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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The World Didn't End

Okay, so it was not quite the end of the world, and as far as I can guess, it's been nothing close to the second coming of Christ. But it HAS been an ice storm frequently referred to as "worse than the one in '86." I remember that one. My family skipped town shortly after it hit and headed a bit early for a planned visit to my grandparents in southern Texas. We missed the most of the storm. That time, however, the roads were an ice rink. This time the roads were all fine.

I was driving quite a bit today and saw very few trees that were not split, broken, or damaged in some way. I also saw a lot of tree branches that were bent over and lying directly on power when they melt enough they are likely going to take the lines down again. Everything is still coated in about an inch of ice, including power lines and every blade of grass or plant matter....oh, and the family-mobile, which took some interesting measures to thaw enough to even get into it and start it. Dear Husband and I jumped ship from our home early Saturday evening after a three hour power outage. My main concern was the wee ones and not wanting them to get cold if we were out of power for a long time. It was a good choice as our home did end up being out of power for about two days. We headed to my parents, where we had electricity until about 8 pm that night. Then it was black for the next 24 hours. We also had much of that time without water. But that's nothing compared to many areas of the city who are heading into their 5th day without power or water.

Today I moved myself and the kids back home, and I still could not unfreeze the back door of the family-mobile or one of the sliding doors enough to open them. I had to take out one of the kids' carseats and the entire seat itself and load stuff through the one sliding door that opened. It reminded me of when I lived in Northern Idaho and it was common for it to get cold enough to freeze your car locks. I drove a little Doge Colt with a hatchback at that time, and there were a number of days that I had to climb in and out of my car through the hatchback, as it was the only door I could get open. I got a few strange looks when I was seen climbing out of the hatchback in various parking lots around town.

It has been pretty crazy the past few days, with interesting things happening like being unable to pay for items in some stores except for cash, as electronic forms of payment were not possible...and hearing top news stories about where to get D cell batteries, generators, kerosene, etc. Today I heard an ad on the radio about where to buy generators online. If "same day shipping" was chosen you would get your generator within two business days. Seemed pretty dumb to me. If you're desperate enough to buy a generator in the aftermath of an ice storm, the assumption is that you've been without power for awhile and are not likely to have access to the internet in the first place, and in the second place, not likely to feel like waiting two more days for the generator you can't order in the first place.

Unfortunately I have not gotten any pictures of the aftermath. I really should try to do that sometime tomorrow before it melts more. It's pretty odd looking. I am noticing trees and shrubs that I've never noticed before, in spite of passing them hundreds of times before. Something about that inch of ice encasing them draws your attention. In spite of how much Dear Husband and I want a chunk of land that is nicely wooded, we are, at the moment, thankful that we do not have any large trees to fall on and damage our home or cars.

Hopefully it will be at least 20 more years before we have to refer to "the storm of '07."

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