Ice Storm 2007…the remix?
We’ve been under a winter storm watch since Monday and were upgraded to a winter storm warning today. What? It is B-E-A-UTIFUL outside today. It feels like one of those days on the cusp of spring. Everything is still brown and dormant, but you know any moment fresh life will peek its pretty head up from below. But, alas, this is not so. It is just another unusually nice January day that tricks you into thinking you will be digging out your shorts and tank tops next week.
The meteorologists have been on a tirade all week telling people to get prepared. I could feel the pre-winter storm buzz in the air during a quick trip to the grocery store. Luckily, I work a few miles north of the National Weather Center (the place that magically generates weather reports for much of the country with their fancy algorithms and predictive models) and have some meteorologist friends who have given me some insider information. They predict it will not be as bad as the 2007 Ice Storm in Norman. Let’s hope!
Looking back, that was such a weird, scary, awesome, powerful, memorable, pain in the rear thing to be a part of. I remember it clearly. We were supposed to take our youth group out caroling that night, but the freaky thunder-sleet dumping from the sky suggested we change our plans. Yes, I said thunder-sleet. Instead we gathered at the church to sing our joyous carols for a tiny crowd of oh, about three, at our evening service. Most people were smart enough not to venture out, but we wanted to SING! And SING we did, although it was practically just for ourselves. On the way home, trees were already starting to buckle under the tremendous weight of ice accumulations foreshadowing what was to come.
That evening Rob and I sunk into our sheets up to our necks and drifted to sleep only to be awakened by CRACK, SNAP, CREEEEEEAAAAAAAAK, BANG, BZZZZZZZT, and the occasional brilliant light show caused by exploding transformers. We lie there in our sheets still up to our necks wondering if our tall pines in the back would crush our house. All night long the war-like noises continued accompanied by the hypnotic rhythm of falling ice. In the silence we contemplated what it must be like to live in a warzone where the noises echoing in the cold night mean something far heavier.
The next morning we awoke to a world transformed by amazing accumulations of ice. Nature encapsulated in inches of ice is really something to behold. And the silence…the glorious, terrible silence of a world with NO POWER anywhere. No buzzing lines overhead, no humming fans in the house, no cars, no television, no radio, no noise…except the avalanche like sound of huge branches crushing to the ground.
The next few days and weeks were a time for family, friends, and community to come together in the warmth of spaces that did have power. We went without for over a week and were grateful for the many fun sleepovers and hot showers of kind friends and neighbors. I’ll never forget those times spent with friends and how much fun we had.