Posted by: Kate | December 13, 2008

A Perfect Crisis

I didn’t get my wish for a boring Friday, not by a long shot. We were in that nasty pink “wintry mix” band on the Weather Channel, such that sometime around midnight Friday the ice started to accumulate and by the morning we were all State-of-Emergency-no-power-no-heat-look-how-dependent-we-are-on-electricity.

On the one hand, yeah, annoying and high-maintenance and not at all how I planned to spend my Friday. But on the other hand, it was kind of the perfect crisis: just real enough to make us get organized, and work together, and make plans and backup plans and secondary backup plans, but not severe enough to make us feel scared or stressed out or otherwise disrupted. We’ve lost power several times since living here, and have a box in the kitchen, readily accessible, of flashlights and hand-warmers and batteries and candles, and we also popped up very early on Friday morning to reserve a hotel room a few towns over, on the logic that we could stay home until it started to get dark and then go use their heat and light for a night.

That bit went according to plan, but then when we arrived at the hotel, we learned that – Oops! We forgot to tell you! – they didn’t have power, either. I already had the option of hanging out in the cold and dark at my own home, I didn’t see any need to pay extra for the privilege. So we stopped at the hardware store, where they were escorting customers in one at a time and navigating the store by flashlight, and bought a propane heater and battery-operated radio.

The combination of this and sending out a text message to several friends and family with an update seemed to be sufficient for the weather gods, because by the time we got home, the power had been restored. It took the Internet several more hours to reappear, but now we’re up and running just like normal. We didn’t lose any major tree limbs or sustain other property or bodily damage this time around, for which I am grateful. And I got some very cool photos out of the whole thing…



  1. Way Cool from here but BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!! 😐
    I’m glad everything is ok. I remember the big ice storm in the midwest a few years back, I had been able to get out just before that and was VERY grateful, us desert dwellers just don’t know how to cope in that weather.

  2. oh that hotel thing would’ve ticked me off.

    and the no internet thing.

    The rest I could deal with . πŸ˜‰

  3. Ooo, consider yourself very lucky! We have no power, landline, way to charge the cells, and no internet. I’m doing this from the free public wireless at the library–a chance to get into warmth and light!

    However, we will go home to a woodstove that is keeping the family room at 55 degrees so far, and water, which is better than friends who use electric pumps to get water.

    And I’m told all the hotels for miles are filled.

    And that we might get power by next Thursday. The entire multi-block area was dark when we went home at 5 Friday night. And Panera was totally out of baguettes at 7 pm!

    We’ll spend the night on the floor by the woodstove. Agh, hoping the pipes don ‘t freeze like last time!


  4. Well, the photos are spectacular, Kate. We had our own winter crisis (yeah! here in Louisiana!) on Thursday. 7-8″ of snow, ice, and a 16 hour power outage. Biggest snowfall since 1940. Kids enjoyed it but I got cold FAST. Of course, tomorrow will be 70 degrees.

  5. Beautiful photos. We had an ice storm that shut down the area a few years ago. My niece lived with us at the time. We all got the day off school. Our gas fireplace and stove worked just fine, and the cold kept our food nice and chilled. We actually ended up having a wonderful day playing hooky.

  6. Seriously, you take AMAZING pictures!

    Glad your power’s back on!

  7. Seriously wonderful pictures — ice is amazing! I’m glad your power is back on and you’re starting to warm up! At least inside.

  8. The pictures are beautiful.

    A perfect crisis indeed.

  9. Glad you guys are doing okay. I thought of you yesterday when I saw the weather report on CNN. Living in the ice belt of the midwest, I understand how scary and inconvenient ice storms can be. They sure do leave behind some beautiful landscapes.

  10. Great pics!

    I’m glad you guys are doing ok…hope your power (and HEAT) stay on for the rest of the winter! πŸ™‚

  11. Wow amazing photos! Swung by when I saw your Knitty post- those are beautiful!

    Ice somehow is more elegant and pristine than snow, isn’t it?

  12. I was just saying how ice storms are so beautiful (if not a bit inconvenient)… lovely photos.

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