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Ice Storm Week

When you’re a pioneer (or you don’t have power), you have time for two things: eating (and figuring out how to cook the food) and sleeping (and figuring out how to do it in various weather conditions).

You know an ice storm is bad when a man and his wife have to go stay with his ex-wife (true story — heard it on the radio).

Watch out for any snow-covered ditches that may be next to your driveway. Not that I would know from experience.

Carter and I were playing Memory one icy afternoon. We got excited when he matched a pair. I said, “You got it!” He said, “Praise the Lord!”

Even if your wife pokes fun at your camping gear (camp stove, headlamp, etc.), it comes in handy when the power goes out.

Watch out — your 4-year-old son might try to throw your 1-year-old son’s shoe in the fire and then pretend that he doesn’t know what you’re talking about. (Seriously — what made him do that? He just picked it up and launched it right past my head. He missed the fire. Otherwise, he would have been doing chores for years to pay for it. Of course, if we never get power back, he’ll have to do the chores just to survive.)

Surefire way not to get a good night of sleep: lie awake listening to the cracking, popping, shattering and falling of ice-covered tree limbs all around you, just waiting for the one that lands on your roof.

It pays to make friends with your neighbors down the road. They might just pull your van out of a ditch someday.

Hot water makes a whole lot of things better.

Generators are good. Unless you run them inside the house. Then, not so good.

Woodstoves are fun.

Camping out in your house is fun, too. For a day or so. Then it gets proportionately less fun as the temperature continues falling.

You have to get up pretty often in the night to keep your fire burning brightly.

Hot coals tend to pile up pretty quickly.

Don’t try to remove large quantities of them in a plastic bucket. Metal is better.

When the sun sparkles on millions of glimmering ice crystals coating everything in sight, it’s so beautiful it almost makes it all worth it. But not quite.

Having the right size firewood on hand is, to say the least, helpful.

Speaking of firewood, maybe one reason God let trees fall in your yard previously is so that you’ll have fuel to stay warm on the days when you have no power.

Radio is cool. Some radio personalities are also cool. Some are not.

Kids are adaptable.

And they’re well-insulated.

It’s good to have in-laws with power, no matter how far away they live. And it’s nice when said in-laws (Bob and Jean) have a guy in their church who works for the power company and is headed to your town to fix power lines.

If you’re going to not have power, it’s nice to at least have natural refrigeration. Of course, it’s not so nice if a dirty rotten scoundrel rummages through the cooler sitting outside your parents’ house and makes off with your grandmother’s Omaha steaks stored there.

That said, it’s encouraging to see how helpful most people are. And having family around is good too.

In the event of an ice storm, level driveways are better than sloping driveways. You know, if you want to leave your house.

It’s easy to resent people who aren’t as bad off as you.

It’s easy to forget people who are worse off than you.

It ain’t Mother Nature. It’s God.

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