Ol’ Dutch and Miss Trixie survived the Polar blast that arrived last week like a freight train without brakes across America. I am not sure why they call it Polar as it was 55 degrees in Alaska at the same time we almost froze to death in Texas. But regardless, it was a challenging week for all no matter where you live.
Miss Trixie and I woke about 2:30 a.m. last Tuesday morning to no heat, no water, and a record minus 13 below zero temperature here in Texas. And although Ol’ Dutch has lived in cold climes before and even worked outside in that freezing kind of weather, the old Conestoga RV is just not made for that kind of frigid.
We, along with Cooper, sat the rest of the night in the truck with the engine running to avoid certain death. Even though Ol’ Dutch managed to drift off to sleep, Miss Trixie worried enough for both of us and kept up a lively banter also known as “yakking.”
Sunrise finally came and a quick check of the cows revealed they were fine, and I was fortunate that the outside hydrant worked, as all other water sources were frozen solid. I had installed the hydrant myself and disregarded the local recommendations that it be buried one foot deep and, instead, I did a full Kansas four-foot-down bury on the pipes and boy, did that pay off.
About 25 million people found themselves plunged into total darkness and no heat, no food, and no water. It was a disaster in the making and people really suffered as they were not prepared for that kind of weather nor were there nearby resources so they could prepare.
The push to all electric houses really told a tale during this storm as once the electrical grid went down, everyone including the water and sewer plants also went down. Many people literally froze to death and others died from carbon monoxide poisoning as they brought $2 Hibachi’s from Dollar Store into their homes.
Miss Trixie and I were fortunate to be taken in by our neighbor Magic Mike. He has a massive wood stove and generator and we sat snug as a bug in a rug enjoying a king-size bed and good food. Water was in short supply which made for sponge baths at best and even though that works to some degree it requires more social distancing than even the Covid requires.
Miss Trixie tells about being on Mt. Everest for 72 days and how you develop what is called “the Funk.” Which means you STINK BAD. Now I know just a tiny bit about what she is talking about.
My son Bubs and his family have a fireplace and Ol’ Dutch had an ample supply of firewood for them, so they stayed warm albeit without any water. He said they had to develop a system even beyond social distancing. Each time they would get even remotely close to one another they would simply say “Pardon Me” to acknowledge at least that they knew they had become an odiferous family of sorts.
The kids played in the snow of course and sleeping in front of the fire was just an adventure to them and I am glad we had wood to give to them for this event.
I also gave away loads of wood to people in the neighborhood who had small children and a fireplace. Preparation is the last thing on people’s minds when the weather is normal.
There is plenty of blame to go around for the power grid going down and lawsuits are already piling paper up like the recycling center on Earth Day. As usual, the vultures always circle their prey and it's happening here, too.
I would like to think that people would learn some kind of lesson from this event and maybe be prepared a little better for any calamity that comes along. But those that bought generators to weather the storm are already selling them online and so I guess they will not learn.
People are resilient and will survive. Within two days of the subzero weather, basketball games and cheerleading competitions were already happening in gyms across the states. Lord knows we cannot cancel those for a week.
Kevin Kirkpatrick and his yorkie, Cooper, fish, hunt, ATV or hike daily. His email is [email protected]. Additional news can be found at www.troutrepublic.comor on Twitter at TroutRepublic.