Living in East Texas, we don’t typically see much snow accumulation. We usually see an ice storm or two and temps that dip into the 20’s or upper teens. This results in a day or so off from work, maybe a power outage or two, and then nlife goes back to normal. Being so far south, Texas doesn’t have the infrastructure to handle these major changes in temperatures for extended periods of time. Nor does it prepare to treat the roads for excessive ice and snow accumulation. They don’t have snow plows here. We don’t usually need them. This week is definitely different though.
Valentine’s Day was normal but we had the “Winter Weather Advisory” coming through on the phone and weather apps. People went out and got the usual inclement weather supplies. I know we did. We stocked up on fuel for our kerosene heater, batteries, and even left the water trickling to ensure that pipes weren’t freezing and bursting. We’ve had enough plumbing issues. Also, keep in mind we had the usual spring temps in the 70’s last week. Honestly, I bought gear for walking and then got stuck by rain and this mess. So, the weather here is just crazy. Now, Monday, we had about 7-9 inches of snow on the ground. So much so that we ended up having to go rescue our tenacious little chihuahua who got stuck trying to go do the usual potty routine. Pip was smart and stayed by the porch where a roof covers so the depth wasn’t too bad for him. Under the porch was a good option too.
Living in Texas for going on 20 years (give or take a few), I’ve never seen it like this. We lost power for about 11 hours. Many people have it far worse though. I know people who have been days with no power, have pipes bursting, and are running out of firewood for fireplaces or alternative fuel for other heaters. Last I heard, 5 in our area have lost their lives due to the extreme cold that we’re ill-equipped to deal with. We’ve had sub-zero temperatures that broke records.
My mom came and asked me if I would be okay driving my Dad to town to see if we could get more kerosene. Why? Well, the fact is, I spent time driving in these type of conditions when I worked for a transportation company. I was sent to Wisconsin for about eight weeks to supplement their crew. So, I have more experience driving in it than my Dad who is a native Texan. So, I bundled up like I used to when I grew up in Kentucky and trudged out to my little SUV. I didn’t have anything to clean the ice off my windshield though so it took a while to warm up enough so we could drive. Dad took a broom to the windows to speed up the process. And off we went. I didn’t scare him too badly but it was definitely slow going.
Our goal was to pick up some additional supplies for food, drinks, and kerosene for heating. Most stores were shut down. (Understandable, given the road conditions.) There was no kerosene to be found at any of our stops. I wanted to take the time to fill my car up too. I was at half a tank and I didn’t want to run the tank dry if we got stuck and had to wait for a tow. Only one of the 5 gas stations in town had gas to buy. Our local grocery store was packed and Dad said the shelves were looking awfully barren. We made it home before dark, but we had issues getting back into the driveway. I managed to maneuver into the bottom of the drive and get out of the main road. Getting back up the hill into my usual parking spot wasn’t going to happen though.
I count us very blessed right now. We still have power and so we have electric heaters to knock the chill off the house. I was able to get a hot bath this morning without feelilng like I was going to catch my death of a cold in the process. For now, I’ll accept a nap under three blankets, snuggles with my pup, and a good book to read to keep warm when I need to. And I’ll wear actual slippers and fuzzy socks instead of my flip-flops. I’ll try not to complain and I’m keeping busy with planning, journaling, and working on things while the electric is still on. We may lose it again at any minute thanks to… well let’s not talk about that right now. I keep my devices charged, my favorite candle burning for the moment, and I’m frequently checking on my pup here in his little bed beside me (which is fluffy and warm) to make sure his blanket is all tucked in to conserve heat as well. We will get through this week. It will likely be back to the 60’s and 70’s next week and life will resume.
In the meantime, I’m making plans for some exciting things. I’m cleaning up categories here on the blog and planning some awesome content. I’m also looking at coordinating a YouTube channel to go along with this that will have more interactive content as well. I want to do some documenting of various changes in my life. I also want to interact more with other aspiring authors, artists, and readers. So, I may invite some friends for some productivity sessions where you can write with us live and ask questions. I think sometimes, things come across better when you can hear and see the person trying to communicate them. I also need to get over the block I have with getting myself on camera. So keep an eye out for that soon, I’ll be announcing the details for everyone and I want to kick it off with some sort of giveaway. We’ll see what I come up with.
Keeping things productive even in the midst of this Snowpocalypse. But seriously y’all. Pray for Texas right now. We aren’t cut out for this kind of weather. We’ll get through it but, I’m praying that we can do it without anymore lives being lost.
Keep your chin up and tell me in the comments what your favorite way to warm up on a cold winter day is.