So, we’re all still defrosting from this Deep Freeze we had to endure here in Texas last week. It’s been a lot. Never before in living memory had it been this cold, this long, in Texas. Usually, we’re lucky if we get an overnight freeze once or twice a year. Six days of solid freeze throughout the entire state is simply unheard of.
For those six days, we here in Texas were caught in the center of an unprecedented polar vortex the like of which has never been seen in recorded history. Born and raised in Corpus Christi, Texas, even my mom joked that she’s never worn so many layers of clothes for so long. The temperatures for those six days were near or below freezing at some point. Several times the wind chill factor was in single digits. On the local news they were saying, “these are the coldest recorded temperatures since the 1800’s”.
I believe it.
I didn’t leave my house the entire time. We’ve never used our heater this much in my life. Out of a sense of solidarity for all our friends and neighbors who lacked power, we kept our heater set in the 50’s most of the time. What was sad was how long it had to stay on just to maintain that level of heat.
We kept in touch as best we could with our friends and family. Several people we knew lost power, some for several days.
Losing power and the ability to heat your home during this historic cold snap was bad enough, but to me the worst was not having working plumbing. Several of my friends lost running water due to the freeze, some even had their pipes burst. We had to boil our water and lost water pressure but we never lost our running water. Go figure.
The insulation on modern houses should keep you in the safe range so you can snuggle under covers and light copious candles to keep warm. After Hurricane Harvey a lot of people, me included, invested in a small propane burner to heat up or cook food as needed so I wasn’t very worried about people in that regard.
To me the loss of water is more dangerous than the loss of power. You can’t stay healthy for long without liquids and many people don’t think to have a stockpile of water on hand during winter. I do, but I’m a bit of a survivalist.
Then there’s the plant life. I have never seen so many dead plants before. Even my grass looks dead. I was able to take my pots inside so they’re okay, but I don’t know when or if my Aloe Vera, Ti Trees or Plumbago’s will ever come back. I feel so bad about them. I put those plants in the ground when I was a teenager, now it looks like they might not make it. ☹.
Then there was the lost week of work and school. My work and one of my classes is all online and that was completely out due to the cold. But, silver lining, we can make up the work hours, and all due dates for homework and tests have been pushed back a week. Yea!
This is truly a historic event!
Now that the cold snap is over and temperatures are back to what I’m used to for February, (sunny with highs in the 70’s 😊 Yea!), I have come to a momentous decision: I will never move to snow country :-P.
Of course, the power outage of the Deep Freeze is being politicized. Groan.
Some are blaming it on windmills that froze. Some are blaming it on an unprepared power grid that wasn’t winterized. Realistically, it’s likely a combination of the two. We all know the grid needs improvement. Let’s pray those in power accept this wake up call for what it is and fix it so this never happens again.
Because let’s be honest, no one was prepared for this level of cold. No one.
Oddly enough, despite the inconvenience, the dead plants and the dangerous cold, I actually feel… better. Now that its thawing out, the world looks a little cleaner to me. I know it sounds odd to say, but I feel like it’s good to not be so, “safe” all the time. We’re always so “safe”, in our nice, air conditioned, heated homes with our stuff and conveniences. It’s good to have a wake-up call every once in a while.
Being a bit on edge, gives you a bit of edge. 😊