Kerfuffles and Quilts

Such a kerfuffle.

In the previous post, I went on and on about forecast cold weather, possible snow, possible icy roads, and–my own special bugaboo–possible power outages.

Hysteria stemmed from living through the February 2021 Texas Freeze, six days without power, four without water–I never tire of repeating that–burning 2x4s in a faux fireplace and, on the last day, sending David off to bail our errant auto out of impoundment.*

The snow was nothing new–I’d survived heavy (for Central Texas) snowfalls twice in the mid-’80s–but the fact that a major municipality can, and will, selectively shut off power to an entire neighborhood without a by-your-leave was a revelation. It made my prior existence, turning off water before going to bed, draining pipes, heating with a propane tank across the driveway and a space heater in each room, seem like paradise lost.**

Anyway, the prospect of freezing temperatures/ice/snow put a cattle prod to my PTSD and spilled it all over the Internet.

And then nothing happened. No snow, no ice, no power outage. Extra cold, but low temperatures taught me an important lesson: At 33 degrees F, my new plastic knee works. Getting from the house to the car, and from the car to the house, I made excellent time. Didn’t run, but made, as they say, tracks.

A happy non-event.

That was January. This is February. And another forecast–ice storm. Not pounding snow, but possible ice and slush, which means possible downed power lines, which means possible power outages. Not for six days, maybe, but for long enough to cause extensive shivering.

This time, I think, it will happen. Today’s physical therapy talk was all about the number of Thursday’s patients calling in to cancel. And the number of therapists who might call in to cancel.

Sounds serious. Below freezing at noon tomorrow. One hundred percent likelihood of precipitation.

But after a mild case of the fantods, I said, Oh, phooey, or words to that effect, and let it go.

If the electricity fails, I shall pile on the bed every blanket, quilt, afghan, and throw within reach–and shall ask David to get down from the shelf those without reach–and shall make of them a cave and crawl into it.

If wakeful, I’ll bury myself with the laptop followed by the Chromebook, good for at least six hours on battery. If bored with computers, I’ll occupy myself with an Energizer Bunny flashlight and a book.

None of that 2021 hysteria. In 2022, this aged Girl Scout is prepared.

Large kitty throw
Small kitty throw
Book throw
Tortilla throw
Auntie Borden’s granny square afghan
Annie Munk’s wedding gift afghan
Granny Woodward’s patchwork quilt
Grandfather Frank Waller’s Bull Durham tobacco sack quilt
Grandmother Mary Veazey Barrow’s baby quilt
Generic blankets
Flannel pajamas
Flannel pajamas and slipper socks, mismatched but who cares?

***

*We parked in our usual handicap space but David forgot to display the placard. The morning of Day #6, he went outside and returned to announce the car had been stolen. After a moment’s reflection, we decided there was a more likely answer. He called a taxi, forked over a bunch of money, and drove home.

**The 2021 storm was a mere blip in the lives of the Davises. We were cold and miserable, but that’s it. People died. Unnecessarily. Politics.

***

Image of ice storm by Claudia Trapp from Pixabay

White Stuff

I woke late this morning (really one morning a couple of weeks ago) and looked out to see a dog dancing around on some white stuff. It took a moment to realize the white stuff was snow. I dressed, took my camera, and headed out to document the event.

The first time I saw snow I was five years old. Dr. Luckett was at the house to see my mother, who’d come down with the flu. My father asked if he could wrap me up and take me outside, but the doctor said no, it wouldn’t be a good idea. I spent most of October through April with a chronic sinus infection, tonsillitis, and a raging fever, and going out into the cold might start things up again.

I haven’t seen much snow since. In 1985, I believe it was, fifty miles south of Austin, we ended up with about twelve inches of snow packed and iced over. I felt so sorry for the cardinals swooping down and finding nothing to eat that I threw an entire box of Bran Buds across the ice. Tramp, my terrier, walked around licking up the cereal while I called to him to stop that. His Sweet Babboo, the neighbors’ pit bull, Becky, stood beside me on the porch, wishing she could lick the yard, too. When you told Becky not to do something, she obeyed, mostly. Tramp did pretty much as he pleased.

Cardinals’ beaks might not be designed to eat Bran Buds, but I didn’t think about that. My beak isn’t designed to eat them either.

In 2000, David and I spent Christmas in Maryland, and I learned what it felt like to walk through the woods, kicking my way through white powder. It was beautiful.

It was still snowing when I got outside that morning but the white stuff was quickly turning to slush, and before I could get back inside, what had started as flakes sifting onto my hair turned into wet plops.

But here is one little event of Austin in January 2021.

A good ice storm is prettier than snow, much more impressive, but I don’t think I’ve seen one of those since the ’70s when I had four impacted wisdom teeth removed, and I could have done without it then.

Y’all Stay Warm

Freezing rain, sleet, and drizzle. Williamson County is getting snow, but we’re getting freezing rain, sleet, and drizzle.

I’m fortunate. I don’t have to travel. JFTHOI Writers meet tomorrow–or meets tomorrow–but attendance isn’t compulsory. When roads are icy, few things are compulsory. I fell off one highway once because of a patch of ice, and I don’t care to repeat the experience.

If my husband has to leave for work at the usual time, I’ll worry. But when roads are bad, his office generally delays opening.

So there it is. I have a stack of books. If the power is on, I have the laptop. If the power isn’t on, I have a bed and a heavy comforter and a couple of cats.

Y’all stay warm.