Cold and Dark

I don’t know if you’ve seen it in the news, but Texas has been having some issues this week. We hit a deadly combination of record-breaking cold plus an incompetently managed power system. For a couple of days, temperatures were around 10 F, but there was little to no electricity. My house is all-electric. Without power, there’s no heat and no way to cook.

Mostly there have been rolling blackouts. For a while, I was getting power on for about 3 hours in the middle of the day, then another hour in the evening, then a couple of hours during the night. The temperature in my house was staying around 45 degrees, going up a bit during the times when I had power, but never quite making it to 60. I do have a fireplace, but I didn’t have any firewood, just three of those Duraflame type logs that I have learned are really just for watching pretty fire and don’t put out a lot of heat. Still, they did take the chill out of the air the last couple of mornings.

I have power as I write this, but I never know how long it will last. Even though it’s mid-morning, I have chili simmering on the stove because I need to take advantage of having electricity while I can, and I’m getting tired of cold meals. It seems that the power-on phases are becoming more frequent, which is good. I had two rounds of power during the night, so the house didn’t get too cold and I was able to make a pot of tea for this morning and put it in a thermos.

I’m luckier than a lot of people. I have had power occasionally and a lot of people have been entirely without, and I still have water. It’s boring in the evening when it’s too early to go to sleep but too dark to do much of anything. I have a battery-operated radio, and I’ve done some reading on my tablet. I’ve done some book brainstorming, and in the afternoons when I have light through the windows upstairs, I’ve managed to read.

It does remind me a bit of the storm in Interview With a Dead Editor, though this time the cold came on more gradually and it was snow instead of ice. If I’d been traveling, I’d have been stranded where I was, probably without heat. So, I’m lucky to be home.

5 Responses to “Cold and Dark”

  1. Debra

    Great chicken lit reading. The coincidence of coconut cake.
    And I am loving alan tudeyk in resident alien on Sci fi

  2. MC

    Hi Shanna – good to hear that you’ve got water, food, and at least some power. I just read the the Texas Ag Commissioner put out a red alert yesterday about the food supply chain: How are things at the local stores?

    • Shanna Swendson

      I’ve heard that shelves are pretty bare, but I haven’t ventured out. My pantry and freezer are well-stocked. My nutrition may not be perfectly balanced until I can get to the store again, but I won’t starve.

  3. Ericka

    I live in the Houston-Metro and when the storm hit I downloaded all three of the Lucky Lexie books to binge when the lights were out. They saved me or I would have died of boredom. I bought them as they came out but hadn’t gotten around to reading them because of work now I’m glad I had them. We’re all good now (electric & water wise) but now I want more Lexie, I’m glad I still have the short stories or I would be going though withdrawals. Stay warm.


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