Please, Mr. Groundhog, no more ice storms

Friday, February 1, 2002

People had said for weeks now that we would pay for the wonderful extended mild fall enjoyed throughout Jim the Wonder Dog's back yard. As recently as Monday, when my better half made the most of one last day in the mid 60s to hang out sheets, towels and every other load of laundry on the lines in the back yard, we all knew it was coming. We just didn't know exactly what "it" was.

Tuesday the word went around - a major ice storm was heading our way, and anybody with anything to do had better get it done pronto.

Like everyone else, we scurried around, rearranged schedules and swung by the grocery store. And when we went to bed Tuesday night the world outside the front door didn't look bad at all. I thought maybe the weather prognosticators had blown it again.

Unfortunately on Wednesday morning January's signature was all - downed tree limbs, power lines weighed down by ice and the lengthy list of school closings on the radio. But a short hike to the office, and shuffling the kids off to the YMCA even allowed time for lunch together and following through on at least Sherri's appointment for the day.

Little did I know how good we had it until Thursday evening when we finally got hit by the "Ain't Got No Power Blues." Houses immediately to the south and west had power, but since we are on a different line we got zapped by a large limb falling across the lines about a half block to the north on Redman.

Oh well, another excuse to eat a meal out can't be all bad. That was followed by bedtime stories by lamplight and all three kids crashed out by 8 p.m. Yes!

What does your typical 21st-century American do with no television and no VCR for entertainment all evening? We turned to cards. One of the ad reps from the office, also without power all night, played the board game "Life" at his house. We both ended up on the short end. I got tromped by a mere 420 points in rummy and he ended up with five kids and more than $100,000 in debt. Hey, having kids will do that to you.

Maybe we'll even open the month of February with electricity in all our homes.

But would somebody forward a message to the groundhog? I don't care whether he sees his shadow or not. As long as it doesn't mean another ice storm.