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Taking Winter by Storm – Part I

I wish I could take credit for creating the term “Taking Winter by Storm”, but alas, that came from the local government.  It is their campaign to get area residents ready for winter weather.

Now, if you’ve ever lived in Seattle, or seen the news during winter, you’ll notice that a hard frost gets renamed “Winter Blast” or “Frost-ma-gedon” or something equally as overly-dramatic.  Last November, the Monday of Thanksgiving week, we had a decent amount of early snow.  We probably had 3 inches by noon, and when work sent everyone home around 1, I laughed and made fun of everyone for being so freaking whimpy about weather. 

Well, within an hour or so, I wasn’t laughing any more.  A storm system came in that afternoon that brought with it ice and wind, and turned the 3 inches of snow in to one solid sheet of ice across the region.  The power went out, and Troy decided – despite the fact that we had just bought a kerosene heater – that we should head to his parent’s house because they had a wood stove.  I did not want to go, and I believe I bratily stomped my foot saying no.  He insisted and since I rarely let him get his way (did I just admit that?), I relented.

That night taught me four things:
1) I am always right and I always need to listen to my gut
2) It’s a good thing that lawyers and judges don’t drive cars that identify they’re lawyers or judges
3) Always been prepared.  Those little Boy Scouts know their stuff.
4) God bless Subaru and their AWD capability.

We were stuck in this horrible ice storm for THREE hours trying to go SEVEN miles to his parent’s house.  I’ve never been so pissed off at Troy in our entire relationship.  I was freaking livid.  The wind pushed my car off the road, and hundreds of cars came so close to causing accidents during the entire trek.  I was literally exploding with so much rage because Troy dragged us in to that mess, that a few weeks later he commented that had a lawyer or a judge been in the car next to us during the storm, I would have walked over to their vehicle to file for divorce.  And he was right.  See “things that night taught me” point number two.

Thank god Jack napped for the whole trip.  By the time we got to the inlaws, their power was out too (ahem), but their wood stove did keep us quite warm. 

The next day, the area was iced in, and most employers were closed until after the Thanksgiving holiday.  When we finally got back to our apartment the next evening, we found it was 38 degrees inside.  I know we could have stayed warm with our kerosene heater, and lots of layers and and quilts.  Even though it took a full day for our apartment to get back to a warm temperature (worst and most inefficient heating system in the world), I made a vow that I will never again put my family in jeopardy because of the weather.

So, once a week for the next month, I will focus on how to keep your family safe and your home prepared for winter weather.  A bit timely for my East Coast readers I’m guessing…

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2 comments on “Taking Winter by Storm – Part I”

  1. I don’t even want to think about this! Living in Iowa winter sucks majorly. 3 years ago we lost power for 5 days! I felt like I was having a mental breakdown, so we paid WAY to much for a generator. But I now have the “bring it on mother nature” attitude because our house is now wired for it. I will have heat, my freezer, my fridge, stove, a kitchen outlet, and water heater. If it isn’t ice then we have massive blizzards. I’m moving south!

  2. Isn’t it amazing how a bad experience can really make you paranoid? I know it’s that way for me! We do have a generator that was a gift and is second hand, but freaking Troy didn’t get it running like he was told to after we got it, and now it won’t work. I want to ring his neck for that! We need to get it running soon.