IN RECENT MONTHS, WHAT ARE USUALLY called natural disasters have challenged war zones for a share of the headlines. People have also been simply dealing with frustratingly bad weather. But whether or not conditions are life-threatening, there's been no escaping the fact that fires, floods, earthquakes, landslides, and drought have taken a heavy toll on people's spirits—and lives.

On a frigid afternoon that marked the height of a huge January snowstorm in the American Northeast, the Sentinel talked with two weather-beaten people who would have had good reason to succumb to self-pity, but chose a different path.

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February 28, 2005

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