Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Ice and Snow and Cold, Oh My

Oh, it has been an interesting week here in central Kentucky. The fun started on Tuesday last week (I think) with freezing rain that coated every surface and left a thick layer of ice. Wide spread power outages followed. I was awakened Tuesday night to a flash of light (still don't know what it was) and the sound of my garage door opening a bit. That happened two more times, then everything went quiet. It scared my socks off. Well, I wasn't wearing socks because I was in bed, but it really, really frightened me. I thought our fuse box (right term?) had caught on fire, so I woke Mark and sent him downstairs to check everything. Once he assured me that there was no fire, just broken power lines, I added an extra blanket to everyone's bed, opened my blinds so I could watch the dark, and tried to go back to sleep.

Hope decided it was more fun to play in the dark than to sleep (at 1:00 in the morning!), so I did not sleep. I added layers to her pajamas and watched the neighborhood while she played with Little Ponies in the dark. I have interesting children. Throughout the night, I saw frequent flashes of light as power lines around the area snapped from the weight of the ice. It was scary and fascinating at the same time. Hope did eventually go back to sleep, and so did I, but we were both up again before dawn.

We knew the storm was coming, and we tried to prepare. I asked Mark to stop at the grocery store on his way home from work on Monday to get a few supplies. I wanted to make sure we had plenty to eat if we got snowed in. He got home really late with his shirt tail hanging out and his hair all mussed. He looked rough.

"What's wrong? What happened?" I asked.

"I'm not the only person who stopped on the way home for essentials. Everyone has been listening to Bill Meck." He paused to take a deep breath. "I tried to get milk, but two ladies fought me for the last gallon. I thought I had it, but then an eight year old rammed me with a cart, so I gave up." He held up a mashed loaf of bread. "I did get bread though. Tell me we needed bread. I snatched it off the shelf as a snarky blonde woman was reaching for it. She said some nasty words and grumbled something about taking food from a pregnant lady, but I just kept going."

He was pretty pathetic. But I digress. We had plenty to eat, but we did not have an alternative source of heat. Mark got out early on Wednesday morning to look for a generator or heater, but you don't wait until the storm arrives to look for such supplies. There were none left in the region. Since we did not know how long it would last, we took the children to a motel. Our power was back on that night, but there are still people in the area without power. The ice storm was followed by a short snow storm that dumped about two or three inches of snow on top of the ice. Icing on a cake? Frosting on a popsicle? Crazy.

By the way, in the midst of feeding children and packing for the motel, my dad called from eastern Kentucky and reminded me that I have a brand new kerosene heater in his storage building. I used to live in a little house in the country. When I bought my home, I purchased a kerosene heater because little storms often kick the power off. When I married Mark and moved to Texas, I didn't think we would need the heater, so I asked Dad to hold on to it or pass it along to someone who could use it. When we moved back to Kentucky, I forgot about the heater. Hmph. It's in my garage now. Kerosene is smelly, but at least it will keep us warm if we are without heat again.

Saturday and Sunday brought warmer temperatures and lots of thawing, but there is still a thick layer of ice on my driveway and in my backyard. It's snowing again today, so I have two more inches of snow on top of the nice slick ice. At least the trees and other plants are okay now. It's amazing to see all the tree branches along the streets here. So many broke from the weight of the ice. I don't remember ever seeing trees and bushes completed coated in ice and bent over touching the ground. It has all been quite an experience.

I could say so much more, but it's probably only interesting to me. In all seriousness, the storm was a mere inconvenience for my family. There are others who truly suffered. Twenty-four people lost their lives in Kentucky. As many died from carbon monoxide poisoning as did from hypothermia. So tragic. Please continue to pray for those still without power or who have lost loved ones.

My crazy, er, darling sons are about to go out to sled on our frozen pond (backyard). If I don't spend the afternoon at the ER, I'll take pictures and post again.

Thanks to those of you who have asked where I've been. I love blogging, but it takes time and I really am trying to keep my home and school in order. The blog has to take a lower number on the priority list. I will try to be more consistent, though. I do love writing.



Tiffany said...

You had me laughing out loud with your description of Mark shopping! If you lose power again, give us a call. We were still on over here. The more, the merrier!

Stacy said...

Glad to hear you are all okay. We prep for things like that here in Iowa...and for tornado's. The kerosene is a good idea, just make sure you store it correctly.


Should help you out some. :)