Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Ice Storm: 1978 vs. 2011

We have just been through round one of Icemageddon here. Last night I went to bed knowing that none of my children had school and I fell asleep to the sound of ice pelting my windows. When I woke up this morning and took the dog out, I didn't even leave tracks--it was all ice. So much ice, in fact, that when I stepped on the snow, it supported me and I didn't fall through. The dog had no idea what to do. It was sad really.

It is calm here right now. Gray and cold. But the forecasters tell us that MORE ICE! IS ON! THE WAY! Round two is coming and with it is the possibility of the loss of power. This has my children both a little uncertain and excited.

Now, when I was about 10, my hometown in Central Illinois experienced an ice storm on Easter weekend. I remember it being pretty big. So today, I will pit one ice storm against the other--smackdown style--and see how things differ some thirty years later.

1978: I was a child and therefore had no responsibility other than making sure I had socks on my feet.

2011: I have four children. Now I have to make sure they keep the socks on their feet should we experience any loss of heat. Toes are precious, you know.

1978: I don't remember my mother making any special preparations for that storm. I do remember going to My Store (a local market) afterwards when they had no power and seeing the melting ice cream in the freezer cases.

2011: The only real precaution I took was to buy the dog some food. I didn't want the dumb dog eating our faces should we run out of her dog food. Monday was my regular
day to go to the grocery and it was like going on Christmas Eve. I couldn't find a parking spot! I like to say that Indy is the northernmost of the Southern cities (sorry Louisville, you lose) because in many ways living here is very much like living in the south when it comes to weather. Any time there is a forecast for any accumulation, Hoosiers head to the store for milk, eggs, and bread. I am not even kidding. It was a mad house.

1978: It was April, so even though it was cold enough to get ice, it warmed up fairly quickly and was never too cold. I remember being back at school a few days later and though the school had electricity, the town was under a boil order. It was hot enough that we were sweaty after recess and had to go to the office to get our rationed half cup of boiled and cooled water.
My parents had a gas stove and kept the oven on with the door cracked open and the kitchen window half open for ventilation. Then we just layered on sweaters. My mom was able to cook meals because we had gas.

2011: It is February. It is cold. They are predicting a high of 16 for Thursday. If we lose power, it's gonna be quite chilly indeed. We don't have a gas stove, much to my chagrin. I hate cooking on an electric stove. But until we get a gas line hooked up, it's an electric stove for me. Which doesn't really help us out with the whole heat and cooking thing. However, we do have our grill hooked up to the gas line, so we're good there. We also have a gas fireplace with a blower. The blower, obviously will not work, but we will get some radiant heat from it.

1978: I don't remember anyone getting hurt or falling.

2011: Both my beloved and I have fallen already. I fell through an ice encrusted footprint in the snow while taking the dog out and have a nice bruise on my ankle. Patrick slid down the hill and fell while taking the dog out. His hands broke through the ice when he used them to catch himself. He came in with bloody hands. I blame the dog. And Icemageddon.
You drew first blood, Icemageddon! You drew first blood! (hehe...name that movie.)

1978: We didn't have cable television. Or video games. Or computers. Or cell phones. We played lots of cards.

2011: My children just might lose their little minds without all those things that they have come to view as commonplace necessities for living. Although Sean has said that he has his WWE action figures and his Hotwheels to keep him busy and his PSP and DS are fully charged in the event of an emergency. He says that if we get bored, we can always throw the ball for Tilly.
Yeah. Good times ahead.

1978: My grandparents were visiting us for Easter and were stranded with us. I loved it.

2011: My kids' grandparents (hi mom and dad!) are visiting my aunt (hi Aunt Bonnie!) in Florida and are safely away from any ice. Hey, thanks for abandoning us in our time of need.

1978: I was too young to drink.

2011: I have plenty of booze here should I need it. For, um, medicinal purposes.

Predicted Winner--1978. Memories always seem better than real life. Although 2011 could have the edge, for there is

We'll see what round two brings us. If you don't hear from me for awhile, it either means that we have lost power and are stumbling around in the dark, huddled under blankets and wondering whether or not dog meat will taste like chicken and have no access to the computer, or I'm off celebrating with a glass of wine that the weather forecasters were wrong again.

Predicted Winner--1978. Memories always seem better than real life. Although 2011 could have the edge, for it has the possibility of consumption of wine by the fireplace.

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