Sunday, December 14, 2008

Crystalline Crisis

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.


gregg said...

hi glen,
i missed the ice storm, but the house did not. our neighbor called on fri morning to say that the electricity had been knocked out and that the antenna for our cable had been broken by fallen trees. ahhhhhh,winter in the countryside. we come up for a week from xmas to new years. are you guys around?

adan said...

our hopes and prayers ya'll continue to stay well til all's restored; take care

flow9 said...

This is why you must move to Salvador sooner than later. I did not realize you lived in the midst of this madness with the ice storm. I have a good friend in Troy, NY, she emailed me last Sunday afternoon, they were snowed in. These are times when having provisions since as that generator comes in handy. I teach an online class, this past September one of my students had to deal with hurricane, heat and no electricity.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy reading your blog, Glen. It is so wonderfully descriptive. Keep up the good work !


Anonymous said...


That drive home was quite a nerve-wrecking experience. I had one of those once in Mass. on my way up to Williams College in Williamstown, MA. I ran into an ice storm one mile before a major hair pin turn. The car spun in a three 360 degree turns and I thought my life was over. I had the presence of mind to take my foot of the break and the speed of the turns began to subside. Once the car stopped I took a deep breath and began the next phase of my life.

Hope you and Joe are surviving the winter.


Anonymous said...

Hey Glen, This is Gary from the shop. Fortunately for us we didn't have to go through the onslaught of mother nature to the degree that you did. But w/o it, there would not have been the humbleness that it brings as well as the strengthening of people getting together to help each other in a common cause. We all keep beautiful memories in the recesses of our minds but the hardships that we've endured together will also be imprints in our hearts forever. Hardships are tough but many times when we look back on them we see the good that is hard to see at the time it's happening. Also, I got a chance to read another one of your bloggs about your experience of the whole endeavor. That poetic mind is still making moves. (smile)
I'm glad you guys are ok.

Anonymous said...

hey glenn, ..amazing!!! ..i'd love to see more pics .. glad the universe / god force was with you
getting home that night...i was feeling it as i read the description...i'm really loving your blog and the energy / dedication you're giving it.
much love to you, m

Ima Hapynau said...

OH, brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!
On the one hand, beautiful landscape, but broken trees.
Also, snugglin' weather.........hope you are warming up!
It's even freezing in central Texas! 77 degrees yesterday, high today only 39 degrees.