It looks like we’ve made it through another “thing” together.
First it was Hurricane Harvey, then the pandemic (ongoing), and now the coldest weather we’ve experienced since 1989 (if news reports and my memory serve me well).
I’m hoping things actually do come in threes, and this is it for a while.
Like most of you, I spent Monday afternoon adjusting to the temperature drop inside our home.
At some point Monday, electricity came on at the Pilot office in downtown Rockport, and we were able to put out this edition of your newspaper.
(Note: It’s Monday night, and it appears we will get to press in Rosenberg on time, but there’s no telling when you will actually see this edition in print. It could be on time, or not. It depended on the road conditions between here and Rosenberg Tuesday. We can send the paper to press via drop box, but there’s no getting around picking it up in person.)
The last couple of days have been ruled by the weather, but that’s where the comparisons with Harvey tail off.
Harvey and its aftermath was not over in a couple of days.
Another thing I realized is that after Harvey, we lost all the food in our refrigerator and freezer due to the two-week loss of electricity. With this winter storm, even without electricity, we were able to save our cold food simply by placing it outside on our porch.
One lesson I learned in the aftermath of Harvey is it’s a good idea to keep your backup batteries charged for your cell phones.
We have four of them and they were fully charged Sunday night, hours before we lost power.
Another difference between Harvey and this winter storm is leading up to, and after Harvey, family members were calling us to see how we were doing.
The sheer size of this winter storm, which covered the entire state, put all our family members in harms way.
We have immediate family in Galveston, Frisco (Dallas area), Katy, New Braunfels, Bryan, Quitman, and Fort Worth.
We stayed in contact, for the most part, through it all.
My parents live in a nursing home in New Braunfels. My dad said their rooms were warm, but the common areas were cold.
My sister and brother-in-law and their extended family live in New Braunfels. My brother-in-law is the mayor of New Braunfels, so I imagine he was a bit busy during this whole mess. They did, however, have intermittent power, which enabled them to warm up the ol’ home.
My brother and sister-in-law in Katy reported they had power.
My mother-in-law in Bryan stayed at one of her granddaughter’s homes a couple of blocks away once her power went off. That entire side of the family is dealing with no power in Bryan.
We drove up Saturday morning to visit my mother-in-law, but came back later that day, instead of the next morning, due to the changing weather forecast. I’m glad we made that decision.
My sister-in-law and brother-in-law live in Quitman. She recently retired as the head of Wood County Electric Co-Op, and is glad she avoided what would have been an operational headache.
Our daughter and son-in-law in Galveston also have no power. I’m not sure how the three grandkids there are enjoying this whole experience, but they’ve all had there fair share of cold weather experiences, and got to bundle up in their sleeping bags Monday night. They probably thought that was neat. Not sure what mom thought.
Our daughter and son-in-law in Frisco were hit hardest by this storm. They got all the snow, and near zero temperature. They do have electricity, which makes this Poppie happy since tag-along Ryleigh was born less than three months ago. “Almost two bundle of energy” Paige loves the snow, along with her big brother. Watching the videos of her walking (and falling) in the snow kept my spirits up.
My little sister recently moved to the Fort Worth area. The hospital where she works is near where that huge accident occurred on IH 35 W.
I heard a news report the last time it was this cold in Dallas was in 1989.
My memory took me back to that time in our family’s history. Our youngest daughter wanted to come into the world early during that extreme cold weather 32 years ago. There was no way we could get to the hospital in Corpus Christi. Everything was ice. The Corpus Christi causeway had been closed for hours. I called every medical source I could think of to figure out our options. I didn’t like the option of me being the doctor!
Luckily, with a lot of that Lamaze breathing, and a lot of praying, youngest daughter decided to wait until Feb. 23 to make her appearance.
One advantage of living six-plus decades is I realize how much I have survived through the years.
Life is filled with inconveniences, and real hardships.
If you’re breathing, that means you’ve survived them all.
Until next week, think heat, and have a good week.
Mike Probst can be reached at email@example.com.