Winter Solstice Ice Storm

So, we had an ice storm last night … most of the freezing rain and icing came in the hours after midnight, but even the evening hours were pretty slick. We did the usual stuff Vermonters do when an ice storm is coming — we filled the bathtubs with water so we’d be able to flush toilets if the power went out, we checked our supply of propane cylinders for the Coleman stove, we closed all the blinds to trap the heat in in case the power went out, and so on, and so on. We don’t have a backup generator because we’ve never had the power go out for more than about 18 hours; living just off a main road as we do, power generally gets restored fairly quickly.

Our church was going to go out caroling last night and that got canceled; driving all over South Burlington and Burlington to carol, only to have cars going into the ditch, didn’t sound like a good idea. Emails with the news went out in early afternoon. I shrugged and said “More time for me to bake” and started working on the baked goods I planned to serve after church today. I’d laid in a whole bunch of Christmas themed stuff for the holidays — green and red mint chips, green and red sparkling sugar, peppermint candy for the ever-popular chocolate mint squares, candied fruit for fruitcake, the whole nine yards. But our minister saw me posting about the ice storm and baking and quietly reached out to say “Don’t be in too big a hurry on that, either”.

And sure enough, with doom and gloom looming in the forecast, church was called off for today. We got a call, an email, and multiple Facebook postings. Our minister had thoughtfully made a YouTube video of her sermon in anticipation of the service being cancelled.

So I punted on doing any more baking after a fruitcake came out, and we settled down to wait for the power to go out. I watched some college football and Carole worked on the minutes for a recent meeting of her non-profit’s finance committee, and eventually we got bored waiting and went to bed.

I got up around 2 am and peered out the front door — it was sleeting merrily. But our power was still on… for how long, I didn’t know.

Cut to the chase: our power never did go out. We got a reasonably good icing, but not so much that tree branches littered the yard. The only casualty of the storm that we could spot was that the fabric cover of our propane grill mysteriously vanished. I’m reasonably sure it was still on the grill a day or two ago, but this morning, when I looked out, the grill was encrusted with ice and the cover was nowhere to be seen. It doesn’t seem likely that some random thief would come up onto our porch, around the corner of the house, and swipe a grill cover, when much more valuable items would probably have been easier to steal.

I didn’t want to leave the grill completely exposed to the elements, so we wrestled it down into the garage. We may find the grill cover out in the yard when the snow melts in the spring, or perhaps some bear came along and thought it would make a nice muumuu.

According to the various weather-related websites in our area, the power did go out in quite a few areas in our neck of the woods, and they’ve asked us to stay the heck off the roads for now. It’s supposed to get up above freezing, and even rain, later today, and after that, we may be able to go out again. Right now, our driveway looks like a rink.

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One Response to Winter Solstice Ice Storm

  1. We had a short outage yesterday due to wind. MY buddy got hungry and tired of waitning for the lights to come back on so he did what any good survivalist would do. He lit up his handy dandy penny stove(look on utube if you dont know what this is) and cooked a 3 coarse meal with 3 oz of fuel. He reaheated some hamburger helper, cooked mashed potatos and cooked hamberger steaks. Now, if you know what a penny stove is, you should quite impressed. If you dont, look on utube, and then go build one. Works great, easy to make and it is so small it will fit in a grenade pouch. I went thru this power outage crap back in 94 during the big ice storm. We were without power for about ten days and I am SO GLAD I have a wood stove!

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