Some names have been changed to protect Me, and the innocent (there were several).
The true story of the winter of 2009 and how a family acts , reacts and endures together in time of crisis. As the circle tightens love grows stronger, it is compelled to ,and humor must abound!
Well here is what happened!
“Ice Storm of the Century”
Oh if only I could accurately tell about the adventures of the last week, let me start with ...no I think I'll start with ....wait, I had better go back to last Monday.
Last Monday Jan. 26th all the TV stations were forecasting a bad winter storm coming....ho-hum it's January so what! We were warm and snug and there was food in the house mostly frozen, but that could be quickly taken care of in the microwave, also I had kettle pop-corn just waiting for a cold winter day.
Tuesday was a very gray day, looked like just anything could fall from the sky and soon enough it did, freezing rain, sleet, the temperature was freezing. The electricity came and went so we got out the romantic “Southern Lites” candles (of my own making) and oil lamps, kind of nice. We went to bed warm and cozy under our electric blanket; tomorrow I wouldn't feel guilty about reading all day long. Very soon war began to happen. Trees and their limbs were falling like felled soldiers on a frozen battlefield. We could hear the shots, the crack and swoosh of the wounded and dead trees. This went on all night, it was hard to stay asleep due to the fact you are ducking falling trees while lying in bed. Heard them fall on my neighbors roof and slide down the house, it seemed like all night. We would watch as our giant alarm clock with a glowing green dial would blink and go off then come back on again; I reset it about 6 times before I gave up.
I awoke after a brief sleep about 4:40 am Wednesday morning when our clock light went out for the last time. Don grabbed an extra blanket to hold the warmth for awhile; we were fine. We got up before full daylight and lit all of those candles again. At daylight I looked out -side, it was as though we lived in a carved crystal world. The trees looked jagged and stubby because of missing limbs and the ice almost doubled their thickness. Jill called about 8:00am and said that this wasn't going to end quickly or well. ‘Thank You Lord’; Sara and David had heat and light in their small apartment. We later learned 19,000 plus in city and county were without electricity, TV, some without water. We all had worried about Louise during the night, she is ninety four, Jill had called her and she was warm and her electricity was fine, and invited us to her duplex, so Jill decided we were all going there, so we did and therein lies another story........do you have the time?
As Wednesday continued, Louise was very excited about us being there, we had plenty of room, beds for all, we assured her over and over and over and………. Her reply would be "I'm just happy that I have a warm place for you all to come to and sleep" and her next sentence always was "you all come back tomorrow" Jill's reply was "we're here to stay", on and on and this went. Oh yes did I forget to tell you Sara's apartment's lease was up on the coming Saturday and if you didn't know it they are moving in Louise’s side of the house the east side and She is moving into Retha’s side, the west side, because Retha is coming home to live and there will be hired help for the both of them. The changing of the tub to a shower in the bathroom on the ladies side was holding up the move. So since there was electricity in this house (no other) the plumbers decided this would be a good time to do the bathroom. Another sister Gwen’s ( also elderly), house had no electricity, so they were bringing her here to this house. In the afternoon we began the great move, Louise to the west side, this slightly confused her so she placed her wheel chair right in the line of traffic, to watch all the goings on, and to be sure she ate on time. Gwen arrived and joined her doing the "watch" in mid stream of the traffic. During all of this the west side was waiting and was warm, very warm, (hot even, about 80° because Retha likes it that way, even though she hasn't live here in over a year!) and it had excitement of it own what with the plumbing and all. Louise slept on that side that night in her new room with her own bed. Don in her new front bed-room and I in the den, Gwen on the east side in the front bed room, Jill and David on the floor in Louise’s old bed-room. All was well, and blessedly quiet.
Thursday, I smelled coffee and was up like a shot ready to start another day with no Cable TV but plenty of entertainment, Louise’s, pleasant but, loop conversation had already started and soon Gwen joined her, in her usual happy way, her mantra was "What's caused all this" The ice Gwen. "Oh yes, sure is pretty though"...then Louise’s loop "Ya’ all come on back tomorrow, hope every body has a bed!" I began to feel icky after about two sips of coffee, David thought is was the Hazelnut Jill put in the coffee but turns out it wasn't "It" was the stomach virus of the century! The rest of this day passed in a cloud of vomit, pounding of the plumbers, the noise of the eternal moving and general den of grand central station, and a few hee-haws of the two sisters still sitting in mid stream. The night was hellish, but at least the trees had shut up. Some time in the night I awoke to the sound of mice in my room and began to feel one crawl up my leg, as it reached mid thigh I sat up and moaned loudly and almost bumped heads with Gwen who was trying to get in bed with me and was feeling her way along with her fingers up my leg. "Well who is in here" she shouted. We had switched beds and she had forgotten and in the night got up and got lost and wandered all over the house. As I took her back to bed and we passed the front door, it has frosted windows for privacy she looked at them and said "It sure looks bad out there and why don't we have any electricity anyway?" It's the ice , Gwen,” , "Oh yes, sure is pretty".
Friday, I awoke with the worst headache of my life, Don was tending to me (very well) and I began to drink a little ginger ale, I had no fluid left in me I thought! I drank and prayed for the headache to go away, and it began to ease, enough to let me get up and about a little, long enough to claim some of the spoils of the move, knick-knacks etc. The move continued, I couldn't help much, I just sat in the middle of the looping (though pleasant but continual ) conversation going on in the living room on the east side, Louise still claiming her “old side” rights. The moving continued, the plumbing continued, the looping.........I went back to bed (many times). Jill got a call from David at work, he was sick laying on the break room floor, you guessed it........He was put bed and began his own journey, bed, hall, bath, bath, hall, bed and on it went. All the while Jill cooked, placated, moved, dealt with plumbers, calmed the waters, made me baby oatmeal and tended David. What a Woman! Gwen’s daughter Patty, thought this was getting a little much for her mother so she came to get her, also catching up on her washing because she had no electricity either but chose to stay home in the solitude, dark and cold,. I just can't figure out why! It was a little calmer at the house as once again the day wore on. David and Sara spent the night in the duplex at last, their move almost complete.
Saturday, and there is no end in sight. The moving was frantic by now this was the last day and the rug shampoo guy didn't show at the apartment, they finally got someone, then moved the last of all their belongings into the house, east side. However the dining room still full of the sisters extra stuff, but that's ok. While Don checked on our generator ( it is small, can run for awhile) and was checking our house a guy from the electric co. saw him and told him that we would be connected again in a few moments, and we were. It took a few hours to warm up then we high tailed it home, turned on the electric blanked , I crawled in bed about 7:00pm to read and Don found that he could get a fuzzy channel 9 (PBS) so he watched Lawrence Welk...good gosh. About 9:00 pm I began to feel weird again, I thought if only I could go potty my stomach would feel better, so I pushed and it passed and passed and passed and there went all my fluid again, for the last half of the night I just gave it up and laid down on the bathroom flood close to the throne that I had been bowing and scraping in front of (literally).
Sunday, Church canceled, the ones that had electricity were relief centers with many people staying, some of my friends. Still couldn't eat or drink much, Jill tried to get me to go to hospital, David still sick too. Later I began to drink some and it helped. No awesome super bowl for us, just a documentary on India. I began to get reports from friends. Felt better slept well.
Monday, TV back on, civilization again! Decided to catch you up……. sorry.
Don just came through, he is not feeling well, oh !.... my.... ! Gosh !