Saturday, February 12, 2011

February Freeze

When it was forecasted that there would be a strong Arctic blast coming to North Texas on February 1, I did not pay much attention, and expected a one day inconvenience. It turned out to be a 4 day spell of ice and extreme cold.

Ice Covered

We were awakened midnight by thunder on Monday night - January 31st, and it was raining, right before the strong cold front reached North Texas. The next morning, when I looked outside, the street in front our house was covered with ~ 1 inch thick ice, my north facing patio was covered by even thicker ice! One can skate in the streets if he inclines to. In fact, TV news showed video of a girl skating in her street in a neighbouring city!

It was frozen everywhere. As I tried to open our garage door, the garage door motor had a real hard time to lift it open because the garage door was frozen to the floor. The melted snow from the roof was quickly frozen into icicles large and small while dripping down. Of course the pond in the park was frozen too.

Frozen In

With all the ice on the roads, and constant TV reports of traffic accidents everywhere, we did not go anywhere, not even step out of the front door for the first day of the freeze. I had to go out the second day since a van skidded into our yard from the T intersection by our house!! We quickly spread salt and potting soil at the intersection as well as the alley way entrance to help cars to maneuver at the intersection. Per Justin's suggestion, I sent out recommendations to Crime Watch captains about spread salt/sand/soil into the slippery streets in our community. I also inquired with our HOA board president about hiring someone to sand our streets.

We were trapped inside by ice and the boys were trapped by computer games. We did a few things to relax from work (at home) and to get kids off the computers.

Removing Ice on Drive Way

The first two days, we went out to clean our driveway 30 to 45 minutes at a time, during our morning and afternoon breaks, hoping to go to work the next day. We used a shovel, and a digging hoe to remove ice, but it was too hard and thick. Justin and I were tired quickly. Instead of clean the whole driveway, we dug four troughs.

Dodge Ball

It was too cold and slippery. We had to limit the the time that the boys could be outside. So Lily introduced "dodge ball" game to them. She sewed four small bean bags as the "balls". The game was simple, two player spaced out, each has two bean bags, trying to hit the other with the ball while dodging the ball from his/her opponent.

First Lily and Nick played. To avoid the balls from his Mom, Nick ran, jumped up, twisted, or just dug like an ostrich. His postures made mom laugh. I could hear Nick shout in excitement when he hit mom. Justin was quickly attracted into the game. For a while, the boys played dodge ball whenever they were asked to time out from computers. Their laughing, jumping and excitement were really contagious. I eventually agreed to play dodge ball with Nick when he could not find others to play with him.

Dodge ball made the dull, uneventful snow days a bit exciting!

To make the most of the snow days, we also had some other quieter family activities. One night we had a reading by the fireplace. On Saturday night, we had a family Wii tournament. The time flied as we had fun together.

So one upside of the February Freeze was that it allowed us more family time.

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