To quote from the March 14, 1949 TIME: "This winter the western half of the U.S. got its worst weather in history, and the eastern half some of its mildest. The U.S. Weather Bureau, looking on the dark (or cold) side, regards the 1948-49 winter as the hardest ever—worse in most respects than the winter of 1937. The records are not all in (spring does not come officially until March 21), but already the bureau has a fine collection of weather aberrations and never-befores."
TIME added this comment, " The great blizzard of early January was the worst that ever hit the high-plains states."
We had just recently moved to the farm mentioned in my previous post. Dad, my uncle, and my two older brothers picked the wrong day to drive to Sioux City for supplies. It began snowing before their return and by the time they got a third of the way home the authorities had closed the road and were directing traffic to a small business on Highway 141 that we called The Trading Post. There they spent the night. My brothers were about seven and five years old. They were cute little guys and other travelers treated them to Coca Cola.
At home we had no telephone. When they failed to return home before dark Mom knew they must have been stranded some place. And she, too, was stranded with two smaller children and herself five months pregnant. It must have been a long night for her, waiting, wondering.
I don't remember the storm itself but I do remember the deep snow the next day. Mom must have kept the house warm enough with the potbelly wood-burning stove in the middle of the dining room for I don't remember it being cold. I'm sure she remembers it, but somehow cold and heat are not memories of my early childhood.
I'll have to ask my second brother which car they were driving that day. We had a 1928 Studebaker but also acquired that year or the next another vehicle, an old Buick. He'll remember. He has a good memory for details.