Lord knows how she fetched up on Possum Creek Road at the end of her journey. She came to the knobs from somewhere out west, bringing only her husband and a favorite horse, a snow white stallion she’d raised from a colt. Once settled on a farm, with a fine open acreage for pasture, she bought other horses, but Snow—that wasn’t his name, but let’s call him Snow—was her love, her baby, her pride and joy.
All was not always well on the little farm. Although she had a loving husband, her horses to tend, and a settled life, she suffered from bipolar disorder. When medication held it in check, life was good; but occasionally she would experience the swings of mood, sometimes euphoric, sometimes deeply blue, that characterize the disorder. Some wonder, to this day, if she was in one of those swings when she gave her life for her beloved Snow.
She was also suffering from anemia. A couple of weeks before the storm blew in, she had had an elective surgery to remove her wisdom teeth. Against the advice of knowledgeable knobite neighbors who kept to the old ways, she had done so when the signs were in the heart. Surgery during that time can result in excessive bleeding, and she almost bled to death before finally consenting to return to the dentist; a shot of a coagulating agent stopped the blood loss, and megadoses of iron and Vitamin B6 were slowly building her blood back up, but she was still terribly weak.
Friends from more northern climes, where snow is abundant in all winters, laugh when knobites gripe about a few inches of the white stuff. Even they would admit, though, that the Blizzard of 1993 was no ordinary snow. I can remember clearly how it began; Mom and I drove home from work on the evening of March 12 in a light pretty snowfall, as if the knobs, from horizon to horizon, was contained in a snow globe, the tiny flakes easily banished by windshield wipers. We carried in supplies, bought, as knobites always buy, in a bread and milk panic. We were both already in bed when, in the chime hours of March 13 (a Saturday), the wind began to moan and, driven on its droning, the snow began to fly in earnest. By daybreak, we were in the midst of a whiteout.
Down on Possum Creek, the whiteout conditions did not deter the lady from the west from her morning trip to the stable. She went out, but in a few minutes came back in an oddly agitated state. She told her husband that Snow was missing, gone, his stall empty. The other horses had been fed and watered. She was going to look for Snow. She would only be a few minutes. He was not to worry.
She had not been gone long before he did begin to worry. The snow was still flying with the same chilly remorseless vigor. Reasoning that she might have walked over to the nearest neighbor’s, he called; the neighbor had not seen her, but when the snow let up a bit he’d be over to help look for her.
There was, at one corner of the farm, a small grove of trees; her husband hoped she might have taken shelter there, and made his way to it, but didn’t find her.
There was nothing to do but wait, for the snow did not let up.
Searching for a snow-white horse in a whiteout is suicidal. She got hopelessly lost, wandering in circles, before finally, exhausted beyond endurance, she fell in a small gully, quite a distance from the house. Toward the end, she felt warm again.
The snow finally stopped late on the fourteenth, after depositing two feet on an area that had never seen so much snow in a single storm. Thankfully, it was not followed by a freeze, and began to melt quite soon. Her husband, the neighbor, and the local Rescue Squad found her.
Already, strangeness had settled on the little farm, for Snow, for whom she had gone out to search, was in his stall, warm and dry, when they brought her home. The stable had not been open until her husband went to check on the others; she had, as always, shut it behind her when she left on her last living walk around the farm.
Her husband had indulged, but never shared, her love of horses. He had her cremated, and buried her ashes in the little grove; then, he sold her horses, including Snow. A couple of years later, he sold the farm and moved away. No one has heard from him since.
The family who bought the farm were also lovers of horses. On the anniversary of the blizzard, the year they moved in, they saw a strange horse in the pasture with theirs: a snow white horse.
They also saw, to their consternation, a strange woman in the front yard, and heard her voice. She was calling a name, a single name, over and over. They couldn’t quite make out what she said, but it sounded like “Snow? Snow, where are you? SNOWWWWWW—” Shortly thereafter, both the woman and the horse were gone.
Three days later—the anniversary of the day the woman was brought home, dead—one family member went out to tend their horses, and found the strange white horse in a usually empty stall. It stayed there the entire day, but by the next morning, it was gone.
Since then, every year, on those sad anniversaries, they see and hear the woman and the white horse.
They aren’t certain, of course—but they think the two are looking for each other.
Incidentally, the neighbor in the story was Auntie’s cousin. She heard this story from him.