Waking to a Beautifully Ugly Day

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I am finding that true in many ways this winter.  Mother Nature has not been very kind to us.  We have had either rain, ice, snow, freezing fog, frost, or any combination of the same, since Christmas.

Last Saturday I took Cole to his basketball game in Holstein.  When we left our place, it was so foggy I couldn't see two car lengths ahead of me, but as we headed north, the sky cleared and the view was absolutely breathtaking.

It was a great morning for Cole and his team as well.  They beat their opponents by a healthy margin (34-11).  They were pooped, but all smiles afterward. 


Our trip back home wasn't as pretty. The sky was clear and cloudless, but the frost had conceded to the sun and vanished.   Two short miles from home and we were once again embraced by the fog.

 The fog and frost stayed with us all week.  Everything out here was heavy with frost, even some of the cats.

 The frost only settled on the largest of our fur kids, the ones who scavenge and run amok all day.  The little ones stay in the cat house and cuddle until feeding time during bad weather days. 

And then the ice came.

School was canceled Wednesday due to the ice storm that settled in our area.  The highways and gravel roads were not difficult to manuever, it was the streets and sidewalks in town that were slicker than snot on silicone.  Our power went out shortly before noon and Glen had to rescue Caine who was home alone, bored to the bone and getting cold.  Glen and I made a trip out to the house after work to pick up clothes and toiletries for everyone.  Not such an easy task in the dark.  I stayed at Drew's, Caine and Cole were at Grandpa and Grandma's and Glen stuck it out at home for the night. When the storm passed, we heaved a sigh of relief believing the worst was behind us.

Then all hell broke loose.


Glen, Caine and I ventured back home Thursday evening to check on things and grab more necessities for another night in town.   We were in complete shock to find most of the power poles on the gravel road had snapped and broken.  When we crested the hill to our place, the amount of ice on the wires was incredible.  The lines from the poles on the road to our house were hanging precariously low.  Despairing sights were the only sights we saw.

After the storm, the good news was the bad news.  The temperature was on the rise, meaning the ice would be melting, but that also meant the power lines would be hopping and jumping and shorting themselves out, which is exactly what happened.  Town after town was afflicted with power outage and all the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't get everything put back together quickly again.

The entire county looked like a battleground.  No one was denying that Mother Nature had the upper hand and was dishing out more than we could handle.  Additional troops were on their way.  Mile-long convoys
of utility trucks hauling in man power, poles and lines from Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin and Kansas were spotted and cheered along their way.

When times get tough, country folk like us don't sit still and wait for something to happen.  When we learned it could be two weeks before power is restored in the rural areas, cell phones started to ring.  One neighbor called another to say, "Hey, I'm headed to Des Moines to pick up a generator, do you need one?"  Which led to another calling another and another.  We were fortunate enough to be one of the anothers.   Before I was off work yesterday, a generator had been delivered to our house, Glen was able to hook it up and we had heat and light, but we still weren't out of harm's way.

Our water source is a deep well located about a quarter-mile away from the house in the middle of a field.  There is no way to get to the well to hook a generator to the pump, so we are without water until the troops arrive and repair our power lines.  That alone is enough to make one worry, but the power poles to the well were at risk of snapping and breaking just like the ones on the gravel road.  Should that happen, it would be after the spring thaw before a crew would be able to get to it.  The winds picked up last night and we prayed for the best.

When I woke up this morning, I was met with this beautiful sight:

Do you see it?  No frost, no snow, no ice on the branches.  The same is true for the power lines - and the poles to our well are still standing.  Beauty, indeed, is in the eye of the beholder. 


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