I Survived the Texas Snowstorm of 2021!
At first you may read that and think I'm being funny or sarcastic. People not from down here don’t understand why I’d rather have 3 months of 115 degree heat versus a week of below freezing temps. I’ve never cared for the cold, but as I started to age (around 38), the cold really started to hurt my joints. I know, next I’ll be complaining that the kids need to get off my lawn. I just find the cold miserable. Especially in Texas. Due to the humidity, it’s a “wet cold”. It’ll go right through your bones.
I’m totally not being sarcastic or funny with my headline though. Things were rough in Texas last week. Some people didn’t have power for close to 96 hours. No power meant no heat. We were put on an order to boil our water. People without power who were still lucky enough to have water, couldn’t boil water. Some people were putting snow in their bathtubs and letting it melt so they could flush their toilets. Then the pipes started to burst and their houses flooded. Not to mention, people were literally freezing to death in their homes.
My family was lucky. We lost power and were able to go to a friend’s house across town. The “feels like” temperature was 5 degrees when I made this decision. We were sitting in my car with the heat on to warm up. We had been without power for 6 hours, and we weren’t sure when it would come back because people who lost power the night before still didn’t have power (note: we were told these were rolling black outs). We were lucky. We had a hot meal and a warm bed that night.
We came home on Tuesday. The power was back on, but we were doing our part to not overwhelm the grid, so the house was cool. We were lucky because I had many friends all around Texas with no power which meant no heat. Then Wednesday came. Our water pressure was low, and we had heard the city was having trouble with the pumps. We got a shower in. We were lucky. Some people had not showered since Sunday. Our water went out that night.
By Thursday afternoon we were able to flush toilets, but we were afraid to turn on the water. There had been no water in our pipes for over 24 hours. What would happen? We saw so many people on FB with damage in their houses. We were worried we would be faced with the same. We were worried about the expense. I was so worried about my friends who were suffering because they had no electricity, no water, and busted pipes. My heart broke for the college students (I live in a college town) who were trying to get warm and get food. I wanted to drive food to them (whatever we could spare), but the roads were so bad. Every time someone drove by our house, they slid all over the road.
On Friday, we got the two best things in the world. The temperatures went above freezing and the sun came out. I never knew that 38 degrees could feel so warm. It was beautiful. The snow and ice started to melt. Our water came back to full pressure. Most of my friends and our small community had electricity. And all I felt was gratitude.
My family was lucky. We made it through. Most importantly, Texas made it through. We weathered another storm, a storm we had no idea how to handle. Here we are. My friends, even those with damage in their homes, made it. We’re all here. And when it’s safe (because don’t forget there’s still a pandemic) we will gather and give thanks. This week really made me stop and give thanks for every little thing. Having enough hot water to wash my hair yesterday was glorious. Electricity is amazing. Heat is wonderful. Running water you don’t have to boil is great. Family. Family is important. Good friends; you know the ones who let you and your family (including your dog) into your house during a pandemic to help you stay warm. And those friends from all over the country who check on you. They are all important. Sometimes the things we think are important really aren’t. Sometimes we need a moment to see what is really important.
What are you grateful for today?