Beautiful but Deadly

America is in the news again, and not for a good reason. Even in subtropical south east Texas, we do get snow every few years. Millions of Texans were without power or water in sub-zero temperatures with two freezing events over a period of 4 days – the snow was the least of it. Our houses are not built for the cold, nor are our bodies which acclimated to the intense heat of summer. Our power went out for 18 hours, we had a gas fire and we were so cold. Usually when we get snow, it is fleeting and we have fun but this year our state was unprepared. There is no excuse – our power grid equipment should be insulated for our extreme heat and occasional extreme cold.

My husband and I both contemplated how we felt; discouraged by our country, our state and getting older. I checked on neighbors, some of whom are elderly or ill. In retrospect, I realize how lucky we were to have a different energy company than the Houston metropolis (and water system). All our freezer food is in the trash but we can afford to buy more. On Tuesday, I went to the store but it was back to quarantine days – empty shelves and too many people in a pandemic. All were wearing masks and considerate of distance. We all looked as though we were in shock. What next – locusts??

Don’t you love my coordination? Ancient pajamas that are too big, industrial rubber boots and my New Mexico jacket. I am leaving black sunflower seeds out for the birdies and squirrels. This is yet another reason why I shouldn’t have cut my hair so short…

68 thoughts on “Beautiful but Deadly

  1. Kerry, we are enduring the third, or is it fourth, fifth, snow/ice storm in NJ. It’s waning now, after having some type of precipitation for near 24 hours. The ground is like a skating rink, the driveways a death trap. It’s been a brutal winter. Our power has stayed on however, I don’t know how you are coping in Texas. The news today showed all the empty shelves and people waiting in long, long lines. I’m glad your power was only off for one day. I hope the sun shines and warms things up for all of us soon.

    Liked by 2 people

    • 2021 is not looking much better than 2020 but at least it will warm up (probably too much) and we might get vaccines???? There have already been some deaths but I expect there will be many more here in Texas not least because we had to ignore social distancing to keep warm. Have a good weekend. K x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We were lucky here: only two fairly short [once for 3 and once for 4 hours] power outages. And now it’s above freezing, at least during the day. Seeing and hearing all that dripping from the trees is good.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you so much, Aiva. I still can’t believe that so many people have been frozen for a week. People have been burning furniture, fences and cribs to keep warm. We were very lucky by comparison. I believe that most of the outages are over but there is still no water for many people but it will be warmer tomorrow. Thank goodness! Love K x

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Leah. This has been the worst weather event that I have felt in Texas for 18 years with much more devastation than hurricanes (burst pipes, fires etc). Glad that we will all be a bit warmer on this latitude tomorrow. Roll on summer and vaccines! K x

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve actually been thinking of you so I’m glad you posted an update! I’m relieved to hear you are doing as well as can be – although yes I can’t imagine the level of discouragement/exhaustion. Sending hugs and prayers (and compliments to that amazing coat).

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I bet in 9 months there will be a surplus of babies in Texas. It snowed her for two and a half days which we are not used to. And now, I love the sound of melt. Yes I do. Sending you comfort. I did see the fashion police behind the bushes disguised as a bird. Expect more photos from the papparazi. Aw who am i kidding. You rock that outfit too even with your short hair.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Since winter is now heading to Texas, Texans will have to prepare in the future like people in northern states do. Always have extra water on hand. If it looks like an ice storm or a storm with high winds load up buckets of water in your tub. Have plenty of firewood on hand or fuel for your BBQ. Have a generator you can run from the outside. Etc.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I have a generator, bottled water and usually fill the bathtub when the hurricanes come. Many Texans live below the poverty level and this last year with the pandemic has reduced our capacity to prepare for unexpected events. We naively thought that the power companies were prepared since we had so much notice. To be honest, we wondered if the meteorological advice was accurate because it is mid February. Our emergency hurricane boxes are prepared from June to November. Our only advantage is that we are accustomed to hurricanes and will be resilient but in this case it was the Power Grid that failed us because of inadequate maintenance. Many city residents do not have a fireplace to burn firewood. It is anticipated that this will cost many more millions than Hurricane Harvey did with burst pipes. We need better emergency planning and information. Hopefully the investigation of our energy providers will reveal some problems that have been documented but ignored for years.


  6. I’m awaiting the day when every residential structure will have its own solar cell array.
    However, apparently large electric companies can restrict independent use of solar panels.

    Interviewed by the online National Observer (posted February 12, 2019), renowned linguist and cognitive scientist (etcetera) Noam Chomsky emphasized humankind’s immense immediate need to revert to renewable energies, notably that offered by our sun.

    In Tucson, Arizona, for example, “the sun is shining … most of the year, [but] take a look and see how many solar panels you see. Our house in the suburbs is the only one that has them [in the vicinity]. People are complaining that they have a thousand-dollar electric bill per month over the summer for air conditioning but won’t put up a solar panel; and in fact the Tucson electric company makes it hard to do. For example, our solar panel has some of the panels missing because you’re not allowed to produce too much electricity …
    People have to come to understand that they’ve just got to [reform their habitual non-renewable energy consumption], and fast; and it doesn’t harm them, it improves their lives. For example, it even saves money,” he said.
    “But just the psychological barrier that says I … have to keep to the common beliefs [favouring fossil fuels] and that [doing otherwise] is somehow a radical thing that we have to be scared of, is a block that has to be overcome by constant educational organizational activity.”

    I still think Mr. Chomsky is putting it too mildly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We aren’t allowed to put up solar panels either. Fortunately our house is small and relatively well insulated so our bills are small, even now. I keep the house temperature at 78 degrees all summer (and most of the winter until now). I have lizard DNA…

      Liked by 1 person

    • It is interesting to read what fgsjr2015 says about solar systems in his area. It is incredible how much control the power companies have over choices. The coal lobby in Australia is similarly very powerful and after an Aussie government incentive scheme that culminated in almost every second or third house having a solar system installed, the power companies started levying taxes for us to send solar power back into the grid. Incredible, paying us for them to utilise the power that we generate! Their reasoning – that they own the lines and network!
      I do hope given your amount of sun, that the attitude in the area changes soon. I used to have a quarterly $1000 power bill ten years ago, now I barely pay anything at all.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Found this post today and it highlights the vulnerability of life in extreme conditions and how reliant we are on the fossil fuels. Hopefully some discussion about ways to avert this, including some opportunity for renewable energies might have stemmed from this event.
    Btw, I like your colourful outfit!

    Liked by 1 person

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