So how did you cope with the ice storm?
Some households in the Tri-State, I realize, were spared the power outages. Not those out our way on West Pea Ridge, however. The mid-February blast of snow, freezing rain and sheets of ice hit us hard. And power went out.
Trees in our neighborhood were bent over with ice clinging to every branch. A medium- sized pine toppled onto our house, its upper portion now resting on our roof. From the adjacent woods came sounds like firecrackers as branches snapped off from their icy burden.
With our dog Cooper and cats Punkin and Mocha, we endured two nights and parts of three days as the indoor temperature kept falling, all the way to 45 degrees. To get any sleep we wore four layers of shirts and sweaters plus a winter jacket to bed, then dove under a dizzying assortment of blankets and quilts.
Punkin loves burrowing under blankets in any case. She’ll do it at any moment even on a bright sunny afternoon. So she reverted to her usual. Mocha tried to snuggle with a blanket but left her topside exposed. Poor Cooper, an inside dog, kept refusing the trenchcoat I tried to drape over him. “Silly dog! Don’t you want to stay warm?”
Walking Cooper in the treacherous ice-glazed snow around the house was a feat of daring. For both of us. Actually, he slid and toppled over more times than I did.
From up the street came the whirr of generators. And from rooftop chimneys in the neighborhood came tufts of smoke. We had no generator but do have a non-working fireplace that we’d thought of fitting with a propane-driven insert but had not.
Now we’ll be pricing them.
Well into the second day of freezing to death right in our own place, it dawned on me that we should bail to a motel. We’ve stayed in many a Red Roof Inn over the years and love that they accept pets. But, alas, there was “no room at the inn.” And no room in any motel from Huntington to Charleston, as far as I could learn.
Paula kept trying to get AEP to tell her when they expected power to be restored. “We’ll notify you when we know,” they said. And to myself I said, “That could be one, two, who knows, three days from now. Help!”
There ensued a flurry of phone calls and texts far and wide. How was the weather in Charlotte? Could my son Bruce make room for us in his two-bedroom condo if we could get there? A sister of Paula’s in the Chicago suburbs said maybe they should come down and rescue us and bring us up to the Windy City? What — where they had 15 inches of snow on the ground?
A friend in the Dallas suburbs asked for prayer. Things were really bad there, she said. Power had been down for awhile. Millions of people were shivering with no power.
Then came a very welcome phone call from Kentucky. Friends there said yes, they had had the storm and all but they had power and would we like to escape to their place? They live on some serious acreage out in the country from Greenup.
Paula was hesitant. “Maybe the power will come back on,” she suggested. “And maybe it won’t,” I said. “Besides, there is more snow and ice on the way.” I won the coin toss on this one, and we packed ourselves, our bags and three animals and all their food, treats and meds into my Dodge Caravan, and off we went.
It turned out well. Our friends’ self-designed house floated like an ark on waves of new-fallen snow, but they had plenty of room for our “family of five.” Good food, good conversation and shared prayer before meals, all at comfortable indoor temps. Our second day of “escape” a neighbor of ours phoned to say the power was back on. Thank you, Lord!
Keep on praying for those suffering from these storms.