As I sit here on a nice, calm morning, writing a book that opens in an ice storm, I can't help but remember the ice storm in March of `91, the "Mother of all Ice Storms" they called it.
It piled an unbelievable amount of ice on everything, shrouding our world in bright, glass-like ice. Amazingly beautiful and deadly. Trees crashed under the weight of the ice, bringing down electric lines everywhere. The sound of trees crashing in the dark night, rolling off rooftops, or caving them in, was like no other sound I've ever heard. And it went on for hours and hours.
There was no communication. No light. No heat. No way to get gasoline because the roads were all blocked with timber and electric lines. No way to run the gasoline pumps if you got to a gas station. Grocery stores full of food had to throw out all perishables. We had batteries for our old radio and that was the only source of communication we had.
We were one of the lucky ones. Our power was restored on day four. Many were out for 10-12 days... And the temperature outside was in the 30's.... Which meant if you didn't have an alternate source of heat, your inside temperature wasn't much better.
Remembering that storm is like recalling where you were when the Challenger disaster occurred. Or when President Kennedy and Martin Luther King were shot. Or when Princess Diana died.
That storm taught me so many things. As the years moved on, we installed a beautiful wood-burning stove for heat. We had natural gas run to the house and replaced our old electric kitchen stove with gas. We keep an extra tank of propane in the garage for the outdoor grill.
It took a lot of years, but we were determined to never let our family be cold and hungry and helpless again.
So now, writing this story, I know what ice storms do. I know the problems and injuries that occur. I can write about them without too much research because I lived it.
But I'm thanking God, our Father, for this chilly peaceful morning because it's calm. And I've developed a whole new respect for calm!