls fondly.
Shirley Rodgers was starting a new job and was forced to enter the torrent snowstorm of 1978 with her two sons in Cleveland, Ohio.
Rodgers didn’t want to go out into the snow, but had to go against her better judgement because she was starting a new job. With sons ages 4 and 6 in tow, she would have rather stayed indoors.
“I remember hearing a weather report that said if you did not have to leave don’t go because the conditions were hazardous,” Rodgers said to Fox 8 Cleveland.
But with two hungry mouths to feed, she couldn’t risk calling out due to the storm. The trio put on as many layers as they could, and treaded slowly through the flurry.
“I have never in my life seen that much snow, and also I don’t remember the wind ever blowing that hard in my life,” she said.
The bus was the only way to get to the babysitter’s house. The family was being pummeled by icy winds when a car started honking.
With nobody else around, a car pulled up to the bus stop and started frantically honking its horn. Rodgers panicked and told her boys to take off running.
She believed the driver of the car aimed to kidnap them.
“So I said Kenny and Kevin, run, run, so they started running and I ran with them and we had on so many layers of clothes that we fell into the snow drifts,” Rodgers said.
The man got out of the car, helped them up, and convinced Rodgers all he wanted to do was give them a ride. He dropped the kids off at their babysitter’s house and drove her the rest of the way to work.
What started as an imagined kidnapping turned out to be a kind gesture, which blossomed into lifelong love and marriage.
As the snow continued to rage outside of her workplace, Rodgers tried to figure out a way to pick up her kids and get home. She punched out of work, left the building, and saw the car that dropped her off waiting in the parking lot.
“I had no idea how I was gonna get home and he was sitting out in the parking lot waiting for me,” she said.
The man behind the wheel was named Barry Rodgers, and the two began dating shortly after the storm. The couple was married three years later in 1981 and just celebrated their 36-year anniversary.
She says they’re just as in love as ever, and for as bad as the storm was, she can’t help but smile when she thinks about it.
“Even though it was a bad storm, it was a silver lining because I met my husband, Barry, and I love him more now than ever,” Rodgers said.