Friday, January 30, 2009


We're starting to thaw out from the worst ice storm to hit this part of our state in many years. We've been in northwest Arkansas since 1989, and there certainly hasn't been anything like this in those years. I've never seen anything like it. Love and I both have memories of an ice storm when we were kids -- maybe the early 1970s? -- that broke trees and caused power outages like this. He was in southern Arkansas and I was in northern Louisiana then.

As far as power, we have been relatively lucky. First of all, we've only lost power for a total of 17 hours, and that was spread over three days. Also, we're not all electric like lots of folks. We have a wood fireplace insert and plenty of dry firewood. Even though the blower that circulates the air is electric, we still get some good wood heat: it just won't heat the entire house. We also have a gas cook stove. Even though it has electric ignition, we can light it with matches. The oven is a different matter: it's gas with electric controls -- we can't light it manually. Our central heat is gas, but its blower is electric. Perhaps our greatest blessing on these cold days is our gas hot water heater, which works just fine!

The damage to our trees is another matter. It breaks my heart to look at them. The pecans which gave us 250+ pounds of nuts this fall are devastated. I know they are resiliant and will mostly recover, but they look awful. The maples along our driveway have half their limbs on the ground. (Those maples have always been a source of amusement for me. The couple who built this house and lived in it for seven years before us set out only six trees: six maples, three on each side of the driveway. And what runs between them? The lines that feed electricity to the house. Did they actively try to find the worst site on the 2 1/2 acres to set out trees? Now it's not quite so funny.) Most of the older trees (10-15 years old) that Love and I have set out are damaged, some with large broken limbs, others with the tops broken out. Only the smaller trees (7 or fewer years old) seem to have dodged the bullet. If you want to see a more detailed account of the damage to our trees, see my gardening journal at The Place Journal. And for great pictures and a report from our dog's perspective, check out Skye's blog over at A Dog and 2 Cats.

Yesterday I took Love's chain saw blades to The Hardware Store for sharpening. Once the ice has melted from the trees, we will set to work. We won't be able to do it all ourselves, but we will start and move forward from there. And even as all this ice was coating our world, wonderful things were arriving in our mailbox. After Love used a hammer and chisel to chip the ice off our mailbox Wednesday, we found vegetable seeds from Seed Savers Exchange inside. Spring IS just around the corner!


pbhomeowner said...

Wasn't that ice storm something? I just love your blog :)

Laney said...

Thank you!