I have made no secret these past years of living in the Texas Hill Country. I’ve no reason to, really; there are problems with the place, as there are with all places, but there’s a lot of good here, and a lot of it is natural (or based in nature with a bit of help; the wildflowers are encouraged, which I think is a good thing). Part of the nature of the Hill Country is that it is a warmer part of the world; I could rattle off almanac data, and that might be helpful for some folks, but that’s not really the point here. What is the point is that the people here–myself among them–are habituated to high temperatures. We have high highs in the summer and high lows most of the rest of the time, and we tend to like it that way, even with the problems that we know we face because of it.
One such problem manifested over the past weekend, as a hell of a winter storm system came through here. Temperatures plummeted as rain fell and froze into ice. Snow blanketed the whole of it, and the few road-crews set up to handle such things went to work as rolling power outages chilled down the many, many poorly insulated or uninsulated homes in the area. Pipes froze despite faucets being left open, the pumps that pushed water to them shut down by power losses–and we may not be done yet. I know what the forecasts say, but I also know that the weather here can be ornery and stubborn, and there are no few who come down from northern climes and decide they’ll stick around a while.
For my part, my family has been in reasonably good shape. We’ve lost power once or twice, as shown by the clocks on my coffee pot and microwave, but we’ve stayed warm. We did lose water, and I’m not sure where we lost it; I’ve talked with some of the neighbors, and they’ve told me they didn’t lose water, so it’s either at my meter or on my side of it, and I’m not a good enough plumber to figure it out on my own. But we’re also able to get to places–if with some difficulty; folks here aren’t practiced at driving on ice-sheathed roads–that have water, so we’re doing well enough. It’s inconvenient, but that’s been all so far; I know it’s been worse for a lot of people, and I appreciate that it hasn’t been worse on my end.
All I can do, all any of us can do, is hunker down and endure, knowing that the kindly Hill Country sun will come again.