Monday, January 13, 2014

Ice Storms and Birthdays



The woman looked anxiously at the sky, then bent over to get another wet diaper to hang on the clothes line to dry.  She was enjoying this warm weather, but something  just didn't seem right, it being late January and all.  Still sore from the birth of her baby girl a few days ago, she quickly hung the cotton diapers to dry.  She could see the clouds building in the western sky.

By the time she collected the dry diapers a few hours later, the sky was overcast and a northwest wind cut though  her cotton house dress.  Grabbing her heavy coat, she began to bring in dry wood for the fireplace. By the time she had enough for that night, a cold rain had began to fall.  When her husband got home from work a little while later, the rain had begun freezing and already, a thin glaze of ice covered the porch steps.

They listened, quiet, that night as the rain pounded the tin roof of the house and the wind raged outside their windows.  The husband rose frequently to add wood to the inadequate fireplace, while the woman held her infant against her body to keep it warm.

Daylight brought a wonderland of white; every tree and building and vehicle was covered with a thick layer of ice.  Soon, they began hearing loud cracks from the woods as huge tree branches broke due to the weight of the ice.  Their day, and several days afterward, was spent trying to stay warm and fed.

It was only after warm Gulf winds had melted the ice several days later that they were able to see the damage; ruined woods, livestock frozen in the pastures, and loss of life for some. The woman counted her blessings, for all of them had made it through the storm.

This is how my mama and daddy told the story to me. You can go 
here for a newspaper story that documented one of the greatest ice storms in recorded history.

Yes, the baby was me, and I'm thankful that I didn't freeze and that I have lived through several storms to make it to another birthday.
However, I have been cold all my life.  I blame it on that ice storm.