As I sit here at my computer, nestled deep in a fuzzy robe and enjoying a piping-hot cup of coffee, I think back on the past five days with not a small amount of stress.
I’m a Houston native, therefore, I’m not used to copious amounts of snow and ice sticking around for almost a week outside of our brick home. I’m definitely not prepared to drive my vehicle on a skating rink and with days of freezing rain, snow, and plummeting temperatures, that’s exactly what our roadways were.
We Houstonians are a tough people, combating hurricanes, 100+ degree months during the summer, and mosquitos the size of pumpkins. Give us a week of ice, no electricity, freezing homes, and no water, and we turn feral.
Yesterday, as I listened to my kiddos whine about eating soup and crackers for the fifth day in a row, I almost pulled an Annie Wilkes. Although I doubt I could have made it to the garage to find an axe or a typewriter with a broken “N” key. Ice is slippery, mmkay?
Last night, after a meal of votive-heated soup, we’d just dozed off in front of the gas fireplace when <<TRUMPETS FROM HEAVEN>> the power came back on. We checked the thermostat in the house (it was 46 degrees inside), started coffee (at 10:00pm at night), and rolled our eyes when the kids demanded the lights be turned off so they could continue to sleep beneath their mound of blankets.
This morning, after waking up to a significantly warmer house, I checked my Etsy shop and found 32 orders that I’d missed in the past few days. I made short work of those and got a load of laundry taken care of. I retrieved our refrigerator groceries from the front porch only to find the Tupperware full of chicken tortilla soup I’d concocted before the power went out had been broken into by a furry, overnight bandit. (I’d forgotten that raccoons were a thing.)
For those of you that don’t live in the Gulf Coast region, a few days ago, our power grid went bananas and the plants that generate power for Houston and the surrounding areas couldn’t handle the temperatures and ice. They shut down. Our home, located northeast of Houston, battled an exterior temperature of 8 degrees without power at the lowest point. Builders here don’t insulate our homes like they do in the North. Our homes are built to be breathable in order to combat the insane heat we face 9 months out of 12.
We have an electric stove and oven in our home, so without power, we were hard-pressed to get our hands on warm food and drinks. Before the Snowpocalypse 2021, I made sure to have charcoal and wood on hand just in case we lost power for a few hours, thinking we could grill food outside like we do after a hurricane. Y’all, even standing by our single-pane windows with the temperatures that low was tough. There was no way we were going outside in order to start a fire to make cowboy coffee.
We did learn a lot during this time, as a family. I should have had more activities planned for the kids. Leaving them to their own devices was nerve-grating, especially when they were forced to remain in the house for such a long period of time.
Layers of pajama pants and robes will keep you warm, for sure. However, with the low amount of humidity it also creates an insane amount of static electricity and shocking yourself on everything you touch is a scream-inducing occurrence, especially for me. I realized this week that I hate, hate, HATE static electricity.
As I bask in the glow of my computer in order to write this blog, I only hope that the power stays on and those that are still without are restored as quickly as possible. We definitely made memories over the past week and the kids had a blast but as for me, I hope it doesn’t become a winter habit.
I’ll take my high-humidity and sweat-covered tank tops any day.