Sunday, January 31, 2010

Always Winter But Never Christmas






"Always winter but never Christmas" was the way C.S. Lewis described the land of Narnia when it was controlled by the White Witch.  It was cold, hard, and awful.  I know.  I've just come from there!



Last week a winter storm with sub freezing temperatures blew through the state of Oklahoma.  Part of the problem was that the day before the storm it had been 63 degrees.  That created sleet and ice rather than snow.  We received several inches of solid ice covering trees, bushes, and   everything else.  The ground was so hard one could actually walk across blades of grass without bending them.  (see close up above of grass)  This caused great weight on power lines and on tree limbs.  I have seen many trees simply split in half when they could no longer bear the weight.  The tree seen here is only bent over in half.  We are hoping it will recover.  There were also many power lines downed and even many whole poles completely fell to the ground.


About half way through the first day our electricity went out.  That meant no lights, tv, computer, cookstove, and no heat.  We layered our clothes, had cheese and crackers, lit the oil lamps and thought this would not be too much of a problem.  We would be fine and soon it would be back on.  The next morning, my honey had a great idea.  He came up with a creative way to cook and I had fried eggs and hot tea for breakfast.  That day it began to snow.  We got 6 inches of snow on top of the ice.  


Well, 27 hours later as the sun was going down for the second time, the predicted nighttime temperature was 14 degrees F., and the house was no longer retaining its previous heat.  I began to feel a bit whiney.  So, we packed everyone up - Lydia, Kenya, Mattie Rose, and the two of us and went across town to the home of some friends.  They have a lovely and quite large home.  So it was a pleasure to be there, although I'd have rather just been at my home having a normal day.  There was already another family there with their Great Pyrenees/St. Bernard mix dog and another mid sized dog.  Amazingly the dogs got along as if they had been great buds their whole lives both in the yard and in the house.  And our cats enjoyed their stay in our bedroom.  About an hour after arriving Mattie had not come out from under the bed.  I looked under at her asking if she was afraid.  She was stretched out on her back with her tummy up.  She looked at me with her head upside down and yawned.  I think she was so happy to finally be warm, she didn't even want to move.


It was so kind and generous of our friends to share their home, warmth, and food with us during our chilly ordeal.  They are just that kind of people.  It is good to know them.  Thanks John and Judy.

We checked often through the days, and even a few times in the middle of the night to see if our power was back on yet.  You see the voice mail on the land line phone is electric.  So, if it answered, it meant we had power.  When we were able to return home today we found one message on the voice mail.  It was nothing but my hysterical laughter - my response when I finally heard that long awaited voice mail recording.

So, enjoy your heaters, love your electrical lights, and appreciate that cookstove.  Its not so much fun without it.

On another note, we were reminded many times as we whined our way through this ordeal, that the people of Haiti, many people in Africa, and people in many other places are far worse off day after day than we ever were during this winter without Christmas.
Please visit the Hearts for Haiti Shop on Etsy.  100% of the proceeds from everything sold there will go to Doctors Without Borders in Haiti.  See the link in my sidebar.

22 comments:

Lola Lynn said...

Brrrrr! How wonderful to have such great friends.

ArtSnark said...

Brrrr...cold & lovely! What fantastic friends

Maureen said...

Beautiful other-"worldy photos" Elizabeth - I hate ice but I love it in photos!

Midwestie Lady - Linda said...

Brrrrrr! Great photos. That one of the square dish on the porch looks like a Martha Stewart table centerpiece! Loved hearing about your cat under the bed too. Isn't heat wonderful!

BanannieB said...

What an ordeal! Your photos certainly memorialize it. Love your blue KitchenAid!

Annette F Tait said...

that ice looks very strong indeed! what an experience and glad you have caring and sharing friends Elizabeth! and you are so right about those with less. Thank you

Jane said...

Wonderful story, great photos, & some true friends. Especially enjoyed hearing about Mattie, so sweet.

whyte said...

Ice storms are beautiful visually, the pitts functionally! Is that a Craftsman style home I see peeking through ice in your photos? If so, I am so totally overwhelmingly jealous. My dream. What great friends you have! Glad you are back home and hope you don't experience that for a long long time.....never again.

MYSTIC SILKS said...

Brrrrrr! Brave you! Beautiful photos. And what great neighbors!

Brenda Lynn said...

Oh, what memories this brought back! Shiver me timbers! I'm so grateful you had loving friends with warm hearts and home to shelter you and yours. I can see Mattie lying there content as a bug in a rug wondering what all the fuss is about, and hear your joyful glee on the recording, too! Thank you for sharing the experience and beautiful pictures with us. So glad to have you "back". :o)

Christine Burgess said...

OMG! How horrible. So nice to have friends that you can rely on to help you out.
Some of those pictures you took are really fantastic. Look like works of art.

ruth said...

Brr! What nice friends. Those icy photos are amazing.

PCarriker said...

How can something so not fun be so beautiful? Very cool pics!!!

Heidi Rand said...

Brings back memories of winters in NJ, great pictures!

Kathleen said...

Glad you had good friends and a warm place to go! Good thing that you ran away, too *winks* I see the White Witch was busy turning rabbits into stone =p Not to worry, though - I hear that Aslan is on the move - hehe - and He's bringing Spring!

Lyneen said...

Great photos... sorry to hear you had such weather. Thanks for great friends!

Critters Comforts Boutique and Covered in Chocolate Bakery Shoppe said...

Mother Nature is most amazing in the weird storms that seem to happen at random. Love the pictures! True Friends who go out of their way to share are the best kind! Hope you are home and all are warm and toasty again in their own beds!

Jodi Ohl said...

What an 'ice capade' you had! Photos are remarkable, it must have been beautiful to watch your neighborhood transform into a winter wonderland but not so fun to have the power out for so long! Thank goodness your friends were able to take you and the other family in! At least you had good company during the ordeal!

Vickie said...

Such beautiful photos!

The Rustic Victorian said...

Wow Elizabeth,,I am sorry you had to deal with all that ice. I know what it is like. Once we were out of power for 3 days, and by the 3rd day you start to get really annoyed...the photo op was amazing,,,you captured the torture and the beauty. I hope the plants managed. I worry about the critters when this happens. Yes, we can always have it worse, like haiti, it helps remind us of what we do have.
I am so glad you commented on my blog so I would have a chance to meet you and see your beautiful work. I will enjoy a return visit to see more.
Marcie
Your rabbit banner,,,wonderful!

Karramandi said...

wow, that's incredible... Glad that you had wonderful friends and I hope things are getting back to normal.

Carol said...

Wow. I've been around a number of ice storms in my lifetime but that one puts many of them in the shade.
Your rabbit banner is gorgeous.

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