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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

not quite yet

Ohio had an ice storm. It wasn’t really an ice storm, but more of a rain storm that froze when it hit the ground. It didn’t affect me too much; Michael went to work early Tuesday morning when the main roads had a good coating of salt and even Rachael went to the grocery in the afternoon without too much trouble. By evening though the ice had caught up with the salt and the roads were frozen over. Rachael had to run to the gas station up the road and they called me to say I couldn’t go to my doctor’s appointment on Wednesday morning. They were having trouble standing; people were falling in the parking lot on plain flat ground. They weren’t taking me out on that ice.
By after dinner, we were beginning to think about the possibility of the power going off. Our lights flickered occasionally and one bank of lights actually went out in the Blue Jackets’ arena during the first period. Rachael went around and closed all the drapes and blinds to keep what heat we had in. The girl grew up in an old farmhouse and knows how to conserve heat.
When the dogs made their last trip outside for the night around nine thirty Rachael had to go back and help poor old Mika across the ice. The little dogs had been dancing across the ice all day but Maxim and Mika had fallen through until this last trip. By that time there was a heavy layer of ice on the snow that supported the dogs’ weight. Maxim made it in, but Mika was too tired from slipping on the ice.
R & M collected Mika (I imagine Michael carried her up the stairs) and went to bed. Before they were finished in the bathroom, the power went off. I heard their feet hurrying around and knew they were on their way down to make sure I had a light. I didn’t of course. There were two flashlights and an oil lamp, but none of them were handy.
I was sitting on the side of the bed when they burst in to my room with a flashlight. They got me situated with flashlights and the power came back on. I lay back down with my flashlight cord wrapped in my fingers and fell asleep. Around midnight the power went off again and when I woke up at 12:30 it was dark. I got up and lit my candle. Then I lay down again and spent a few minutes enjoying the silence of the flickering golden glow. I’ve sometimes thought we should pick one evening every week to turn all the electricity off in our house and use only candles and oil lamps. The ambience they produce slows life to a place where we can appreciate all of our blessings.
At two o’clock when I woke up to go the bathroom, it was still off; but a few minutes later it came back on. I moved to my chair and went back to sleep.
This morning the news commentator reported that there were nearly 100,000 homes without power in central Ohio. Ice appears to be about two inches thick on top of the snow. Roads appear to be wet, but Michael reported last night that the wetness was simply a reflection off solid ice.
Right now it seems clear, but the wind is blowing so hard I can hear the howl even in my room. Our house here is very well insulated and sounds from outside seldom penetrate so that tells you how hard the wind is blowing. The forecasts are that the wind is going to cause the brief rise in temperature to plummet back down to the mid and lower twenties by evening. Already between 6:30 and 8:00 the temp here in Westerville fell six degrees from 36 to 30 now.
I have an appointment with the ortho-neuro surgeon this morning, but I won’t be going. My kids have decreed that I have no business trying to walk with crutches on the ice. I have to agree and I’ve been trying to get them all morning. So I won't be finding out about having my knees fixed quite yet.
I have thanked the Lord over and over these last few days that I don’t have to be out in this weather any longer. I remember so well the worry when I was living alone and there were several inches of snow. A snowed-in drive, snow covered walks, crutches on a snow-covered wooden deck, getting from the house to the garage alone. It was a nightmare then and a bad memory now. Thank the Lord for being able to stay inside. Thank the Lord for kids who say I don’t have to do that any more.

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