Here in Oklahoma we get these little things called ice storms. They come about once a year, or every-other year if we are lucky, and hang around for a few days in January or February. This week we were told by our local meteorologists to “GET READY! ICE IS ON THE WAY!” What!? It’s 75 degrees, you crazies!
There’s also this thing that Okies do when we get the Winter Weather Warning. There’s another run. No, not a Land Run, but a run on the grocery and liquor stores. Here in our great state wine and beer are kept behind the lock and key of a liquor store front. You heard me. They aren’t in grocery stores. Thank heavens that’s changing, but until it does we are stuck strategizing who should watch the kids while someone collects the necessary libations to ride out “the storm”.
Yesterday I took the kiddos with me to the grocery store. And it legit took just as long to get them ready and in/out of the car as it did to get the necessary items in the store. Oh, and I forgot my purse in the car so I had to leave 2/3 of my children with a total stranger (relax, she was a sweet elderly store clerk) and run to the car dodging crazy soccer moms on a mission. I’ll say, other than that unfortunate incident the trip went better than I expected! We made it out with no tears. I repeat, NO TEARS. Win.
After the grocery and booze run, there are a couple other things that need to happen before the inevitable power outage.
- Make sure you’ve got fire wood, hand and foot warmers, and snuggly blankets. Also get used to the idea of living in close quarters for a day or two….
- Put your flashlights, candles, and lighters in a single location, preferably out of reach of curious little people. (Learned that one the hard way).
- CHARGE YOUR ELECTRONICS. This should probably have been number one, but whatever. Charge. All. The. Things. Phones, computers, tablets, portable DVD players, whatever. And should you loose power, use them one at a time. That way all your devices don’t run out of battery at the same time just hours after the outage. Nothing says misery like a bunch of tinies without their Octonauts and Sofia the First for hours, maybe days…
- Meal prep. This one can be tricky. My kids pretty much live on PB&J and applesauce, so that’s easy. But for the rest of us that might not cut it. My go-to for ice storms is the grill. I know, I know, you laugh. But my husband has a certain relationship with the cold and ice. He LOVES it. He loves putting on his camo coat, his long johns, and and his “bank robber” face cover and standing over a flame in the freezing cold. I buy veggies like potatoes, eggplant, and zucchini. Hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, or another protein (veggie burgers FTW), are easy options for the grill. I also put beans in a saucepan and let those heat up. Easy. Don’t forget bottled water, juice boxes if needed, and any other necessary liquids-wine, anyone?
- Get some games, puzzles, and extra blankets for a blanket fort. The kids will have a ball!!
- And finally, take your patience pill. There will be some hairy moments. Just be prepared for meltdowns, cranky kids, and cabin fever. All of these phenomena are real, but they aren’t forever. Deep breaths; this too shall pass.
So there you have it. If you are in the line of ice fire just know that you’re not the only one whose life just got put on hold because of Mother Nature. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to find the candles and charge my electronics.