"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.