We got some snow early in December this year, which was great, because who doesn’t love a white Christmas? (Thank you, Danny Kaye & Bing Crosby.) Around a week or so before Christmas, though, the temperature started to rise to close to freezing and Texas sent us up a rainstorm of all things. The air where the rain-clouds were was above freezing while the air down on the ground was below freezing so for about two days, it rained and at the end of it, everything had a two-inch thick coating of ice.
It made the streets and the neighborhood look like a Swarovski exhibit, and was pretty solid. In most places, the ice was strong enough to hold me (165 lbs) and every once in a while it would break through and I would fall down into the foot of snow below the ice crust.
The obvious thing to do when 165 lbs doesn’t break through the ice crust is grab a hammer to concentrate your force into a smaller surface area and take advantage of whatever physics principles of leverage and kinetic energy that make smashing holes in the crust so fun. If we’re all honest about it, Betsy will probably tell you she doesn’t get it. (Not the science, the fun; she gets the science.)
Of course it played havoc with the poor trees and powerlines. (The trees in these pics used to stand up straight.)
We lost power on Saturday, December 21, as the temperature was heading back toward a deep freeze. I had to let Michelle and Brian know (they were flying in Christmas Eve) that we didn’t have heat, power, or water at our house (the water is on a well with an electric pump, and while the heat is gas, for some reason, it doesn’t run if there’s no power).
For 3 days, we filled pots with water and set them in front of our gas fireplace (oddly enough, that worked, even though you turn it on with a light-switch) so that we would have something to dump down the toilets to get them to flush. We slept in sleeping bags and drove down to my office to shower in the gym there.
We almost didn’t finish our ginger-bread houses before it got too dark to see for family night.
Michelle and Brian got to spend about 3 hours in the dark helping us put the finishing touches on Christmas preparations when a Christmas miracle restored power at about 11:00pm on Christmas Eve.
Christmas morning was fun, as always, with some really fantastic presents that the kids made each other. Reid made everyone super-hero towels, Porter painted some pretty amazing super-hero posters, and Afton made everyone pencil-holders. Lea (Betsy) made everyone the thing that they were giving so Reid got a towel, Porter got a poster, and Afton got a pencil-holder.
It was awesome to have Michelle and Brian around. They stayed until Saturday and played with the kids the whole time–with presents, in the snow, card-games, whatever.
Betsy made me an awesome felt picture of our kids and I made her a Family night assignment board.