An arctic blast has rolled across Texas this week. From talking to my bother and sister who lives in Arkansas and Missouri respectively, Texas is not alone is this nature’s crippling blow. This is the third snow for Central Texas this year. Unheard of! My sister’s house in Missouri had 17 below zero, my brother in Arkansas was 15 below. The diesel in his tractor was “jellying”, whatever that means. He uses the tractor to put out hay for the cows, so he added additives and put the tractor in the barn, which hopefully fixed the problem. My problem would have been getting on the tractor in the first place!
The state of Texas is allowing the electric companies to rotate power consumption. My poor son’s family got caught up in this non-essential need for electricity (according to the electric company). They have been out of electricity for over a day and the water department cut the water off as well. My grandson made an early-morning trip to Hawley with my generator and some gas cans to keep their home warm, at least in one room. My son seemed to take it in stride with his usual sense of humor.
“Mom, we don’t need to be worried about the food spoiling in the refrigerator. We’ll just put everything out on the kitchen counter until the weather warms up. And if we get too cold we can just crawl in the deep freezer. It is warmer than the outside temperature.” I believe the temperature got below zero there.
I asked him if he was keeping warm, and he answered, “Yeah, I have cold feet, but I have a blanket, and I’ve put my dog under my feet, and I’ll be fine!”
My daughter-in-law had her own account of trying to sleep. “I don’t know what I was thinking…I put the two grandchildren and the dog in bed with me and Nathan, and pulled the covers up tightly. I finally had to escape into the car for a few minutes to warm up with all the snoring, tooting, and squirming children going on.”
I remember as a child back in Arkansas, how it got just about as cold in the winter. Mama would get either an old iron for clothes or a brick, heat them on the old wood stove, wrap them up in a newspaper and put them under the covers at the foot of our bed. It would be even better if we had some brothers or sisters in that bed with us to create more heat. By the time the bricks had warmed our feet and the covers, we would kick them out. My grandson reminisced about the time he slept in the attic room on one visit. “There were so many quilts Grandma put on the bed, I couldn’t move. But by morning, I looked down and there was a thin coat of snow on top of the bed! But I was warm.” Evidently, there were a few cracks in the roof; a good thing in the summer, but not so good in the winter.
Like my son, I have a problem with cold feet. I’m afraid I had my grandson go out last night and get me a brick. He did, and I got my feet warm.