Tuesday, December 14, 2010
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.
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.