The weather outside was weather
By now you've seen the pictures of Snowmageddon (Snovid???) in Texas. And by now you've heard the news stories of devastation. This past weekend, temperatures warmed up to mid 60s and all vestiges of the snow and ice had disappeared by the end of Sunday. For some, it's as if nothing had even happened. For others, there are still months worth of repairs to do.
We knew going into Snowmageddon that it was going to be brutal. I drove to the barn to check on the horses the Saturday before the week of snow. Our horses had been turned out to get some time out of their stall before the really bad weather hit. I bust up thick layers of ice on top of the outdoor water troughs with a PVC pipe. My sopping wet gloves stuck to the metal gates as I methodically entered each paddock. Bryan was still in St. Thomas for work and my trainer was in California. Snow forecasts for Sunday shifted to 100%, and everyone (except Bryan) scrambled to get home early.
On Sunday morning, we woke up to a light dusting of snow. The dog's water bowl had a layer of ice on top, and Bowie prudently decided to go into hibernation mode. The tiny amount of body fat he has provided small comfort against the below-freezing temps, and I shoved him into one of the sweaters that I was so glad I bought during the holidays. I stayed home all day. I had run to the grocery store on Saturday evening - completely ransacked of all produce and eggs/milk. I grabbed cereal, a five pound pot roast, and cans of tomatoes. Surely that would be enough for a few day freeze?
On Monday morning at 2 am, we lost power and I woke up when everything switched off. The heat had stopped running and the house was silent. I flicked to NextDoor on my phone and the first post highlighted for our neighborhood was "Oncor running rolling blackouts through the state, due to power shortages." I waited in the dark for 45 minutes until the power kicked back on and everything beeped back to life.
This cycle repeated itself throughout the night until morning, when power started shutting off for 6 hour stretches. At this point, it was cold in the house (low 50s), and I had layered clothing in an attempt to stay warm. Luckily it was a sunny day, and I grabbed the dog and shut ourselves in the master bedroom, one of the only rooms in the house that gets direct afternoon sun. We sat in the sunspot, tracking it across the carpet and wrapped in quilts and throws. It had snowed through the night, and we had a white blanket, 2-3 inches thick at this point.
|Bowie's first real snow|
Mid-day, I started the pot roast on our gas stove, an attempt to semi-warm up the kitchen and also have a hot dinner. By the time Bryan flew back in that night, we had some inkling that the power outages were going to be protracted and I had gotten out our flashlights, extra power banks, and candles. Cupboards were open and all our faucets were dripping. Thank goodness for the extra and HOT fatty pot roast, which kept us warm until we were able to shower in scalding hot water (thank god for old fashioned water heaters). After that, without any light to see, we shivered our way into bed for an early night.
Tuesday morning was a chilly 43 degrees inside the house. Throughout the day, the power would come back on in spurts - one hour here, another two hours there. During those times, we would spring into action. Grind coffee beans, charge phones, check work emails. Cross our fingers that the house would heat back up to a decent temperature before expecting the heat to stop again. NextDoor was full of messages of people complaining, leaving to stay with friends, checking on each other. Even worse was the news via local news sources - pipes bursting, people displaced, shelters full. Our power finally came back on for good on Tuesday evening, although we didn't know it at the time. All the while, it just kept snowing. I thought I could never get warm enough.
|First tracks in our neighborhood|
As ever, I'm grateful for so many things. The roads were treacherous to drive on and despite owning a 4x4 vehicle, I didn't leave the house all week. My trainer and the other coach at the barn tended to all of the horses (100+), chipped ice out of buckets, and watered them every 4 hours since the auto-water lines froze. While Bryan was out of town, our neighbor shoveled our driveway and sidewalks. His wife kept me fed with homemade chili and pecan brownies. We lost power for a relatively short period of time and our pipes didn't burst.
The weather in Texas is as fickle as a teenager's wardrobe. We're about to get dumped on with rain for the next six days. Temps will be in the 70s. The creeks will flood and everything will be a soppy muddy mess. Dare I say it, that spring is here?