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We’re Survivin’ Texas Rolling Blackouts

Oh! Bless all y’all.

(the quaint Southern-style greetings don’t really disguise my Yankeeness like I think it does, right?)
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Emmons and Elias before the Texas Blizzard of '21
Emmons and Elias at the Start of the Texas Blizzard of ’21

As I woke this morning, my iPhone notifications barked out alarm after alarm, like a beagle discovering a fox’s scent trail and howling, “Oooveeer Heeereee!” My usual guardian angels were seeking to check-in on my welfare. Those angels bless me. I sometimes don’t know how to express my gratitude for these folks without sounding maudlin.  

 

 

Timeline of the Past 48 Hours
Survivin’ Texas Rolling Blackouts

    •  Sunday
      • Snow and Rowdy Outdoor Play
      • Family Mood Bright and Social! – Happy!
    • Monday
      • 2:45 AM – The Power Went-Off for The First Time
      • 5:50 AM – The Power Came Back-On
      • 6:45 AM – The Power Went Off Again
        • Apartment Temperatures in The Lower 60°’s
        • Everyone Stayed in Bed – Family Mood Tired and Starting to Show Irritability!
      • 8:30 AM – Dad Notes No One Has Showered and the Power is Off.
      • 9:00 AM – Dad is Drying Off from a Steaming Hot Shower and Has a Big Smile
      • 9:30 AM – Family Mood is Chipper, Sons Confused About Dad’s Smile
      • 10:00 AM – Emmons Contemplates a Shower and Yells, “Hay!”
      • 11:00 AM – More Rowdy Snow Play
        • Outdoor Temp High 15° F
        • Apartment Temperatures in the Upper 50°’s
        • Family Mood Brightened, Social, and Getting a Little More Tired!
      • 4:00 PM – Grocery Run with Plan to Use 60-Year-Old Coleman Camp Stove.
      • Family Mood Pleasant and Anticipating A Glorious Meal of Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
      • 4:30 PM – Home and Discovered 60-Year-Old Coleman Camp Stove Wouldn’t Start for the First Time in 60 Years
        • Family Mood Disappointed, but Resilient – Problem-solving Dinner!
      • 4:40 PM – Found a 6 lbs. Bag of Charcoal
        • Family Mood Quickly Rebounds.
        • Elias Volunteers to Cook on Grill
        • Outdoor Temp High 12° F
        • Apartment Thermostat Reads 54° F
        • Dad Coaches and Assists Elias with Starting Charcoal and Dinner
        • Lots of In and Out “‘Cause It’s F’ing Cold!”
      • 6:00 PM – Elias’ Meat Sauce is Done and Tastes Great!
        • Even After Setting Pot Directly on Coals, Elias can not get Water to Boil
        • Dad and Elias Decide Spaghetti cannot be Cooked
        • Family Mood Disappointed and Grouchy
      • 6:15 PM – Elias’ Renames His Meat Sauce to “Grilled Chili.”
        • Family Mood Brightens as All Scarf Down Grilled Chili
        • After Dinner Family Notices Water is Only Trickling
        • Every Other Apartment’s Family in the Building has Left for Hotel Rooms
        •  One Family Returns Stating Every Hotel Room is Full
      • 7:00 PM – Family Warm Selves in the car, Charges Electronics, and Texts Friends
      • 8:00 PM – The Apartment is Now in the Mid 40°’s
        • Emmons Gathers All Blankets, Sleeping Bags, and Pillows in Living Room 
        • Dire Scenarios Run in Dad’s Head as the Water Completely Stops – Paranoid Kicks-in
      • 9:00 PM – Dad Announces He Must Run A Late-Night Errand and Leaves in The Car
        • Dad Drives to Three Hotels – All Have No Vacancies
        • Dad About Loses It Alone in the Car, Papa calls and Everyone Regains Perspective
        • Just as Dad Strikes Out at Fourth Hotel, Elias Calls to Report the Power is Back
      • 10:00 PM – Everyone is Back Doing Usual Night-Time Stuff and the Apartment Temp is in the 50’s and Rising
    • Tuesday
      • 8:00 PM – The Apartment is a Toasty 72° – Everyone is Well Rested
        • The Family Collectively Notices the Aroma Coming from the Bathroom
        • The Water is Completely Off – but We’re Survivin’ Texas Rolling Blackouts

We’re in a Declaration of Emergency!

I’m sorry for just now being able to respond. We just want to let you know we’re Survivin’ Texas Rolling Blackouts. Our ability to use the internet has waxed and wained. Whenever we had it, I tried to put on a joyful face – which was easy as sitting in the car and warming ourselves and charging our electronics has been the joy.

However, the rest of the last 48 hours have tried me (we still have some more to go). I’ve been able to maintain my cool (pun intended) through most of it. At one point last night, I was cussing everything in creation, but at that very moment, Dad was finally able to get a phone call through and slapped me back to reality. This morning many have reached out to check on us, which makes me feel amazing and bolstered.

I know the news has reported on the rolling power outages during single digits temperatures in a state entirely unprepared for such. What the national news isn’t telling all y’all, some of those rolling blackouts are not rolling along with the tumblin’ tumbleweeds. In several areas, the “switch” controlling those rolling blackouts froze and broke; our part of Fort Worth was one. We and the surrounding areas went without electricity from 7 a.m. yesterday till 9:30 PM. That was on top of already having only two hours with electricity the night before. Now, I know I’m a Yankee in the deep South and got winter skills these here Texans can’t even imagine. But I had allowed myself to become as unprepared as a bloated Texas ego during a blizzard (I always look for a good simile, but in this case, the truth will do). The unprepared Texan kind of is funny; 50% of the state’s wind turbines have frozen and can no longer add to the electric grid.

Last evening, Elias earned a cosmic Karma merit badge; he tried to cook spaghetti and meat sauce on a charcoal grill in single-digit temperatures for us. He couldn’t get the water to boil, so he turned the meat sauce into barbecued Chili.

We’re the only ones left in the building, along with one other apartment, because water has frozen throughout. It did get down to 42° in our apartment last night. We kept our water running full blast in our apartment, but as Kenny Rogers sang, “somewhere in the darkness the water, it broke even.” We are preparing for a shower of problems once the pipes thaw.

As time gives me a broader perspective, I know there is enough comedy gold in these experiences to fuel a plethora of blog posts. I’m pondering posts titled “The Untimely Death of a 60-Year-Old Coleman Stove” and “A Three-Man-Bathroom’s Smell During a Water Outage,” to name only two.

 

The boys wanted me to try to raise a little Disaster Relief. So, we're selling Fun T-shirts that I just overdesigned.
The boys wanted me to try to raise a little Disaster Relief. So, we’re selling Fun T-shirts, Survivin’ Texas Rolling Blackouts.

We feel your prayers!
Thank you for your concerns.
Love y’all!

 

 

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