Lacking in the pioneer spirit department

Published 6:29 am Wednesday, January 31, 2024

By Bonnie Brown

Here we are at the end of January, which is always a month full of promise.  We begin each January with a celebration welcoming a new year.  We are full of hope and optimism that it is the beginning of a better year, especially if we had some hardships leading up to the new year.  

This January was a month of “surprises.”  We know to expect cool, even cold weather.  It is after all winter.  However, the mid-month prediction of freezing rain/sleet/snow/ice was not expected to become our reality.  And it did!  We thought we’d get a mild frosting but not the shellacking Mother Nature delivered.  And she over-performed and hit us from coast to coast.  While we whined about our measly ice storm, Buffalo was digging out of 5 feet of snow!  And Mother Nature just kept dumping on them. 

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So, while we weren’t having to shovel snow, we were awaiting rescue by road crews to work miracles to reveal the pavement below the layers of ice.  But, no, it wasn’t to be since the temperatures plummeted to single digits which not only married the ice to the roadways but also caused pipes to freeze and all manner of activities and businesses to be suspended.  We Southerners are not equipped to do battle with Mother Nature when she delivers such a wallop.  

Schools were canceled and food and supplies were running low.  We suggested to our son Jeff that he and wife Francie might seek a support group to help them deal with 3 active, house-bound kiddos.  It was a great suggestion we thought; however, they were simply not up to the task of seeking or organizing the group.  They were more focused on finding the “boujee” milk that their offsprings preferred.  Keep in mind that store shelves were emptied practically before the ice arrived and temperatures dropped which added to their case of cabin fever. 

We were fortunate that our community leaders were working practically around the clock to get things moving again.  It was a daunting challenge even if there had been more equipment and more crews working so hard.  Again, Mother Nature doesn’t play fair.  She delivered the ice, and it was pretty much up to her to take it away.

I knew this before the Icing of 2024, but if you have a five-pound bag of potatoes, a pound of ground beef, various canned vegetables and spaghetti noodles, and milk, you can prepare several meals from these few supplies.  Think potato soup, vegetable soup, meatballs.  With a cup of peanut butter, an egg, a cup of sugar, a teaspoon of vanilla and baking soda, and a fourth of a teaspoon of coarse salt, you can make 4 dozen peanut butter cookies.  Dessert!  

I knew from the Ice Storm of ’94 that I had no pioneer spirit.  I didn’t enjoy making scrambled eggs on the outdoor grill.  I was frustrated each time I walked into a room and flipped the light switch with no result.  I could hardly sleep without my “noise maker.”  Yes, I was a whiny butt until power was restored and we were able to return to our routines.  

That pretty much sums up how I felt last week as I waited and watched for the ice to melt.  Again, my pioneer spirit remains underdeveloped!  Enjoy the bare roads and warmer temps!