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Thursday, January 12, 2012

January Blog Chain ~ Winter Nightmares

Today's post is in response to the Absolute Write January Blog Chain.  This month's prompt is "winter nightmares."  It can be fiction or non, and mine is a true story from last year.  Enjoy!

It was frighteningly cold that Tuesday night in February.  Freezing rain left the roadways coated with a perilous sheet of ice, and I let out a slow breath as I pulled into my driveway unharmed.  My husband and I, being used to losing power at the slightest wind, took stock of the weather as soon as I was inside.  The forecast was ominous.  The winter storm was threatening a large portion of the midwest along with the eastern seaboard.  When the power went off the first time, we considered our options.  We could stay the night with my husband's grandma, which would put us both closer to work and, therefore, make our morning drive not so horrible.  Or we could take shelter at his parents' house, putting us fifteen miles further from our jobs.  As the power kicked back on, we dared to think we would be okay.  Perhaps we could just stay home.

As the lights flicked off and the house became silent once more, we grew anxious.  Could we make it one night without power? It was just one night.  Time passed, and we knew the power was not coming on anytime soon.  We can make it one night.  But our entire house ran on electricity, and we had none.  The electric stove would be of no use for making dinner.  The electric water pump which piped water from our well was disabled.  And the water in our electric water heater would soon grow cold and drain itself at the first flush of a toilet.  What could have been our saving grace was the fireplace, but the only wood we had was already buried outside underneath an inch of ice.  The wind howled and the drops of ice beat against the roof as we made a decision to head to my husband's grandma's.  We called to give her the news, but alas! Her power was out now, too.

We packed our bags and gathered our dog's necessities, prepared to seek warmth from my husband's parents' house instead.  We locked our doors and drove away, certain we'd be home the next morning.  My husband's 4WD truck could not get him to work the next day, and he called me.  "You are NOT going to work today."  If his truck couldn't go 32 miles, my little front wheel drive car would not go 55 miles.

Later that day we attempted a trip to our house.  Chickens depended on us for food and water.  We cared for them the best we could and drained our faucets of what little water they held so no pipes would freeze.  Then we returned to my in-law's home.

We were without electricity for five days.  Each day we checked on our house, and our chickens, and each day I fell on the ice covered snow.  It became comical.  I slipped fourteen times in one day.  Thankfully I was never hurt.  When we were able to return home, I was grateful it hadn't been worse.  Some people were still without power.  And at least we had had somewhere to go.

Check out this month's other participants and their posts:
Alpha Echo
writingismypassion (you are here)
Ralph Pines
in one
more to come, check back soon...


  1. What a scary thing to have to endure. I come from the south so I'm not used to things like bad weather involving snow. Glad you made it out OK!

  2. I used to lose heat semi-regularly when I was living in cramped student ghetto quarters, and even with city water, a gas stove, and full electricity it was horrible to try and tough out even one night.

  3. Times like that are awful. In England we rarely get weather like that, but last winter (and the one before that) was bad and i got stranded on a few occasions

    And don't worry, i too fell over. A LOT!!

    Matt (Turndog Millionaire)

  4. OH man! I hate being without power, and poor thing!!!

  5. Ooh that ice will get you every time! I usually end of slipping no matter how careful I am.

    Being from the North, we too had many nights without power. It's a scary thing when you don't know when it'll come back on.

  6. I remember driving to work 2 years ago, what usually took me less than 15 minutes took 45 minutes. Once I got there they sent us home an hour later saying, "It's bad out there, go home." Doh!

  7. Fourteen slips in one day! Wow! Glad you didn't get hurt. I remember the winter you're talking about too. That's the most snow I've seen since I was a kid and we used to spend the holidays with my grandmother in Connecticut.

  8. I think I could go a day, but 5?? Wow...

    And I have three dogs, a cat and salt water fish. I need to come up with a disaster recovery plan, for real!

  9. Never hurts to be prepared, Diane!

  10. I hate being reliant on just electricity. Especially in northern climates.
    Power outages can be frightening.
    Falling 14 times and unhurt? That's impressive!
    Another Blogger comment page that hates me (inkstrokes)

  11. Blackouts seem theoretically just an inconvenience until you experience one. Went through one last March - and honestly, even though I live in an urban area, I had no idea what the hell to do!

  12. I remember us being without power for a few days one winter, and my poor dog was my main priority. We had a generator and got the house fairly warm with it, so it ended up being an adventure. :) So glad you didn't hurt yourself with all of those falls! You clearly have better luck than I. :D

  13. Thank you all for commenting. I think the reason I never got hurt by falling was because there was enough snow on the ground to act as a cushion.

  14. Ugh, that must have been a horrible week. I'm glad your husband had the truck, or getting around would have been impossible.
    How much snow did you get?

  15. If I remember correctly, we only had 6-8 inches of snow. The ice on top of the snow was the problem.

  16. Definitely a winter nightmare. That must've been horrible. Where was this?

  17. Bill, this was in south/central Illinois.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!