All of nature knew that something was coming. The chipmunk—the one which insults the dogs on a daily basis—announced it with a long, shrill rattle. The birds, upon hearing this warning, disappeared into the evergreen depths of the cedar hedge.
When the weather reports confirmed that, yes, inclement weather was on its way, we humans set to work stocking our cupboards with non-perishable food. We bought gallon jugs of spring water. Rock salt was also a sought-after item.
My own journey to find candles (because we don’t have a generator, and if the power goes out, we’re going to need something to see by) led me to a small Christian Supply Store.
The store was bright, welcoming. Praise songs, played through hidden speakers, filled the air with cheerful music. The middle aisle, and three of the shop’s walls, were lined with various versions of the Bible, Daily Devotionals, and Christian Fiction. There was only one register and only one employee—an elderly lady with a lovely smile.
The grapevine had reported that the store sold reasonably-priced candles. There weren’t many candles available, save for some packages of Advent candles. I have always wanted my own Advent wreath! To say that I am enamored by these purple and pink candles is an understatement. They give life to childhood memories of Sunday services devoted to the coming of the Messiah. They fill my ears with Christmas carols. By their light, I am comforted.
I may have originally visited the store for candles, but I spent nearly 45-minutes browsing through the bookshelves. There were so many fascinating titles and beautiful covers. I’m a bookworm—I notice these things! And, really, can anyone expect a bookworm to pass up the opportunity to buy a book for $2? I came home with two books, two packages of Advent candles, and two (very) large white candles that are probably meant for the alter.
The eve of the icing event was spent filling every deep pot and bucket that we own with water.
The natural gas fireplace was turned on. All of the dishes were cleaned and the laundry hamper was emptied. No loose ends. Nothing left to do that required electricity. I went to bed with a flashlight on my bedside table. Berkley and Alderaan kept me warm while Luna, once again, claimed the spare bed as her own.
Fortunately, we made it through the night without losing power. We woke up to a world glistening with ice.
The lead-line of Luna’s puppy-hood was encased with ice, completely unusable.
Our backyard, thankfully, is fenced in so that Luna and Berkley can run free. They didn’t do much running, as the icy lawn crunched, cracked and creaked underneath them.
There is beauty in ice-laden branches—but also great danger. I experienced my first Icestorm when I was in 5th grade. At first, it was magical. School was canceled on my birthday! But, then, the reality of life without electricity settled in. I discovered, rather quickly, that I liked light, daily showers, and toilets that flush. My day-dreams of living during the time of the “Little House on the Prairie” books, were quickly shattered—just like so many of the trees in my parents’ backyard.
As I write this—high noon on Sunday—we still have electricity. Should any additional ice or snow weigh down the power lines, we have water. We have candles. We have food.
We have each other.
Thank you, Dear Readers, for your presence here today. Your prayers, light and love mean so much to me. I hope, that those of you experiencing this weather phenomenon, are safe, warm, and well-fed.
With Love & Gratitude,