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Many are cold, but few are frozen 

Kathy Werner
Posted 2/11/22

Last Friday the weatherman predicted a storm would be sweeping through New York. We were supposed to get some freezing rain that would turn into a bit of snow, and it was all supposed to be no big …

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Many are cold, but few are frozen 


Last Friday the weatherman predicted a storm would be sweeping through New York. We were supposed to get some freezing rain that would turn into a bit of snow, and it was all supposed to be no big deal.

Except that it wasn’t.

I awoke on Friday morning and rolled over to check my clock, which was dark. It took me a minute to realize that everything was dark.

I had no power. My bedroom was a bit chilly. And that little ice storm? When I looked out my window, all I could see was about an inch of ice covering every tree, shrub, and wire. And all I could hear was the shot-like sounds of transformers exploding and the cracks of trees falling.

It might have been then that I realized that this was not going to be a just a small inconvenience for an hour or so.

As my neighbors stirred and assessed the situation, I heard many generators running. Except I didn’t have one of those.

So I was stuck in my rapidly cooling house with no electricity. I put on my long underwear and some heavy clothes, and my two dogs and I went downstairs to make some plans.

All I could think of was to use the fireplace to keep myself warm. I had six chunks of firewood and I was determined to make the best fire possible. Considering that I had never built a fire myself, this promised to be an adventure. I pulled the couch close to the fireplace and sat there wrapped in multiple blankets with my dogs on my lap to keep me warm, as the logs began to burn.

And then…caffeine. I went out to the deck and chipped away the ice on the cover of my grill. I still had water, so I filled a pan and set it on the burner. Soon enough I had boiling water and had a cup of tea.

Then back to my fire. I had no power, no internet, no cable. It felt like I was in the Little House on the Prairie, and by the way, how did those people do it? They were made of sterner stuff than I.

I had charged my mobile phone, so I was able to make calls. By the way, that other phone that I had gotten rid of would have been worthless in the ice storm since I had no power. I had long ago said goodbye to my actual landline, which probably wouldn’t have worked anyway, since part of the massive tree in my front yard fell and brought down the phone line.

But I digress. I could make and receive phone calls and had very limited internet through my phone. I did report my outage, joining the 62,000 others without power.

I vaguely remember hearing about turning on faucets to keep the water from freezing, so I did that. Then I sought refuge with my son and a good friend, returning daily to check on my house.  

On Monday I returned to my house which still had no power. However, there were now loads of crews working in the neighborhood. Since the temperature inside the house was hovering around 39 degrees, I started another fire in the fireplace and tried to keep warm. By early afternoon, I heard beeping. My stove and my refrigerator were talking to me! My power was back on!

A young man came around checking the electric meters. He told me he was from Arkansas. Nine-hundred workers were enlisted to do tree work, replace broken poles, and restore power. Crews had come from all over the country, and it was heartwarming to see such teamwork.

It was great to hear the humming of appliances once again. And to hear my furnace start up! I cranked the thermostat and by the evening, I got feeling back in my toes. With power came the internet and I was back in business, feeling grateful to the people who brought back the power.

It was a February adventure that will not soon be forgotten.


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