The clear bright sky, reflected on every tree limb, like facets on a diamond, does not begin to tell the story of damage and destruction this beautiful phenomenon has wrought on the countryside. Even with the benefit of a generator - acquired without my full compliance at the time - the sudden inconveniences are oft-putting. I can hardly complain of the upset in my life, while many of my neighbors have been tossed into the darkness and the cold, without the benefit of preparations for it. Even those of us who have survived in relative ease have dealt with downed trees, closed businesses and a sense of being cut off from the rest of the world. Neighbors have joined forces to check on one another and provide needed information on how to survive the ice storm.
My first experience of the ice storm happened late Thursday night, returning from the city, when I veered, late at night, onto the very dark now crystallized Taconic Parkway. The harrowing drive began with the unsettling vision of tree limbs grasping low at my car as I drove by. Like a nightmarish fantasy, the formerly leafy canopy now stretched down with crystalline fingers and scraped the top and sides of the car. Unlike the usual concern of deer wandering onto the roadway intermittently, the felled branches and trees were at every turn. At times, I drove under them as they lashed at the car, while at other times I would have to drive onto and around muddy embankments, where occasionally less successful vehicles languished. By the time the fog rolled in, my nerves had been thoroughly shattered, and, with this new obstacle impeding my passage, my prayers ramped up to a constant chant for safe arrival. When I did get home I was astonished to see many of our trees doubled over in what appeared like fetal positions, frozen to the ground like ice sculptures.
As I said, we are surviving it all with relative ease, though without having a working stove, this has taught me to stockpile more than cold cereal and peanut butter in the future. I have also learned that the temperature gauge on the main floor needs to be included in the generator's operational list. Right now, the house is sandwiched in warmth from the top floor and the basement, with a chilly 59 degrees on the first floor. Of course, I am not complaining, however, because of our circumstance, it is the best of options, in that we can stay in our home with the kitties. On a positive side, adversity on any level, provides opportunity for insights and new functionality that would not be there otherwise.