It snowed in Texas! After many years of no snow, we finally got some. And by some, I mean a lot! So much snow that we lost all power across this great state, and in my part of Texas, the schools shut down for 4 days! We were experiencing rolling black outs in my neighborhood, which means you had power for an hour or two, and then you had no power for an hour or two (sometimes much more).
Now, my neighborhood was pretty lucky. We were on a pretty predictable blackout pattern, whereas some of my friends and neighbors nearby were not so lucky. Fortunately, right before the storm hit, we did a big grocery run and had plenty of food to eat, bottled water, and all the other things we needed. And it’s a good thing, because my mom and my sister ended up out here with us. Her power (in Dallas) was going off for 8-10 hours at a time, and it was just too cold for her down there.
So…we fixed up the guest room and had a great time eating dinner by flashlight, playing board games near the window so we could see, and reading on our Kindles which we charged a little bit each time the power popped on for an hour or two. It was a challenging week made better by being with my family!
These days have been pretty crazy due to COVID, but even with all that mess, we are still busy. My kids activities have started up again, and we find ourselves carting them back and forth from school to dance and baseball, and this last week, forced us all to just sit down, take a deep breath, and try to find our way through the house to the table of flashlights when the power clicked off!
There were times when it felt like we were pioneers. We had a couple of those lantern flashlights, and we’d be walking around the house with our “lanterns” looking for other flashlights, blankets, and all the other things we had set down somewhere when the power was on. Finding it all again in the dark was entertaining…
At times we were cold, we were frustrated, and we kept banging in to tables and chairs navigating our dark house, but I wouldn’t change it. If something good has to be found in all this mess, for me, it is the time I’ve had with my family. Even though most of it was spent without power, squinting at the game board or our meals with the little bit of light coming from the flashlight or through the window.
And this snow storm that we’ve been waiting on for so many years, also gave us the opportunity to pull out those sleds that I bought so many years ago for my kids. They were my “just in case it snows” purchase. I finally gave up on buying snow boots and ski jackets for my kids (we don’t even ski), and wouldn’t you know it – the first year I don’t have all the supplies we need to play in the snow, we experience Snowmageddon in Texas!
We pulled down the sleds from their very high storage shelf in the garage, put on makeshift winter snow-proof outfits (shorts for my son), and hit the driveway. Too bad my kids had outgrown their sleds! My daughter still fit on hers (barely), but my son gave up after a few runs. It was so funny seeing him trying to squish his body down to a small enough size to fit comfortably on his sled!
When I bought those sleds, way back when, they were perfect! Not so much anymore. But we were still able to make what we had work! We were able to push each other down our not so steep driveway for a fun sledding experience. Enough fun for me and my kids. Many people had a lot more fun than we had.
Some of neighbors were very creative with their sleds. We saw everything from pickup trucks dragging kids on a sled slowly behind them, to someone in another part of Texas being pulled on a sled by their horse.
People pulled out their skis, their snowboards, and I even saw a kid who had taken the wheels off his skateboard in a nearby neighborhood attempting to “skateboard” down his driveway on the ice. Those Texans who got caught without sleds or snowboards put together some pretty impressive cardboard sleds, and I also saw a few trashcan lids out on the neighboring driveways.
Everyone used whatever they could, because the opportunities to sled and play in the snow in Texas are few and far between. I think next time, I need to pack my crew up and head to a steeper hill to have a real sledding experience. And hopefully, next time, we will have power so we can come back in and warm up after playing in the snow.
So now I guess it’s time to buy some new, much larger, sleds for our next snowy adventure. We need bigger sleds, bigger boots, some ski gloves and some wool socks. I think that’s it. And we all know that buying new sleds, snow boots, and other winter gear will pretty much guarantee that there will be no snow in Texas for some time! At least not until they’ve outgrown all the things I’m planning to purchase just in case…
We enjoyed it while it lasted, which wasn’t too long. As I’m typing this blog post (two days after the snowstorm), it is 70 degrees in my part of Texas. Nevertheless, you better believe that we will be ready for the next Texas snow event!
Until next time…