Sunday, February 1, 2009

Notes from the State of Emergency

It's been an...interesting week in Kentucky. We've had a major ice storm, and it seemed like pretty much everyone in the state was without power for a while. My husband and I had many, many friends and family members who either stayed in their freezing homes (huddled close to fireplaces), or headed out to spend a few days in a hotel. Fortunately, it's beautiful out today--sunny with temps in the high 40s--so everything is melting. Most of our friends have power back in their homes, and everything is finally returning to normal. I learned a few things during the past week, though:

Someone deserves a Nobel Prize - I don't know who invented underground power lines, but they deserve some kind of major award. Our neighborhood has been through two ice storms in recent years, and kept power each time. During the 2003 storm, our house was not yet finished, so we spent a week in my in-laws' garage apartment. As nice as it was there, it was MUCH better to be at home. I am now much more aware of (and thankful for) the presence of electricity.

It's hard to justify being a wimp at work when all your co-workers are tough - I hate driving on snow and ice--it's white-knuckle time for me. So, in years past, I would simply not go in to work when the weather was bad. Now, I work with a bunch of hardy, dedicated public servants who not only refuse to stay home in bad weather, they won't even come in late. I had to either "man up" this week and just learn to drive on the icy streets without freaking out, or risk looking like a huge wuss compared to my co-workers. I drove every day, only got stuck once, and my husband said I did a pretty good job.

Winter weather can be rough on dogs - Imagine for a moment that your entire bathroom is made of ice--floors, fixtures, toilet, everything. Now imagine that you're trying to get, er, comfortable for your usual bathroom activities, and your feet are sliding all over the place. When your feet slide, your rump dips down onto the ice, which startles you, which makes you flail around even more. This is what happened every time we let our dogs out to poop on Tuesday and Wednesday. We tried really hard not to laugh at them, but we were completely unsuccessful. It was just too funny. It made me wish I had a video camera.

One thing is certain: those of us who made it through the ice storm of '09 will never forget it. Now, when's the first day of spring, again?

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