The ice storm, relived

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Ice?  Storm?  Weren’t those American Gladiators?  Yes.  Yes they were.  You may google them if you like.  A little over a month ago now (I’m very behind) we up here in Northwest Arkansas and beyond experienced and ice storm that brought the house down, or at least in our case the garage.  As it was happening, I wished I had the internet and power to use it, because the feelings I had were so all over the place and now in retrospect aren’t as crazy.

When it started raining and the rain began to freeze, I was a little scared, but I wasn’t expecting it to become as big of a problem as it did.  The next morning when we woke up, and there was an inch of ice on the ground, the street, all of the plants, down to individual blades of grass I knew there were going to be massive problems.  We still had power, so I kicked into gear and washed my dishes and did some laundry.  I also cooked some beans and rice.  You see, when our power goes out, we loose our water source as well because we are on a well, which needs electricity to pump.  So that means, no doing dishes, no flushing toilets etc.  In some naive thinking I filled up a few quart jars full of water, and other vessels I had.  Our power went out at 11:30 am.  Our power did not turn back on for 5 more days.

It kept raining (freezing rain) through that day, weighing down everything it landed on.  And then it started happening….crack………..KA-BOOOOOOM!  The limbs started falling off of the trees two by two.  They would hit the house with such force and make an eerie slide down the frozen roof and crash to the ground.  Over and over again this happened.  At the time I kept trying to compare this to something, anything.  I thought this is what it must sound like being bombed, I was just as scared as if we were.  I had to seek solace, because my kids were hanging off of me and wanting attention.  “I need a time out!” I said, and retreated to my bedroom and locked the door.  There I stayed for the next ten minutes or so, sitting on my bed and staring out the window.  I’m not the most religious person in the world, but I prayed right then.  I prayed for the electric company forces to move swiftly and safely, I prayed for the sun to come out.  I’ve always been afraid of the power being out.  Even as a kid I remember my Mom pulling out the oil lamp and thinking ‘here we go’.  It’s never fun.  When I came out, my eldest son rubbed my back and told me it was going to be okay, that it was only an ice storm…he’s right.

We were a few of the lucky ones out there.  Some folks in this area don’t have fire places in their homes.  With the weather being sub freezing for days, it became a problem for some people.  They had to move into shelters that were set up in the area.  We had a wood stove, which heated up our 900 sq. ft. home beautifully.  We were also able to cook on top of it, which was nice.  My neighbor loaned us a few 5 gallon water jugs which she filled up, so we could cook with it and drink it.  We had to dip 5 gallon buckets into our pond to get water to flush the toilets.  It really sucked.  We had to camp when nobody really felt like camping.

For several days limbs dropped to the ground, leaving just tree trunks.  When you walked outside, it was as if a million partygoers emptied out their coolers in my front yard.  It wasn’t snow or sleet, or hail,  it was ICE.  One day Paul was in the front yard filming the beauty of the frozen trees when he heard a *snap*, he pans back and manages to film a HUGE hickory tree fall on our garage.  It was a monster, and it scared the shit out of me.  I was inside and I hear all of this debris slam into the back of my house.  When I looked out the window, I couldn’t believe it, and THANK GOD IT DIDN’T HIT MY HOUSE!

I could go on and on and on, but thinking about it one month later, it’s just not the same.  Even though when I look around town today, it still looks like it just happened.  There is still debris everywhere.  The city said put it on the curb, so people did, and there it sits.  The President called it a federal disaster, so that’s kind of cool, I lived through one of those.  But being the California girl that I am, give me an earthquake any day!

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