The poem "Trees" came into my thoughts with these photos. I really feel sad for all of the trees, as there was at least 3 inches of ice on them. You could "hear" them groan with the weight, and some of them just gave up their weighted branches, which gave us some clean up to do. Some days, when the sun was shining, we saw some spectacular ice shows with the ice looking like crystals; absolutely beautiful.
The worst part of all of this beauty/destruction, it left us without power for over 10 days. We tried heating our home with just our wood burning fireplace, and closing ourselves in to just our family room. We stapled plastic up to the doorways, then covered that with heavy duty blankets to keep out the cold from the other rooms. That was working somewhat, until the temperatures dipped to below 19 degrees outside at night, and our poor fireplace just couldn't emit enough heat. We also were running a gas generator to keep our freezer running so we wouldn't loose all of our food. For our cooking facilities we used our gas grill for cooking, and the plate on the side of the grill to keep us with hot water. Again, this was all working, until it got too cold for us to stay there.
We then went to our neighbors who had propane heat in their home, along with a Coleman camping stove to cook on, and we ate by battery lamp light, and went to sleep at the unGodly time of 7-8:00 p.m. We took food from our freezers &/or went to the deli to buy lunch meat sandwiches. We were so very fortunate for our neighbors that we can't thank them enough for their hospitality.
After a couple of nights with our neighbors, we then decided that we should try moving back home to give everyone their much needed space. This decision was okay for the moment, but.... We had lit a fire in our fireplace and were feeling all cozy warm, when we heard this "whirring" sound - yep - we had a chimney fire. My dh quickly closed down the fireplace while I ran next door to use their phone (our phone line was down and we couldn't use our cell phone due to overload) to call the volunteer fire department. In minutes they responded, but dh had the fire out - thank God. Whilst the firemen were there, they cleared the street of fallen trees and limbs just in case we needed them again &/or the first responders. Needless to say, I didn't get much sleep that night while feeding the fireplace so it didn't cause another fire.
About that time, I received a call from my niece that they were on their way back from visiting in FL. I told her to turn around and stay in FL where she could be warm, and told her of what we were going through. She and our nephew decided to stop and buy a kerosene heater, some kerosene, and some gas, and bring it to us. Thank God for them, as then we could have some heat again. Well the temperature again decided to turn bitterly cold, so we decided to move in to our nieces home in which they had full power and heat.
Several days of living with them, we got a call from our neighbor that the electricity had been turned on again. That seemed like a blessing to all, but we couldn't have the power on as our meter box had been pulled from our house and that had to require an electrician to fix before we could have power. So another night away from our home, but the next day we moved back home, lit the kerosene heater to bring up the house temperature (took the better part of the day), so our furnace didn't run all day long - good thinking on our part...LOL.
So now we are safe and sound with heat and lights - WRONG. 24 hours later the electricity went off for another 8 hours, and the outside temperature was in the 60's - so what now? Well we cooked outside that day, and then rejoiced that the electric was on before nightfall. We are still singing the praises of our Lord that we are safe, that we had such gracious neighbors and a very thoughtful niece and nephew, and that we are home safe and sound.....for the moment.
I know you have had some harrowing winter tales to tell, and I do hope you'll share them. Thank you for looking and reading.