This past week, our winter “neck of the woods” had an ice storm. For those of you unfamiliar with such events, an ice storm is when you lose electricity, water, and heat so you can get closer to your other half.
The reason this wonderful opportunity comes around is that normally beautiful trees take on the shape and form of something out of a horror movie and soon the power lines come crashing down. This leaves everyone in a state of perpetual darkness and cold; schools and businesses close plus people must remain in stinky proximity to one another, like it or not.
For those of you in a relationship with a significant other, it suddenly brings to mind the wonderful days of dating when you could not get enough of the other person's presence. You remember those days when you sought out the other to be together more?
And nothing says together more than being cooped up in an RV with Miss Trixie with no heat, lights or running water. To regress a little bit let me describe the actual storm as it hit our farm. There was Ol’ Dutch sitting in his easy chair perusing the Internet ads for important things like lumber and pickle jars when it hit.
Even Ol’ Dutch who is deaf as a post, could hear the freezing rain hitting the window and Miss Trixie soon came crashing down from the bedroom to announce, “It's sleeting.”
Soon she retired to her hidey hole on the bed and the peaceful sounds of pit-pat continued. Suddenly a huge crash reverberated through the house as half a tree fell on the roof. This was immediately followed by Miss Trixie crashing down from her throne, bug-eyed with wild hair and announcing, “a tree fell on us.”
Even though Ol’ Dutch is as hard of hearing as an earless mouse, I pretty much heard that branch hit the roof right over my head. This same thing happened over and over as branches continued to fall on us all night long and Miss Trixie kept up her announcements to make sure I was aware of the damage being done. Morning brought about an ice-covered landscape and of course the subsequent loss of electricity, which is always a fun time.
And it also meant that Ol’ Dutch and Miss Trixie were thrown together for even more quality time in close quarters. Now I know what you all are thinking. It's a good thing Ol’ Dutch is such an amicable and patient man in such circumstances, otherwise Miss Trixie might just wake up in cement overshoes.
But one thing I did start to notice from my place in the recliner was that every time Miss Trixie came toward my location, I cringed. No, not like “she was gonna hit me with the cast iron skillet type” cringe but more of a “what am I gonna have to go outside in the ice and do now for her” cringe. Try as I may to give her “the look” when she came close, she didn't seem to get the hint or most likely ignored it having become immune to such avoidance techniques long ago.
The other thing I learned in this time of togetherness is Miss Trixie, like most women, wants a handy man as opposed to a handsy man. The latter was tried on multiple occasions with her, and it didn't take long to realize that “hands on'' meant an entirely different thing to Miss Trixie. Which meant that Ol’ Dutch was soon outside in the ice and cold trying to thaw out water lines, check the propane levels, feed the cows and other such nonsense. All at what I considered the most opportune time to “really” get to know Miss Trixie, maybe even in the Biblical sense. But, alas, it became our own rendition of the Three Bears story as my hands were either too hot or too cold, never being just right.
A lot of people suffered horribly during the storm and subsequent three-day electrical outage, and I must say, Ol’ Dutch and Miss Trixie fared probably better than the rest on that account. We were able to stay warm with the help of a generator and even got a shower at my son’s house, which Miss Trixie needed badly, I must admit.
Thankfully, the warm breezes have returned to Texas and our farm and so this week will find Ol’ Dutch outside picking up limbs joyfully celebrating some time alone.