Thriving In My Thrifty Week–Even with An Ice Storm! February 14, 2020

What a week it has been! We are having a “historic” ice storm, as they are calling it on the news. North of us, in Portland, they have inches and inches of snow, plus ice, so my sister who works there had to go to work and stay there. It’s really not safe to drive there. Salem got hit with ice. It hasn’t been super safe here, either.

We had branches with up to an inch of ice on them. Countless trees fell in our neighborhood and power lines were in the road, in yards–broken from the weight of all the ice.

We had quite an adventure when our neighbor knocked on our door late one evening, saying he heard the tree behind both our houses creaking and cracking. Of course, we could not move the shop out of harm’s way, but we tore out there, hooked up the camper and moved it.

Of course, it was raining the whole time–freezing rain to be exact, and our van window was completely iced over with a thick sheet of ice. Since there was no time to de-ice it, what with trying to escape a tree that might be falling, Rob had me get in, and he gave me instructions to drive it back so he could hook up, then he wanted me to pull out of the gate, completely blind, following verbal directions that were being yelled out! After getting dangerously close to the house eves with the camper, I bailed out and let Rob finish the job, with help from both me and the neighbor. Which goes to prove 2 things: 1) My claim that Rob can drive the camper so good he could do it blindfolded is true, and 2) I never, ever will apply for a job as a blind van driver.

The tree never fell, thank goodness, but many branches fell from it. It took until Sunday morning for us to get the area safely cleared and for things to thaw out enough to put the camper back behind the gate where it belongs. We are so glad we cleared out the arborvitae a few weeks ago. More of the top branches fell and Rob had to cut them off before he could put the camper back. There will be a whole street full of full yard debris bins this week, I think! Ours is certainly full. We are very thankful that the camper that was just fixed does not need repairs again!

Family members piled into each others’ houses, wherever there was power. Ours stayed on the entire time, except for very brief outages. Others were not so fortunate. The worst night, there were constant flashes in the sky, thousands and thousands of outages, and numerous problems resulting from these problems. The street right behind us and almost every street near us lost power. All night long, the calm of the night was punctuated with crashes and cracks and falling branches.

Today, we took a walk. We saw at least 15 people cleaning up yards and sawing branches. This was one street that seemed especially hard hit. One man showed us his power line in his yard and said it was colder in the house than outside. Many streets have been closed. Near the end of our walk, we saw a man standing in the middle of the intersection. He was jubilant because his power had came on and stayed for 2 minutes this time–and pointed out power truck and workers a few blocks up a hill. Now and then, we could hear a generator running, or see smoke coming out of a chimney and knew those houses were a little warmer than the others. Everyone had a story, and they all wanted to share it. It was the most interaction we have ever had on a walk.

I find it quite ironic that we have a small generator, camp stoves, an entire camper that runs on propane, cupboards of food, Dutch ovens and a small fire pit in the back yard and yet our power stayed on and we needed none of those things, while others lost their power and had no way to build fires, cook, or be comfortable. We actually felt very sad and a little guilty as we walked along and wished we could help everyone. But, we can’t, so we did what we could.

We absolutely got the best deal and lots of entertainment at our house. Power is still not on in many neighborhoods, including the baby’s, so we still have a full house. Grandpa Rob spent the day today cutting down broken branches, tending to his greenhouse, cuddling with baby, cooking, and doing dishes. He also walked over 3 miles and kept the dog from licking poor Malcolm in the face since she’s decided he is either a puppy or a new toy. Rob looks exhausted. We all feel a bit tired, I will admit!

The baby is now crawling all over. He eats any and all trash he can find, so we have been constantly sweeping. It was especially funny when we caught him chewing on an advertisement for “Clean Eating” magazine! I guess he wants to be healthy:) He’s a lot of fun right now.

I’m thankful tonight that people I love are all right, safe and warm and for the time spent with those who came here. I’m thankful for power, and a huge food storage and all that wood Rob chopped this fall. We had no trouble feeding a few extras, and I just had Rob stop for an extra gallon of milk today while he was out and about helping chop up some branches at my sister’s. He said the store was slammed, with people pushing full carts of water, food that could be easily eaten like lunchmeat and bread, and other items they needed. He said the store looked like it had been wrecked, with food in the aisles, empty shelves in some places, and items displaced all over.

I’m thankful that our house, shop, camper and cars made it through unscathed, but most of all for the safety of our friends and family. I’m looking forward to a calmer week!

16 thoughts on “Thriving In My Thrifty Week–Even with An Ice Storm! February 14, 2020”

  1. I’m glad to hear that you made it through the storm safe and sound, and were able to help others. I’ve been through some rough ice storms, with a tree through my roof and power out a week, so I know how challenging they can be. Driving that van blind must have been a real adventure! Take care of yourselves.

  2. I’m so glad you were able to get through that storm without losing power or any damage to the camper! You were well prepared for any power outage, with your generator, etc., but, it’s a good thing you didn’t have to resort to having to use them. But the pictures of the ice look beautiful!

    That baby is just so cute! I didn’t realize he was crawling, already!

    Hope the week ahead will be a good one! Stay warm and safe!

    1. We took a big walk today and were very sobered at the extent of damage that we saw. There is still no power in so many locations. This is the 4th day/night for so many.

      As for baby—he’s crawling, pulling up, starting to eat some foods…lots of fun around here. It’s a whole new side of him I’ve never seen before:). Busy, busy, busy!

  3. Ice storms are the worst! I’m so glad you all are okay.

    Your Grandson is so sweet – that smile is amazing.

    Blessings as you all clean up and stay warm,

    1. Thank you. We are nice and warm and cozy, shall we say–with all of us here together in our little house. Yesterday, we added Jake for his normal Wednesday with us, and tried to get some school done with all the rest of the commotion going on, as we step over toys, clothes, couch pillows, and other items strewn across our minute living room…..but the fire is roaring, there’s lots of food cooking, hot showers, many people to pull the baby away from anything dangerous, and …..wait for it….all the electronics work! So people are happy for the most part:)

  4. Oh, what an ordeal! The storm began hitting us last night and has continued today. I spent yesterday canning food from the freezer expecting the power to go out. So far, we are doing fine. I would trade it all for a baby to cuddle.

    1. This is Thursday. The girls are still without power. It went out last Friday night. Rob drove past their house last night. It seems as though every single house around them regained power late yesterday, except theirs. So he’s going over there this morning to see if there is some issue he can solve!

      I have been enjoying the baby so much. Nothing like a little vacuum cleaner to make you sweep a lot! He’s really getting around now, crawling everywhere. My house really isn’t baby-proofed, but we are getting that way FAST!

  5. That GS is adorable… And can relate as to how FAST they are at that age…LOL.
    I’m not fond of ice storms either. Remember too well driving from Olympia WA to Portland one time when I5 was an ice rink and there was no way to safely exit.

    Glad you could be the house where everyone could gather. And keep safe – including your trailer!!

    Temps here were above freezing yesterday for the first time in a week. Yea. Stay cozy!

    1. Thanks! He is fast, and getting faster every day, I think!

      I’m glad you got above freezing there. We are just wondering if we will go back to our mild winter. What a crazy, crazy winter it has been-first so mild, then so frozen. But, the Yukon blend lettuce survived, even though Rob put it outside because he had picked most of it. I’m going to see if it grows a few more leaves or is done!

  6. We’re in Texas. We had power out last week in an ice storm for 25 hrs and then again this week for 39 hours. We are blessed in we have a gas fireplace which helped. Plenty of food and water. Extended family all had power. The sun is out and suppose to get to 36 today and the ice with about 6 inches of snow is starting to drip. All praise to God.

    1. I’m glad you are ok. I haven’t watched the news for a couple of days, but a few days ago, Texas was all over the news here in Oregon. It must have been awful there, since it still made news here while we were having our own big ice storm. I hope you guys get warmer weather soon.

  7. What sweet baby pics. He is adorable. And he looks like such a happy baby too.
    I know it wasn’t funny but your blind van driver made me laugh. So glad the camper wasn’t damaged and the shop is ok. Glad you didn’t lose power, and I’m glad you were able to provide shelter to your family. Hope your daughter gets power back soon. So many hurting people.
    We lost power here in VA for about 30 hours last week from an ice storm. We have a small generator and a propane fireplace and plenty of food and water so we made out ok.
    Hope you have a good week. I’m ready for spring.

    1. It was actually funny, after the camper was out of harm’s way, and I’m sure it would make a good comedy movie, if it wasn’t us running about like crazy chickens with our heads cut off:). I’m glad you are prepared and now have power. We saw some friends yesterday who had been out for 7 days. My sister, 9 days. Our daughters….still out. It’s a mess around here, even with the countless trucks and trailers full of branches we’ve seen hauled away.

  8. There were two separate ice storms ( very rare) in north Alabama, where my oldest son lives, and he slid off the road in the second one, as he was coming home from work. Two other folks, including a doctor being called into work, slid off at the same place. Good Samaritans got him home safely. He now has a very sore throat and I am worried about him because he has health issues. This week has been something else! Your grandbaby is adorable!!!!

    1. I’m so glad your son was not injured and there were people to help him. Ice is scary. I hope his sore throat is just a temporary thing, and nothing serious!

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