Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

December 16, 2013

reflections: The Year of the Great Freeze


Mineral Wells Index

— As I write this column, the ice is slowly melting on the ground, but it surely isn’t gone, yet. Thankfully we heard the forecast before all this started and went to the store to fill up the larder with things we might need for a few days, not realizing, of course, that we would be stuck in the house for five days or more!

Raf got his hand out of the cast the afternoon of the “big sleet,” and we skidded our way home; but as we had purchased food the day before (when it was 80 degrees F out), we were in fine form.

And then the winter storm, Blue Northern to most of us, set in.

We are so blessed that we have had a roof over our heads, heat, water, electricity, and food, and, although we had some plumbing trouble, the plumber was able to come out on Sunday and fix that, too, and thank God, we had the money to pay him!

We are blessed.

Some of our friends weren’t so lucky. A couple of friends were in the hospital for all this mess. Several places had bad water leaks. We had friends without heating as their units went out, and they had to make do with space heaters.

Some people were not able to go where they intended and ended up in ditches. We had friends who took people in and housed and fed them during this time. How wonderful that is!

It is amazing how people come together in a crisis and help each other, and, of course, that is exactly what we are meant to do!

We were able to get bird feed in all the feeders, although it has mostly been eaten by now, and our daughter has come and refilled them, and we are throwing out grains, seeds, and bread so that the creatures will have some food. We have friends who set up a sort of shelter on their patio with a heat lamp and a tarp to hold off some of the cold. God gave us dominion over the creatures of the earth, and those are folks who took it seriously!

Raf set up his tripod and long lens and was able to get some great bird photographs with a remote control while he read. But I mostly vegetated with Hercule Poirot on Netflix and a crochet needle and yarn in my hands or a book on my iPad.

Now the sky is blue, the temperature is above freezing, and perhaps our town will get back to the business of running itself soon. Schools will open, and, I’d be willing to bet, that both students and teachers are anxious to get back to their tasks - at least until the Christmas break.

I am reminded of Robert Frost, who wrote:



Whose woods these are I think I know.

His house is in the village though;

He will not see me stopping here

To watch his woods fill up with snow.



My little horse must think it queer

To stop without a farmhouse near

Between the woods and frozen lake

The darkest evening of the year.



He gives his harness bells a shake

To ask if there is some mistake.

The only other sound's the sweep

Of easy wind and downy flake.



The woods are lovely, dark, and deep.

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.



So as we get back to our usual world,

we are ready to get on with life and to keep

those promises.