I lived in upstate New York through the ice storm of 1993. It reminded me of Narnia–probably, to this day, the most striking thing I have ever seen. It was stunning. Crystal ice encasing trees, bowing their branches in genuflection toward nature, refracting a million tiny rainbows as the sun hit–gems and diamonds of ice…sparkling whiteness shining an archetype of purity.
Except that all of the power lines were snapped. I lived off campus and was without heat for about ten days. Most people were gone for spring break. I sat by the gas stove, with cups of tea, wrapped in eighty blankets, not really realizing that people died in this stuff. Eventually, I got rescued by a friend with heat–heat is always a nice perk to have in Upstate New York.
Coming from New England and having lived in Rochester, I’ve been well trained in storm prep. I made a short list of Storm Prep Tips to get through this weather event so I could sit and enjoy my wood stove. I tweeted them out to share:
Storm Prep Tip 1: Bleaching, taping, and filling tub. Because I never know when the urge for a bath will come.
Storm Prep Tip 2: Charge all devices. Download ton of stuff you prob won’t finish on Kindle; free classics. You’ll feel smarter.
Storm Prep 3: Send kid out to play now, before drifts are taller than him. Include dog in the package. She finds people and tattles.
Storm Prep 4: Check to see if any Chinese delivery joints are open, just in case.
Storm Prep Tip 5: Check the map for The Weather Channel ‘s Jim Cantore . If he’s too close to you, you know you’re in deep trouble.
Storm Prep Tip 6: Let the kids watch all the Netflix they want before power’s out. Enjoy the silence.
I apologize for leaving out the most important tip of all–The sun just rose and I tried to go out and survey the situation. The door was blocked. The next time I will add a tip about opening the front door several times to keep the snow drifts away. As you can see, it’s tough to get out when there are several feet of snow piled against the door. Luckily, I pushed out a crack, and I will be able to squeeze through to start my snow removal. If you need to be rescued, just let me know. I’ll bring my shovel.
I hope you prepared well and that the storm is being good to you. May you be safe and warm. It’s been a tough year for a lot of people with storms, but it’s also been a year of pulling together and getting through things, both with storms involving weather events and storms in life. Storms, both physical and those storm-like challenges presented in life, give me a chance to reflect about things like slowing the fast pace of life for a brief moment, helping out where I can, and accepting the help of others.
Storms are a part of our lives. They come and they go. They challenge us to respond with our best mental or physical shovels and dig ourselves out. We dig. And we dig. And soon the storm is over. Meanwhile, they make me just a little more grateful for the gifts that I have when the skies are clear.