it was exactly a week ago today i drank my last cup of the iced coffee i keep on hand. i didnt make anymore that morning, and regretted it later. it was pretty cold outside, and after a while it began to rain. i had spent saturday cleaning, and was settling in to enjoy a peaceful day at home. the beau was sleeping in, recovering from a wicked cold. it was nothing to compare to the wicked cold moving into the state.
soon the rain turned to ice rain, and began to coat the world outside. it wouldnt stop, and the ice began to build on anything with a surface. winter was here, and she was not in a pretty mood. even jack frost kept away as she swept her icy robes over everything in sight, over and over again. hour after hour the ice rain fell. by late afternoon there was about an inch or more of ice on everything. my house is in an old neighborhood, and we have some of the largest, oldest trees around, many having too much deadwood because no one seems to want to cut anything tree related. ‘theyre too pretty to cut’. not anymore theyre not.
thats when it started. first there was a loud cracking sound, as a branch began to splinter. then the horrendous crash as it fell. a few at first. then they began to come down all over. not just my neighborhood, or my city, but all across the state, and several others as well. i think my house must have been in the very eye of the storm, because we were hit the hardest, at least in tulsa, for broken trees and downed lines. oh yes, i forgot to mention the bright blue flashes magnified by the icy rains and clouds, the ones i thought were snow lightning. blue, green, and red flashes began to burst all over the skies. silly me. that was the transformers exploding as lines were ripped out when trees fell.
it was a very quiet storm, as storms go. except for the timbers breaking and falling, there was very little else to hear. no wind, oh thank You Jesus! wind would have taken us off the map. there were a few house fires, and several people killed or injured, but nothing like it would have been had there been wind. no, it was eerily silent other than the breaking trees, and the occasional car alarm.
the sound kept up through the night. by morning there was a different world out there. we ventured out to see if we could get to the beaus work. there were icy limbs and branches everywhere, although the streets were merely wet. there were lines down as well. we picked our way through this surreal environment like a character in a video game searching for a workable route. we made it, only to find out there was no power at his place of work. they sent everyone home after about 15 minutes. when we got home, there was no power at our house either.
there was no power anywhere.
250,000 people in tulsa alone were without power. across the state, closer to 1,000,000. very few escaped without losing their electricity. we spent monday at home, as most of my coworkers did too, although my clinic was open and the building, one of about five powered by the hospital generators, had power. the clinic did close early however, as only about three patients made it in.
we dont have a generator as a few on my block do, but were still better off than many. we have a gas fireplace, and a gas water heater, halogen flashlights, and a gas stove. we also only had a large treelike bush in one corner of the yard. it was snapped in half, but that was the only damage we sustained. God has blessed us with a very good choice of house. many of my neighbors had big trees in there yards. the old house, three blocks from our new house, had several huge tree. the operative word here is had. the beautiful oak in the front yard is ruined, and the two huge trees in the back that always gave us problems, well they wont be giving anyone else problems now.
we had to ride it out for seven days. the president declared it a disaster area, releasing funds to bring in 2400 additional power workers, who pushed very hard to get everyone back up and running before the next storm – which skirted my town. my neighborhood was among the last to be restored, because it had the worst damages to lines. but saturday morning, as the beau was coming back from the laundromat, a fleet of five trucks followed him right to our house. i never saw such a beautiful set of trucks! by late afternoon, about 4:30 PM, there was the most welcome knock on the door, and the young man on the porch asked us if our main breaker was on. “well, turn it on, you have power now.” i could have kissed him!
this morning the sky is brilliant blue, and the ice is long gone. im sitting here enjoying myself at the computer again, drinking fresh made coffee, and listening to the heater blowing warm air. we slept in our bed for the first time in seven days. we watched TV last night, and i vacuumed up much kitty litter. ah, the little joys of life.
i love winter, but she can sure be a harsh mistress at times.
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