Freeze Tagged

As many of you have no doubt seen, Texas had a bit of a cold snap a couple weeks ago.

And, if I’m being entirely on the level with you, these pictures were taken while that house in the background there was still quite toasty warm inside.

Alas, that was not to last…

Later, on the very same afternoon these were taken, our power went out and, suddenly, all this weather became less beautiful, and a lot less entertaining.

But we waited for a while. And then for a bit longer. And then waited some more. And then…
Nothing happened.
The power just didn’t come back on.
And that nice warm house got cooler…and cooler…and colder…and colder…

Until, when it was time for bed that night, it had dropped to the mid-40’s in the house.

Seriously, Texas?

And then, well, nothing happened some more.

The temperature continued to fall, and it eventually dropped to about 5° outside, and 40° inside, which prompted the saddest Bumble Blanket Ninja you’ve ever seen…

My aqueous humors are not finding this humorous.

Later the next afternoon, the power did return…sorta.

We were provided just enough juice to gently illuminate the lights in the house, as if every lamp had a dimmer switch that’d been set to about 30%.
But! It was enough to run the central heat for a short while.

And thus began the cycle of brownouts. We’d have power for about 90 minutes, the heater would churn along and get the inside temperature up to about 50ish, and then the power would go back out for 45 minutes. Rinse. Rime. Repeat.

This went on for the rest of the day, with each subsequent brownout becoming shorter than the one before, until, eventually, the power came on and just stayed on. Roughly 36 hours after it had originally gone out.

Unfortunately, Jen and Daph were not quite so lucky.

The electricity in Sugar Land had gone out long before ours, and it had remained out the rest of that night. The following day, after roughly 48-hours sans power, they got a quick reprieve from the local blackout and sent me the following text…

“H-h-hii D-d–da-d-d-dyyy

And Jen explained to me that it was about 37° in their house, and had been for the past day.

Oh. Hell. No.
My wife and little girl are freezing.

So I bolted from my work computer, grabbed a jacket and an extra blanket, borrowed my grandmother’s car, and was out the door in about 20 minutes with a plan to cross the frozen tundra, a.k.a. I-10 East, from Seguin to Sugar Land.

Now this trip takes about 2 hours and 15 minutes under optimal conditions. This time it took me 3 & 1/2 hours. And I’ll tell you, it looked utterly apocalyptic out there.

I lost count of how many large Texas trucks were sitting in ditches along the side of the road. (Funny thing happens on ice when there’s no weight over those back tires, guys…but I suppose you really had no way of knowing that prior to all this.)

But for me, all those nights spent slaloming down Parley’s Canyon in my Mitsubishi Toboggan Eclipse paid off, and I arrived safely both to and from Sugar Land, bringing Jen and Daph out to Seguin where a warm house awaited.

“Let’s not do that again, Daddy.”

A few days later I drove them both back to Sugar Land (they’d only brought emergency clothes with them) then tried to beat my best lap time back to Seguin on the following day.

And that, dear Bumble Readers, is how we rode out the Great Texas Winter Storm of 2021.

Now, all this being said, I understand that this weather was but a precursor to the winters that await us when we make our trek northward here in about 4 weeks. But at least there the infrastructure is prepared for such eventualities. I know I certainly will be.

And, just between us, you can be damn sure I’m not letting either of those girls out of my sight during that kind of storm ever again…

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