Sunday, February 1, 2009


I have some distant relatives with a few screws loose. I'm not claiming to be unique in this; all I'm saying is that mental illness, paranoia, and acres of snowy wooded land tend to add up to an extra dash of crazy.

Which is why some people I'm related to are very familiar with the terms "militia," "government," "ammunition," and "canned goods."

Maybe it's what people used to call "cabin fever."

Well, the entire state of Kentucky is getting edgy these days.

Perhaps you've noticed a couple small news items about a bit of ice we've gotten lately.

Ice that keeps us indoors for days at a time. Ice that has cut off power to millions of people, and has turned off water for others, literally - no joke - causing them to get water with a bucket out of a creek. Ice that for some reason makes people think it's a good idea to lug in their charcoal grill from outdoors to use as a cooking device, only to send them to the hospital a few hours later with severe carbon monoxide poisoning.

We're kind of a mess. Let me explain: south of the Ohio River, we're not really used to a lot of "winter weather." So when we get pounded with several days' worth of ice, sleet, and snow, we (I) discover we've (I) never stocked a snow shovel, or rock salt.

And of course, now Wal-Mart - WAL-MART - is out of rock salt. In my cushioned capitalist existence, I very rarely experience a store not having something I need. The only other time in memory was this past Christmas, when, the week of Christmas, they ran out of brown sugar. Look at those little bakers go.

This was after I liberally poured (ran out of) Morton's table salt on the front porch and side steps. And after it took me and my hubby over a half hour to chisel and water the car out of a solid casing of ice. It's after Daisy's feet flew out from under her when she excitedly ran out on to the back porch and suddenly found it a skating rink. (I love it when dogs are clumsy. It makes me feel less alone.) This was also after I saw about four small trees down - from my front porch - and after my brother saw a flash and heard the pop of a transformer nearby giving up the ghost.

Yessir, we've been in survival mode all week. The funny thing?

We didn't lose power.

Now, a lot of the state did: there are people who will MISS THE SUPER BOWL because of Tuesday's arctic wrath. I'm not kidding: they exist. Right down the road.

But not us. No, we were a part of the bless-ed few who didn't lose power (heat) or water. But that survivalist mindset? Oh, full force. We hunkered down and didn't go anywhere. We looked suspiciously out of the blinds at the harsh, menacing tundra. We felt far away from the rest of the world, cut off, like Eskimo elders sent out on the ice to die.

We watched a lot of movies.

Oh, and the result of being cooped up inside for a week, after a sniffly-nosed seven year old came to stay for a few hours Monday night?

We all have colds.

Colds and power.

Colds and power and water.

Colds and power and water and intact roofs.

We feel blessed.

1 comment:

Jeffrey Rudy: said...

A good alternative to salt is lawn fertilizer...perhaps more expensive, but it doesn't tear up your concrete.

And if you think about it, pray hard for the people in western family lives near Paducah and Dad likened it to a War Zone where people are fighting over generators (much worse than the toy rages seen in the Christmas shopping season); downed power line poles, split in half for miles on end; they've been told that many may not have power for 30 days; Dad told me he almost brought his shotgun to work for fear of people getting too demanding for livestock feed (but they can't make the feed without the power); as of Friday evening, he didn't know of a single person or business in the area with power.