Do You Have Ice Memories?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The memory of ice, yes my memory of ice. We are currently being warned of an impending ice storm and just the mention of this flooded my mind with memories. Have you ever experienced an ice storm?

The first ice storm I survived was major. A solid sheet of 1” thick ice covered everything by morning, though you do not sleep much in an ice storm. The first thing you notice will be the sound.

There will be the sound eerie creaking trees trying to hold their own against the weight of falling, clinging ice. A sound, should you ever hear, you will not forget. Surrender will be the sound to follow. One by one tree limbs will give up the fight and fall to the ground. Other than these evil sounds the first night will be stone cold silent.

The sights I witnessed that first night were few. As if the street were going to bed in a can-can line the lights went out. Blackness took control. The only things to penetrate the darkness were transformers blowing. It was as if we were shooting up rescue flares. It did not work, the ice was here.

Daybreak will reveal the surrendered souls of the trees, along with our modern life-line of electrical wires. You will see dazed neighbors step out slowly as if shell-shocked, hang their head and go back in. No matter where you look, you will see destruction. This is where my memories begin.
  • I remember collecting my grandparents just in time. Safe with me.
  • I remember my outdoor training paid off for 7 days without modern conveniences.
    • Camping stove for coffee and warm water to bathe with. 
    • Camping grill to cook on.
    • Battery operated camping fan and aluminum foil to construct a make-shift blower for my fireplace insert. 
    • Coolers to collect the fallen evil and save my frozen food.
  • I remember my grandfather discovered goldfish, the snack.
  • I remember swapping batteries for firewood with a neighbor.
  • I remember walking my dog in my construction hard hat. Ice hurts when it falls.
  • I remember being pissed I’d miss the Kentucky Wildcats play on TV, only to find that a spare car battery, a cigarette lighter adaptor and electrical tape allowed the game to be seen.
  • I remember two weeks and seven trailer loads of debris hauled to the dump.
And my favorite memory…

My grandmother, still telling the tale of me cooking her oats out the back door on the patio.

So you see I have memories of ice. I know many of you will say, “Oh no, give me a warm climate,” but not me. Every region has its pitfalls and bad as ice and cold can be I like the alternatives less. The idea of the earth shaking scares me more than ice.

For those of you in the clutches of these early winter blasts a few reminders. Pets have fur but need warmth, bring them in. You need them to add to the chaos, it’s fun. Neighbors are not the house next door, check on the people. You might find you have items in which to trade. The elderly, lord whatever do; do not forget them. If you cannot get out call local law enforcement, have them check on them.

Finally, for you; let your mind wander and the inner Macgyver come through. Stay warm and safe my friends. Should I not be here or on Facebook later this week I probably don’t have power and will be honing my Macgyver skills.



Clarissa Draper said, 

What great memories. I remember a time when our family went out on the ice of a river (at minus forty degrees Celsius) and started a large bon fire. We'd run around throwing snowballs and skidooing and then warm up by the fire. It was great!


December 14, 2010 at 9:59 AM  
Alex J. Cavanaugh said, 

I enjoy cold weather! Too humid in summer where I live.

December 14, 2010 at 10:23 AM  

great post Jules! We've been fortunate enough not to lose power during the few ice storms we've seems like bad weather goes above, below and around us a lot!

Thanks for sticking it out on my blog with all the commenting issues.

December 14, 2010 at 10:35 AM  
DL Hammons said, 

The memory of our last ice storm matches the picture in your post perfectly. The trees in our front yard looked just like that, I remember feeling sorry for them as the bore the weight of all that ice! :)

December 14, 2010 at 10:42 AM  
KarenG said, 

I have a few photos like this in my album. Not really here in Utah, it's too dry for ice, we usually just get snow, but back in Illinois where I'm from, oh man, the ice storms there were amazing.

December 14, 2010 at 11:36 AM  
N. R. Williams said, 

Stay warm and safe Jules. My husband was just stranded in an ice storm. He's a trucker.

I don't remember an ice storm in Colorado. But we can get awe inspiring blizzards. Everything shuts down because the snow plows are overwhelmed. We haven't had one in years.
N. R. Williams, fantasy author

December 14, 2010 at 11:37 AM  
Tracy said, 

Hey Jules, thanks for your thoughtful remarks on my Hurricane meant a lot to me.

Ohio had a couple when I was growing up and while I do remember the crack of the branches, what mostly sticks in my head is that we lived by a river and during the spring 'thaw' the foot or more of formed ice would make this excruciating vibrating crack that would just send chills up your spine because you never knew when the next oone was coming.

I also had to laugh thinking of the tree branches becuase it always made me think of 'Chicken Little' ...the sky is definitely needed to take cover as it melted...
that was a fun trip down memory lane!

December 14, 2010 at 12:30 PM  
The Golden Eagle said, 

Stay safe, if the ice storm does hit!

I've never been through an ice storm, although there have been some pretty bad winters.

December 14, 2010 at 12:46 PM  
welcome to my world of poetry said, 

Loved the post Jules, I am getting a wee bit tired of the cold weather as another cold spell is forcasted.
I remember one Saturday many years ago My husband decided to go to the shops as usual I tagged along.
There was thick ice on the ground,
I slipped and banged the back of my head( no brain damage) well I would say that. I much prefer slides in the summer.

Have a good day and keep warm.

December 14, 2010 at 4:27 PM  
Theresa Milstein said, 

I do remember a couple of ice storms. It's so beautiful when the sun comes through the crystal branches.

Stay safe!

December 14, 2010 at 5:42 PM  
Summer Ross said, 

I have never been in an icestorm, it doesn't sound like fun at all.

December 14, 2010 at 8:13 PM  
floweringmama said, 

Oh yes, Jules, I remember it vividly. We went 14 days with no power. Thank GOD above we had a gas outlet and could have a small gas heater. We nailed up curtains over all the doorways and curled up close together around the heater at night. We ate lots of bologna. But I did get some wonderful pictures!

Stay safe, and I hope you're stocked up on supplies. One thing about being a Kentucky girl - we know how to survive!

December 14, 2010 at 9:03 PM  
L'Aussie said, 

Hey Jules, my fondest memories of an ice storm is swirling ice cubes around in my gin and tonic or my apple cider, ha ha. We have hail storms (you probably do too) which hit in humid summer weather and the stones can be as big as oranges, but usually as big as a golf ball. Damage everything from crops to cars to house roofs.

I love your memories.

December 14, 2010 at 10:43 PM  
Velvet Over Steel said, 

Yep, we loss power every time we have an ice storm & yes, ice hurts and makes a lot of noise coming down!!

Your memories with your grandparents sounded pretty cool though, Jules!!

Stay safe and keep warm!!!!

December 14, 2010 at 11:00 PM  
Tabitha Bird said, 

An ice storm? Wow, here I am in sunny Australia, I didn't even know those things existed.

December 15, 2010 at 12:34 AM  
Ellen aka Ella said, 

You almost make me want to move back to Maine. It was colder here today then up there...HUH?!

You remind me of the Ice storm in was it 97-98 I was in Florida, at the time, but Mom lost her power, I think 11 days, too. Lots of swapping with neighbors. She made a lot of hot coffee.She had a gas stove. Love your "inner Macgyver", I can remember we were in Tok, Alaska,, it was 50 below zero. Yeah, young n' dumb, that was us. We had stopped for the night and hubby sent alarm to go out and start the truck in the middle of the night. The ignition wouldn't turn the key switch was frozen. I suggested a blow dryer. We had a cord with us and he warmed it up. Good thing the gas line was starting to freeze. I can remember
driving down the highway and it was icing up, inside the truck. I have never scraped ice on the inside before.

You are one clever, survival chick! Your grandparents sounds so cute~

December 15, 2010 at 12:35 AM  
Rayna M. Iyer said, 

No ice for me. Not even seen snow, EVER.
But much as I romanticise about snow and ice, I am a warm climate girl- I need the sun on my back.

But I will keep your survival tricks in mind for a just in case.

December 15, 2010 at 3:00 AM  
Flying high in the sky.... said, 

what a description!!! never experienced snow ... but i was transported there with your writing... hope you will take care of yourself if there is a snow storm ..God Bless

December 15, 2010 at 5:38 AM  
Paula said, 

What a story. I am glad you were so well prepared. No ice storms where I live currently yet for sure no shortage of snow and cold. Hugs across the pond.

December 15, 2010 at 6:47 AM  
Out on the prairie said, 

They can be a major disaster. I just saw some pics on another blog from last year around you.We could get one today.When I was a kid we skated on the sidewalks.

December 15, 2010 at 8:32 AM  

I grew up in Michigan so I have lots of ice storm and snowstorm memories. We used to look for eaves with huge icecicles hanging on them and try to knock them down by throwing chunks of ice at them. The sheer weight of the icecicles would bring down the entire eaves. Of course, we would run like crazy as we didn't want to get caught.

December 15, 2010 at 10:12 AM  
Chris Phillips said, 

We got them in KS a bit I used the slats in one of my beds for firewood before the power came back a day later. Some people were out for a week.

December 15, 2010 at 3:16 PM  
Nezzy said, 

Oh girl, I was married in an nasty January Ozark's ice storm! I have memories of far too many of the dreaded storms that put our power out for weeks at a time.

Now, how many days 'till spring??? Heeehehehe!

Ya'll have a truly blessed day!!!

December 15, 2010 at 4:51 PM  
Mary Vaughn said, 

Ice an snow storms provide great memories -- later. When they're happening they can be scary.
Here's hoping this one is a false alarm.

December 15, 2010 at 11:09 PM  
Katie Gates said, 

Powerful post. The memories you shared are so vivid!

December 15, 2010 at 11:18 PM  
Samantha VĂ©rant said, 

Jules, I'm shivering. Really. All the talk about ice, and it's also freezing here. This was a very poetic post. Still, I need me a dose of sunshine. Brrrrr.

December 16, 2010 at 7:15 AM  
Tammy said, 

We are currently iced in as I type. Haven't checked the country's weather yet, so hope it missed you? And thanks for reminding me that it could be a lot worse, since we do have our power. It feels oddly miraculous to see everything--each twig--encased in sparkly ice. Like glass filigree.

December 16, 2010 at 8:55 AM  
Glynis said, 

I remember my whole family (10 aunts and husbands, plus average of three children each), all gathering at my grandparents. The snow had fallen two days after Christmas and it was a wonderful day. A table groaning with festive foods, singing uncles and snow ball fights. A fond ice memory.

Not a fan of the white stuff but the world does look pretty when it falls.

December 18, 2010 at 8:51 AM  
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