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

Not #Bloganuary Day 16, But Answering the Question, Sort Of

What is a cause you’re passionate about and why?

I didn’t write the post for Bloganuary Day 16 because I felt passionate that day about absolutely nothing except not writing the post. It happens.

Tomorrow I shall be passionate about the weather.

It was 77(F) degrees today. Tomorrow morning, it will be 33(F) degrees. Or 27(F), depending on which website you’re looking at. There will be light precipitation, possibly sleet, or not. Streets might be icy or might not. The high will be 39(F) or 40(F) or something like that.

My husband and I have appointments for our second Covid booster at 10:00 a.m. I’m hoping for non-icy streets, because I’d really like to get that booster.

Yesterday and today I went outside wearing shorts and a tee-shirt. Tonight I went through my closet looking for the warmest clothes I have. I planned to wear a sleeveless cotton shell under a long-sleeved shirt, something from which I could easily produce a bare arm–this is a drive-through booster.

The closet wasn’t promising. When I downsized before the last move, a lot of clothes went to the Salvation Army. I bought several pairs of wool slacks when we drove to New York City the Christmas of 2000, but got rid of them after a few warm winters. The heaviest slacks I have aren’t really heavy and may be too long–as in, I’m going to take these somewhere and have them hemmed up--but that was before Covid hit and I retreated into my cave.

At this point I don’t care how long the slacks are. I’ll roll the cuffs if necessary. I may wear my sweats over them.

I have sweaters–I love sweaters–plus a heavy, baggy chenille thing I wear over light sweaters. And I have my old Denali sweatshirt. But how many layers can a needle get through before it reaches skin? And how many layers can I divest myself of while waiting in line?

Some (many) people who are used to below-zero cold laugh at Texans’ inability to deal with above-zero (what we consider cold) weather, ice, and snow.

It isn’t the cold per se that we get wound up about. It’s the rapid drop in temperature.

And the icy streets and bridges. We’re not equipped with sand and salt to keep cars from sliding into objects they shouldn’t slide into. Nor do we know how to drive in those conditions. There’s an art to it.

I don’t possess the art. The one time I tried it, I slid off the highway and ended up in a ditch facing the wrong direction. Across from my father’s place of work. So embarrassing. He was stationed in Pennsylvania for a while during World War II and then drove across Northern Europe. He knew what to do. He drove the car out of the ditch and took me to the university, which is what he’d wanted to do in the first place. (“Don’t worry. I can drive myself.”)

Fortunately, my husband comes from cold country and has experience in getting around. I put my nose in a book and try not to think about it.

Well, whatever. This isn’t new. Sometimes, as my mother said, there’s nothing between us and the North Pole but a barbed wire fence.

And it’s common knowledge that if you don’t like Texas weather, just wait a while.

***

P.S. If this turns out to be like last February’s storm, when my neighborhood was selected for a power outage that lasted six days, and my husband went to Lowe’s every morning to buy ten 2x4s to burn in a fireplace designed to look charming rather than to emit heat, I shall not say Whatever. I shall pack my bags and move to El Paso, where a connection to the New Mexico power grid keeps the lights on. Or so I’ve heard. There’s only so much John Wayne-Rugged Individualism that this native Texan can take.

***

Image by Claudia Trapp from Pixabay