Our plans for Christmas morning almost always involve a hike. Sometimes it’s a trail close to home, sometimes hours away. This year we anticipated foul weather so our planned hike of a couple of hours of trail about an hours drive away was curtailed by the spitting sleet and rain to a local trail, 5 minutes from home. The dogs enjoyed it but for them, it was just another walk in the park.
And then the snow began to fall. Snow may not seem a major event, while my Northern neighbors scoff at the idea of a little snow or even a lot of snow, we here in the South are paralyzed by the few times a year we’re lucky enough to get an inch or two. Schools and businesses close, people swarm the grocery stores as if they won’t be able to buy food for weeks and it typically melts off the next day. But on Christmas night of 2012 our area got somewhere between 8-12 inches. Again, some would say Woohoo! Get the skis, the boards, the sleds! In Central Arkansas 8-12 inches translates into massive power failures, trees in the road and after 4 days of no electricity and difficult driving conditions, a society of stir crazy, cold, and angry people.
But the dogs were still enjoying it.
About 4 o’clock on Christmas Day the lights went out. Good thing we had flashlights and candles at the ready! The first night we happened to already have a dinner of pot roast in the crockpot that was almost done, at least done enough to enjoy after the the power failure. We had our camp lantern and played a few games of UNO while keeping warm with a little amaretto.
By the second night, our neighborhood roads were still sketchy to drive on and there were a lot of trees still in the roads. The teenager headed off to a friend’s house on foot because they had power, and satellite TV. By the third night we’d had enough of cooking by camp stove or outside on the grill. The roads were still bad in our neighborhood but we knew if we could just get from our house to a main street, we’d be fine. Our holiday plans already included a trip to New Orleans to see family for the New Year. Leaving a day early seemed like a great idea. We threw some clothes and toiletries in bags, gathered the dogs and dog paraphernalia and hightailed it out of town. I feel for all our neighbors, most of whom are still without power as our house is still in dark too, but I’m feeling for them while enjoying beignets and cafe au lait.