Sunday, December 09, 2012

The Calm Before the Storm


It has been unseasonably warm here in Cowtown, Funkytown, Fot Wuth, whatever you want to call this little burg.  We have been enjoying shorts and t-shirt weather for weeks but later today, according to the meteorology  gods, all of that is going to change.  We are going to have a strong Canadian cold front that promises much colder temperatures and flirts with the promise of a few fluttery flakes.  Sounds lovely, doesn't it?  Well, not so much.  

I don't know about anywhere else in the world, but  our news reporting here in North Texas has become quite the media circus with much hype over nothing.  They start reporting these sorts of events several days in advance with the urgency escalating proportionately as the event draws near.  By now we should all be going out and emptying the stores of all manner of foodstuffs and duct tape (duct tape?    whatever for?).  For years, we all did just that and, of course, nothing happened.  After a while nobody paid any attention anymore  -- well, except maybe for the purchase of the occasional extra package of toilet tissue and carton of milk.  I was one of those.  I poo-pooed  all news reports and was pretty much correct most of the time.

However, three years ago I learned my lesson.  It was reported that we would have a few flurries -- I did my regular grocery shopping and figured we would just take some nice photos if anything actually happened.  Well, happened it did and and what a mess.  My daughter was pregnant and teaching school down the road -- they didn't close the school and she couldn't get all the way home to her house so we went to the school to rescue her and bring her to our house.  It was warm, dinner was on the stove, it would be fun.  WRONG! The trip from the school to our house was pretty uncomfortable as we were maneuvering an interstate --- trying to stay "in the grooves' which we have learned to do.  Bear in mind -- north Texas has no snow removal equipment -- and we have much more ice than snow and it usually happens first. So, off we go -- me and the heavily pregnant daughter in her car -- Hubs in ours and we trudge home.  We get here.  We have dinner, we watch movies -- pregnant daughter is missing home - I tuck her in for a long, well deserved sleep.  Then, the unthinkable happens.

We. Lose. Our. Power.

The next morning we packed up freezing, pregnant daughter and manage to get her home.  The snow was melting at a nice pace and she didn't have a lot of trouble.  We headed to Target for battery operated lights, more necessities of life and we came home to huddle in front of our gas powered fireplace for three days of absolute powerless misery.  The power came on momentarily one  of the nights, long enough for the heater to come on and warm the house, but it was gone again for another day.  

One might wonder why our power was off for so long -- so did we.  I can't begin to tell you how livid I was when I found out why.  Seems that ice on trees hanging on the power lines was the culprit -- no surprises there -- but what was surprising was the fact that the fancy schmancy neighbors down the road refused to let the power company trim the trees off the lines so we were left in the cold and dark for three days.  I guess the upscale neighbors found it quaint to be cold or they all took refuge in one of our very nice downtown hotels.

I understand that for a lot of people up north, this doesn't sound major but for people who are used to shorts and t-shirt weather most of the time, it is jolting and, honestly, we aren't usually ready.  However, today I am getting ready.  I don't really think I will need it but I am definitely checking out the batteries and the pantry and the toilet tissue and making a quick run to the grocery store.  I babysit tomorrow and I am taking a change of clothes and some pajamas.  Better safe than sorry, I would say!