Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Winter Wonderland

Can you see how thick the ice is on the branches? This was the following morning, no power and no phone. The house is so quiet without Good Morning America, I'm beginning to get "Cabin Fever" already! I did have the presence of mind to brew two pots of coffee yesterday and one is still warm in the carafe. Over the holidays I had bought a new fondue pot with sterno fuel so this will be my only means to hot food over the next couple days. I decided to make oatmeal, maybe a hearty breakfast would keep me full longer. I added butter, brown sugar and banana...feeling very proud of myself for being so resourceful! Immediately I realized eating out of the same pot would eliminate the dish problem (no hot water) and I was beginning to feel a little bit like a pioneer!

Mr. Big came back, hungry and looking at me with his begging brown eyes! It's about 8 degrees this morning so I looked around the kitchen for more junk food, this time vanilla wafers and caramel popcorn left over from Christmas sounded good to this little fat squirrel. He eats the sweets first, then the shelled corn in his cast iron dish!

In the afternoon the trees were bent with the weight of the ice. There was an errie creaking as they began to bend and break. This Red Oak limb was the first to fall, followed by many others down into the woods. The sky was sending sleet in the form of small icicles for most of the day and into the night. When it was all over we had 3 inches of ice on the ground and trees across the Ozarks were split apart with the weight. I kept my radio on for news and I had my cell, but really things came to a complete stop. You couldn't drive, stores closed, even emergency vehicles were stopped by all the downed trees and power lines. My local radio station took call ins from people in distress, an 83 year old lady who had a power line across her fence and unable to feed her horses. Later I learned that the radio station sent an employee out to throw the bales of hay over to the horses. Some guy with a great sense of humor called to say he had stocked up for the storm, had dry wood to burn and a pot of beans on the stove...and he hadn't called for a bailout from the government or assistance from FEMA! We are a hardy bunch here, able to figure out our problems and pull together in a crisis. The kindness of neighbors, the hard work of the linemen who braved the bitter cold days and nights on end; we each have a strength in us that we don't know exists until pressed. My Dad used to call it "pulling yourself up by your bootstraps", meaning getting out of a difficult situation by one's own efforts. It took the combined efforts of many to fix what Mother Nature did in just 24 hours.

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