Christmas Memories

The Ice Storm of 2004

I have very fond memories from when I was a child.  Waking up to Santa�s presents.  Having my grandparents come for Christmas dinner.  My sister and I would always put our presents out on our bed for everyone to see.  One grandmother decorated her packages with gum sticks and hard candies.  Oh, what fun for a kid.  We usually had Christmas dinner at our house.  My dad�s parents had three houses to visit in a 30-mile area.  They always came by to see what we received.

This year was an interesting Christmas.  We live too far away from my parents to visit for the holidays (850 miles) and his brothers usually have a houseful with their children and grandchildren.  Now, we live in the "boonies".  So, this year we had a white Christmas.  The color was right at least.  Usual white Christmases are from snow.  Ours was from ice.  It started on Wednesday with rain and cooler temperatures.  My husband works in Memphis.  I was planning to go in to finish shopping while he worked.  Changed my mind because the drivers in Memphis are bad normally but say something like ice or (horrors) snow flurries and you have a disaster waiting to happen.  

I worried about his driving home.  Not a problem.  Wednesday morning, while we waited for the bad weather to come in, we suddenly had no water.  Husband came home early hoping it was something simple.  Nope.  So in the middle of making sure everything was closed up, dogs taken care of, etc., we had to also make sure we had enough water and could handle things until the well service could come out Thursday morning.  Long story short, we now have a brand new Jacuzzi.  That is the brand name of the new pump in the water well.  I�m glad the well service has a large heavy truck.  Our hill is a little steep and slick when wet anyway.  Don�t ask what it is like icy.  

The weather went bad.  Ice on the roads.  Other people got snow.  We got rain, followed by sleet followed by freezing weather.  We do not have a 4-wheel drive vehicle and we live at the end of a gravel road, at the top of a steep hill.  We ventured out go to the store and finish shopping for Christmas.  That was Christmas Eve.  My husband was raised and learned to drive in southwest Pennsylvania.  No flat roads there. He got to drive us the 22 miles to the store.  Usually takes about 30 minutes.  Took us an hour.  Then hurried shopping and out to get back home before the sun started going down at 4:00.  On the way back it took an hour also but this time because we were following the gravel truck .  

Then we stayed in.  Company came for Christmas dinner.  They said the only real problem they ran into was their country road and our gravel roads (it is 1-1/2 miles on two gravel roads to the paved road).  

Monday I went to Memphis to do banking.  It was pretty well clear down where we live.  NOT in Memphis.  Icy parking lots, some icy roads that you didn�t expect.  I learned a lot about driving on ice.  It took Memphis three more days to clear up.  

What is really disgusting?  My family lives in South Texas.  My parents live in Harlingen, 20 miles from the southern tip of Texas.  They had a true white Christmas...1 1/2 inches of snow Christmas morning.  My sister was the winner.  She lives in Corpus Christi...they had 8" of snow on the ground Christmas morning.  Lots for snow angels, snowmen and snowball fights.  It doesn�t last down there.  The ground is too warm and temperature very seldom stays low enough to cause the ice problems we had.  Maybe I moved too far north.