As most of you know, i live in Texas. We have 254-counties, 2nd largest in the US in land mass (Alaska #1), and 2nd largest in population (California #1),
If Texas was a country today, we would have the 10th largest economy in the world.
Our motto is “The Friendship State”. And most people say that they’ve never met anyone friendlier than a Texan.
But i am not feeling very friendly at the moment.
Instead, i am feeling quite cranky. We are in the midst of the worst cold storm in over 30-years – since 1989. The lowest temp recorded in history was 5 (Fahrenheit) recorded in 1930. And while i don’t know for certain, i think we tied that last night. So in other words, this is the coldest week of my entire lifetime and many (many!) years before that also.
We have now had 36-consecutive hours below freezing, which (as far as i can find online) has never happened before. It is the first time all 254-counties have been in a State of Emergency at the same time.
We went for 36-hours without power inside our house, and now for the most recent 24-hours we have gone 4-hours off for 2-on. While it is currently on, my house is warm. But when it is off, the temp plummets quickly. At one point it was 45-degrees INSIDE my house.
Just for fun i looked up “what is the average temp inside my refrigerator.” And the answer was 37. So it was feeling similar in my house to being inside a refrigerator! Think about that for a second.
The primary reason for all this trouble is due to the Texas public utility entity called ERCOT. They are responsible for the making and/or buying of electricity, who then sends it to the suppliers, who then sends it to the customers. ERCOT failed to test the turbines (with fossil fuels) before this storm that we had a week’s notice of, AND didn’t use common sense to appreciate that the windmills (naturally made electricity) would freeze up and be useless. And (apparently) 13-other states offered to sell us electricity before the storm hit, and ERCOT declined. So 30% of Texas’ electricity went off the grid and there was nothing that could be done about it after that… except pray and wait. (i don’t typically advocate for people’s heads to roll…. but… this is one time i think someone should be held accountable!)
You have no idea how much you use electricity until you don’t have it. While i do not like the cold, snow, or ice… i can deal with it when it doesn’t invade my home like an unwanted guest.
Many people have lost water due to frozen pipes as well. So on top of no electricity, they also have no water. And they may well have house-pipe-Sheetrock and construction issues soon too. Some of our friends and family have already found busted pipes, despite the fact they are still quite frozen. We are thankful to not being made to deal with that situation, and i am literally praying we don’t either! One of our friends has been told they are number 25 on the list for the plumber to get to their house and to not expect them to be able to get there for several days.
This is on top of boil alerts now too because the water cleaning power plants are failing due to cold…. and no electricity. One store had milk in stock, but couldn’t sell it due to electricity gaps where they “couldn’t guarantee the milk was still ok to drink”. And a hospital had 8,000 vials of the covid vaccine that, after also losing power for too long, had to dump them.
This looks to be our current situation continuing through to Friday. By Saturday-Sunday it will all be gone and be a balmy 65 degrees. By the weekend, we will just have to clean up the remnants of this debacle on which i pray will be little for us personally!
David feels helpless and i understand, but i keep reassuring him he is doing everything possible and keeping our family as normal as he can. Admittedly the last 24-hours have been better than the 36-hours prior to that! So i do see improvement.
Say a prayer for us and all of the Great State of Texas, and specifically my mental capacity to deal with this “unprecedented historic time”. (Have heard those words so many times over the last year between weather and COVID, i am just completely sick of them).
i just want to go back to being normal. i won’t be complaining about anything for a long long time. i am grateful for so many things… in spite of the difficulties i am currently in.
Just to remind myself … here’s a few of them:
My husband… taking care of us the best way possible,
My son… for not complaining about the situation that we can’t control
My sister and her family… who are in the midst of this right beside us too… nor are they complaining about any of this either.
My friends … for checking on us and vice versa, providing so much needed mental strength and compassion to one another
My resilient house… for not having broken pipes… hopefully at all… but definitely not at the moment. And providing immediate warmth and comfort through good insulation when the electricity has been on.
My dogs… for being easy going and snuggling with me to help me feel better.
My job… and co-workers… for being understanding, patient, and trying to help one another wherever we can.
My (and my family’s) health … for not having life threatening situations or conditions among us that would have otherwise also caused more complications in this storm.
And finally… for the reprieve from the constant no-electricity that has allowed us to shower and have a warm cup of coffee. A shower and coffee resets your attitude and gives you the refresher to be able to say, “i can do this!” mentality.
i will be better by this weekend…. but right now… time can’t move fast enough! Thanks for listening to me rant, for the prayers to move time forward to Sunday, and for your love too!