Sunday, February 16, 2014

An Ice Storm and Then the Earth Began to Shake

The snow down here a couple of weeks ago was both beautiful and fun. The ice storm we had this week was something else, indeed!

We were grateful that we did not have any pine trees in our yard any longer, as there used to be some that were quite close to our house and would most certainly have had some frozen limbs or trees to fall on our house.Fortunately, we had all of those removed quite a few years ago!

I am posting a few pictures of the damage that the freezing rain did around our neck of the woods.

Our beloved eucalyptus tree sustained a lot of damage and I hope we will be able to salvage it.

Damage to Our Eucalyptus Tree
The crape myrtle trees looked somewhat like crape murder had been committed on them:

When things thawed out, they looked a lot better, even though they are now short of a few large limbs which split off of them

Our power was out. We had been listening to our weather band (crank style) radio and knew now that power was not likely to be restored for quite a while. We decided it was time to start up the kerosene heater we had purchased many years ago, after we went through the last big ice storm with no heat. We had fired it up and were sitting on the floor in front of it, listening to the radio. I was thinking I might open a can of chicken noodle soup and try to heat it up in a pot on top of the kerosene heater. Around that same time, an unexpected knock was heard on our front door and one of the sweetest and most precious things happened.

You might recall my posting about the rare snow day we had here a couple of weeks ago. In that post I mentioned how much I love my neighbors, Angela pictured again here:

And here husband, Leonard, pictured here:

When the ice storm began, Leonard was working at his job. He could not come home and no one could go in to relieve him on the next shift. He stayed over at the plant site where he worked through several consecutive shifts. When he finally was able to make it home, it was to a dark and somewhat cold house The power had been out across this and several counties for a while and was not expected to come on for quite some time.  

The knock we had heard at our door was made by Roderick, the son of Angela and Perry. He carried two "to-go" boxes, filled to the brim with some wonderful, piping hot food. There was barbecued chicken wings, sausage links and even a steak! There was also hot baked beans and potato salad and bread--a feast fit for a king! It was positively delicious!

After pulling multiple shifts of work and coming home to a house with no electrical power, this sweet man, Leonard, had stood outside in bitter cold and cooked this wonderful meal for family and friends, including us. We are forever grateful! God has truly blessed us with some beautiful friends and neighbors! 

Both our daughters and their families were without power. As soon as we had power restored, we called them and they all came over for showers and some hot food. Stephanie's was next to be restored. Her  girls stayed here with us to continue the "slumber" party with the others. Angela and her husband were without electricity and water. Jimmy has to use oxygen much of the time, so they stayed with us until this afternoon.

The girls brought their canine family members with them so they could be safe and warm, as well.
The two of them had a blast because their Da and Mimi spoil them with things they love, like a bit of cottage cheese each day and soft scrambled eggs!

Here is our grand-dog, sweet little, pint-sized Emmie, who is now quite old and suffers from the aches and pains that the cold can bring on for an aging lady:

We have another grand-dog, too. A mischievous and lovable little boy dachshund named Champ. Here he is basking in the sunshine in front of the storm door, which is one of his favorite things to do.

It is good to have family about during trying times and we shared some quality time together. We talked and the children played lots of games and we all made the best of the situation.

The night of Valentine's, we were all together and, after we had all pretty much settled in for the night, at precisely 10:23 P.M."it" happened. The thing started with a rumbling that grew louder and stronger with each second.. Things started to rattle on shelves and we heard the sound of tinkling glass in the cupboards. The house was shaking all over and it became obvious that the earth was trembling beneath us. A magnitude 4.1 earthquake! The quake's center was in Edgefield, South Carolina, a neighboring town.

This is nothing to compare with the earthquakes that occur in locations like California, but it left us somewhat unsettled. Thankfully, there was no damage, as far as we know, but it was pretty scary for those of us who experienced this earth-shaking event. My sweet husband, bless his heart, slept through the entire thing!

We sometimes take so many things for granted, like being able to walk into a room and have light at the flip of a switch and even turning on a faucet and having water for cooking, bathing and drinking. We feel safe and sound in our homes. These things really are blessings and we do not always appreciate them, as we should.

Thanks to the dedication of many hard-working men and women, linemen, D.O.T. employees, tree surgeons and other selfless people, much of the power throughout South Carolina and Georgia, including ours, has been restored. With electricity, well pumps are once again running, bringing water for so many things.

There are those who are still without electricity and many without water, as well. I pray that life will get back to normal for those folks very soon. I pray, also, for those who are working so hard and diligently to restore power for them. I know their families miss them and worry about them.May they be able to be back at home with their families soon!

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