Monday, December 9, 2013

The Few, the Proud, the Stupidly Cold

Do you all recall the Summer 2013 Air Conditioning Catastrophe, which left us trapped in our house for one entire weekend in 100+ degree heat?  Well, we recently topped that with the Winter 2013 Heating Disaster, which occurred when a vicious ice storm descended upon Dallas this past weekend confining us to a 45 degree house in the dark.  I assert that this frigid cold was much, much worse than the brutal heat, but Jeff claims that I have just blocked out all pain from my memory...  He could be right, but my fingers and toes still feel slightly numb even after heat was finally restored!

It all began on Thursday evening at 7P.M., as I was driving to collect Milt from daycare, when I received the phone call that school was canceled for Friday due to impending rainy sleet and snow.  Of course, I was absolutely thrilled...!  I grabbed the Milt Dog and zoomed over to WalMart to quickly pick up a few provisions before returning to our home.  As we stayed up late watching Elf and drinking hot chocolate that evening, I was all prepared for a nice, long weekend baking cookies and watching movies in our toasty warm house.  That, unfortunately, was not to occur...

The next morning we awoke at 5:30A.M. to the harsh sound of heavy snow sliding and ice-covered branches breaking.  Pulling the curtains aside, we saw the ground frosted with white, and, of course, we had to push Milton outside to go play.  He was quite happy to lick, jump, and romp around while hunting for squirrels, his favorite pastime.  At precisely 7A.M., Jeff and I were still nestled warm in bed, when a tremendous crash was heard across the neighborhood, and we both simultaneously thought, Uh oh...  My charging cell phone clicked off, and I knew the power had completely fizzled out.  What a bummer...!  My dreams of luxuriating in a cozy house over a long weekend dissipated in mere seconds.

Milton enjoying this Dallas oddity -- snow.

Backyard romping

Ice skating on the driveway!

Sliding about

The offending downed power line; surprisingly, it was actually not one of our massive trees that caused the outage.

The hours to follow, a full 58 to be exact, were just pure misery.  Throughout the course of Friday, the heat in our house dropped from a comfortable 72 degrees to somewhere in the 50s.  Any sane person would have beat it out of there to go stay with friends or family; however, Jeff and I were resolute that the heat would quickly return, and we adamantly refused to leave our little house in this odd predicament.  In hindsight, I liken us to those strong souls who refuse to evacuate their homes when a hurricane is about to hit, or the sole survivors of a nuclear war.  We are a bit loopy in our decision making...  However did we survive?

Over the full course of the weekend, the temperature did eventually sit at 42 degrees...!

A weak attempt to slightly heat our house.

I shelled lots and lots of pecan!  The monotony of it all gave me great focus.

Milton bundled up. 

He curled up too -- note our new slip covers or rather sheets.

Daddy Dog and Milton even read together in bed.  When you have six blankets piled up on top of you, and it is still not enough, you need to haul up the Milt Dog too for added warmth.

The ice really was quite beautiful despite breaking so many tree limbs.

Geraniums frozen in time.

By Sunday morning, we were a bit nervous about our stockpile of deer meat in the freezer.

Over this very long weekend, we bonded with neighbors by newly exchanging cell phone numbers, walking to go eat dinner, and sharing candles.  Surprisingly, Jeff and I bickered very little, compared to the A/C blow-out; this was probably due to actually needing each other... for warmth!  Also, I think we were both gloriously rested since it makes for a very short day when it is only light from 7A.M. -- 5P.M.  Time was spent outside the house sitting with Milton at a local book store, very, very carefully driving to CostCo to procure our Christmas cards, and slip sliding around outside to survey the state of things.  By Sunday afternoon, it was all beginning to get a bit mind-numbing, bone-chilling, and just plain depressing.  Pop and Momeaux even graciously offered to drive six hours from Louisiana to bring us a generator, but we were in pretty darn deep by then, and we agreed to power through it.  Oncor had estimated a 12:30P.M. Sunday afternoon fix, but with 250,000 people in the area without electricity, and we, only three houses without power on the block, we were not really a high priority on anyone's list.  I did, however, manage to accomplish all of this:

My thumbs are super sore.

By 5P.M. that evening, I was beginning to go a bit batty, especially at the thought of spending another night in the bitter cold, when I, thankfully, glimpsed this out our back windows.


 I asked our hero if I could take his picture, and 30 minutes later our lights flickered back on!  I have never, ever been so happy in my entire life to be so toasty warm.  In the midst of this entire debacle, Jeff said to me, "Well, at least we are having an experience."  My reply was, "I don't need to have every single experience in my lifetime!"  We might have been too proud or stupid to ask the favor of a friend or family member to spend the night, but Jeff, Milt, and I certainly grew closer stuck in this chilly quagmire.  Next time our heating company asks if we want to donate a few dollars for all those who cannot afford to pay their heating bill this winter season, I am going to check, Yes!

No comments:

Post a Comment