Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What I did during the ice storm

Another day, another winter storm here in Michigan. This one did not dump snow on us (as it did for others in the state - such as my brother's family in Plymouth), but we got some serious ice.
In our front yard

A friend and I had planned to travel on Monday to the Chicago Temple (it's open on some Monday holidays, e.g. Presidents Day). We discussed the wisdom of this, given the weather, but decided that we wouldn't let a little ice stop us. After all, we're Michiganders!

Besides, if it turned out to be bad, we would admit defeat, turn around, and come home. (We did this when my older brother turned 50. Jim & I, and Paul & his family, got as far as Paw Paw, I think, before we turned around and came home. The snow that day was awesome.)

So I picked up my friend at 7, and just as she was saying good-bye to hubby & kids, their power went out. Hmmm. They assured us they'd be fine (and really, what could we do? Generate hot air by talking?), so we left.

A few minutes later, we were back: my friend had her expired recommend with her, and not her newer one. (Anyone can enter our regular church buildings, but attendance at a temple requires that you meet a standard of worthiness. Your recommend demonstrates your adherence to that standard. It's kind of important.)

Looking for something is never fun, but in the dark? with flashlights?

At 8, we decided we needed to leave - the last session started at noon our time, and it's a three hour trip when all goes well, and we didn't know what to expect weatherwise - so we gave up looking and got back in the car. I drove, while my friend contacted various parties to work out the logistics of getting permission to enter, sans recommend. (What would we do, really, without cell phones?)

It was a gorgeous drive. The roads were dry (once we got out of Kalamazoo), the sky was grey, the trees were beautiful. We easily made the trip in 3 hours, my friend's emergency arrangements all worked out, and we had an excellent session at the temple.

We made some quick local stops (including Trader Joe's, of course), and were back on the road by 3 pm. Unfortunately, our trip home was not as smooth as our morning's drive.

There was a truck-car accident on the Dan Ryan, and when we realized there was a traffic issue, we tried to guess which lane to get in. We did not choose wisely - unless, of course, our goal was to have more knitting time. We both got some serious knitting done while we sat in that traffic. (What would we do, really, without knitting in our bags?)

We finally got past the accident, and again moved towards home. (Why does it always seem to take longer going home than it takes going to Chicago in the morning?) As we got closer to Kalamazoo, we encountered light snow. We discovered there'd been an accident on the ramp we needed to take to 131, so we continued on to the Oakland exit, where we found ourselves in a neighborhood with no power. It was really eerie, but everyone was driving carefully, treating the non-functioning lights as four-way stop signs, etc., so we had no problems there.

Even where there was power, the roads were sloppy with snow, so we drove cautiously. We finally got to my friend's neighborhood, where we reconnoitered a bit, to see where there were lights; her street seemed to be the only one with no power.

Later that night, our friends came over to dry diapers, charge phones & laptops, and bathe a baby. Then back home, to continue their 'adventure.' The next day, they dropped their dog off here, and went to stay with other friends until their power came back on. (What would we do, really, without friends?)

Their dog adores Bonnie; Bonnie tolerates their dog. Mostly they get along fine, and it's pretty funny to watch their interactions. Their dog isn't as tolerant of walking in the cold as Bonnie; we took a short walk, but even so, she started this cough / bark / whine thing, that I think was her way of saying "WHAT are we doing out here?!?"

Jim's office was also without power, so he spent some time there, and more time here at home. (I'm so happy we never lost power!)

Things are back to normal now - everyone is in their own home, warm and dry. (Well, everyone in this story - there are still areas without power.)

I recently finished knitting my Nutmeg Bear, and during the storm on Sunday, I knit a scarf for him. And yesterday, although it was cold and icy, it was also a good day for taking pictures of bears:
He really has two eyes, although you can't see both...
This was a fun pattern to knit - not too fussy, and fairly easy to assemble - and I loved the yarn. I think maybe I stuffed the head too much, but I expect it will settle over time, so I'm not going to lose sleep over it. And I'm sure my grandniece will be happy with him as he is. :)

Finally, here are a few more weather photos:
In the park, looking south

Looking north, in the park

A cold bit of greenery, in our back yard


  1. Cell phones, knitting, and friends. All three valuable things not to be done without... (observed he who does not knit, but enjoys the fruits of others' knitting).

  2. I'm told the adorable bear now has a name: Chocolate Marzipan. Isn't that a great name?!?