By Guy Chapman – Navarro County Gazette

Yes We Can

“May you live in interesting times.”

The quote popped in my head after yet another day of single digit weather. It’s an unsourced phrase, though whoever originated that quote needs to be sent to their room to think about what they’ve done.

Upon reflection after a solid week of bitter cold, wondering if my power was going to fail, if my water pipes were going to burst, I want to live in uninteresting times bordering on the dull, mundane, and humdrum. The same applies to “unprecedented times.” Set me up for an annual subscription for “Precedented Monthly.”

It’s been a hell of year, hasn’t it? Between a pandemic and a blizzard, I find myself longing for something easier. Better would be great, but I’ll take easier.

I thought about last week’s column where I reminisced fondly of my first snow experiences. I remember referring to last month’s storm as a “palette cleanser” and a chance to savor some downtime. I was busier than ever this last week. Between trying to make sure my own family was secure, I was constantly looking for updates all day and the majority of the night. It’s hard to sleep when you’re getting constant alerts, when you see people in need, when you’re scrambling to find resources for everyone involved, and trying to remember to breathe while doing so because I tend to hold my breath when stressed.

Last week was an education. About being prepared. About the difference between “inconvenience” and “survival.” I hope what I offered up this past week helped some people. I did warn in advance it was likely going to get a little “spammy” on the site for a few days, and that definitely came to pass. For a week, everything was covered in heavy ice and snow. Looking outside today, it’s like nothing ever happened. That’s what is so messed up about this: We’re back to what passes for “normal” again, yet I feel just about anything but.

My family was lucky through this. Pure roulette wheel luck. One of my biggest challenges was trying to get my car back in the garage last Sunday night because the ice had the texture of glass, and I couldn’t get traction on my driveway for about an hour. Breaking ice in a snowstorm was… how do people up north do this on a regular? My desert dogs were definitely not about this weather, though them tiptoeing around on the ice provided some morning humor.

I did make good on my curiosity of wanting to experience single digit weather for the first time. Around 5 a.m. Monday morning, I threw open my front door to get a full rush of snow and piercing chill in my face.

“Dumb, stupid, bad idea,” I gasped as I shut the door again and hurriedly covered the frame. That’s one “bucket list” item I don’t care to repeat again.

In any case, I’ll take this better weather. I’m so behind schedule on everything right now. I’m waiting for our water to return back to normal. Presently, I’m exhausted and feel gross without a prolonged shower or bath. I want to wash this past week off.

Navarro County looks “normal” again, though it’s going to take some time for all of us to recover from this one. While I expect we’re all going to be busier than ever for a while, take some time for yourself. This was an extreme situation we all relied on each other to make it through. We’re still going to need each other for the days to come.

Speaking of today, I took a walk in 70 degree weather while wearing shorts and a T-shirt because… Texas.

“Interesting times” indeed….

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