Slice of Life: Texas Snowpocalypse

As most people in the country know, Texas experienced a winterpocalypse last week that we were wholly unprepared for. Most school districts canceled Monday, but we were scheduled to work remotely. We woke up to no power in the house, so my first period Zoom class, set to start at 7:25 AM, was not going to happen. 

Kyle and I frantically – okay, only I was frantic – tried to quickly compose a message to students via the learning management system, but connectivity was making things go slowly. The district finally called at 7:30 AM to cancel Monday operations. 

The chaos and the anxiety of not knowing when the power would drop again made me constantly uneasy; HOWEVER…

In Teach Write, we are completing a #lovenotechallenge every day for the month of February. It is amazing how intentionally writing gratitude or seeking joy can change your perspective, especially during challenging times. 

We lost power Monday and Wednesday
We were with power Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday

We were placed on a boil water notice for three days.
We had plenty of bottles of water, as well as a gas stove to boil water on days with no power.

We were freezing in the middle of the night when the power was out.
We had a warm bed, plenty of blankets, and each other. 

We were trapped inside with an active 18 month old.
We have an 18 month old who can have fun doing anything, even playing with blocks with just a headlamp. 

We only prepared to be iced in on Monday, maybe Tuesday, but it went on until Friday.
We have an over prepared mom (or mother-in-law to Kyle) who bought enough food for the entire week, just in case. #newbieparents

We were newbie parents in our first winter storm. 
We had my mom who chose to hunker down with us.

We couldn’t charge our phones when the power was out.
We had cars with full gas tanks to charge up devices.

We were bored (because first world problems).
We played Scrabble, we danced, we read books by sunlight or headlamp. 

We were worried about my grandparents who eventually lost power and were too far to pick up.
We were impressed by my grandmother’s resourcefulness and strength (those Mexico and Chicago days sure kicked in). 

We were nervous and annoyed and exhausted.
We had each other. Under one roof. With plenty of food and water.

Last week, my love notes were written to objects like the car heater, to the blankets, to the headlamp, to the gas stove; they were also written to my 18 month old, my husband, my mom. It’s easy – and for many, it’s justified – to complain and sit in despair. It was, however, much more fruitful for me to recognize and be thankful for abundant blessings. 

I’m participating in Two Writing Teachers’ Slice of Life weekly challenge.

*Featured image picture source: click2houston

32 thoughts on “Slice of Life: Texas Snowpocalypse

  1. I love the switching from negative to positive! Amazing how we can feel so different when looking at things in new ways! Glad you guys were safe and that things are getting slowly back on track!

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    1. Thank you so much! Yes, things are definitely getting back on track – Houston weather will be back to oppressive heat in no time, I’m sure! 😉

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  2. I’m feeling humbled and grateful, reading your post! Love letters to the blanket and the headlamp and the car full of gas… good reminders! At the same time, I know I speak for all your readers to say I am so sorry your community is going through this, and hope it resolve very very soon.

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    1. You are so kind, thank you for your encouraging words. Today, one wouldn’t even know we’d just been freezing at this same time last week! It’s almost 80 and quite humid. 🙂

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  3. It was really something to read your post and experience more personally what I’ve been reading in the headlines and hearing on the radio. I can see that your practice of gratitude helped you through. I like the idea of talking back to the hard things. We are not powerless against them and often we can give voice to another version.

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    1. I really love how you worded that: “and often we can give voice to another version.” Wow! It’s so necessary to name the hard things, but staying there instead of talking back to them is what keeps us powerless. Thank you for reading and commenting!

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  4. Britt, I’m so sorry you and so many others had to go through what you did, but the positivity you show through this post is absolutely incredible. That kind of attitude (though I know it had to be tough throughout the experience) is such a testimony to your upbringing and family. I hope the worst is way behind you, and the next few weeks are a time of recovery and refreshment.

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    1. Tim, thank you for your thoughtful comment – you’re awesome! I’m going to show my mom your kind words; my mom is the most positive and calm person in difficult circumstances. If it wasn’t for her ability to see the big picture and act instead of become paralyzed, who knows where I would be today.

      As far as the weather, Houston is back to 80 and oppressively humid! 🙂

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  5. I’ve been praying everyone in Texas. Gratitude really does turn things around, at least in our head, where it counts. I loved your description of difficulties and what you found to appreciate. Your post reminded me of a book I read recently…Make Miracles in Forty Days by Melody Beattie. Check it out.

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  6. I really enjoyed how you contrasted each negative with a positive celebration and how you prefaced all of that with the context of our TTW love letters. It really has helped shift things and I think these are great examples of that.

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    1. I love the challenges so much! The love letters had this effect on me similar to the month we did daily gratitude (November??) and daily joys in December. It just helps so much!

      Thank you, friend! 🙂

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  7. I was surprised that you Houston folks got it just as bad as here in Austin! We were so very fortunate to keep our power the whole time, but lost water completely in the neighborhood from Wednesday until Sunday morning. I don’t think we will ever approach winter the same way again here in Texas…can envision stockpiling water and firewood and canned goods come December. Glad you made it to the other side safe, especially with the baby!

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  8. I was surprised that you Houston folks got it just as bad as here in Austin! We were so very fortunate to keep our power the whole time, but lost water completely in the neighborhood from Wednesday until Sunday morning. I don’t think we will ever approach winter the same way again here in Texas…can envision stockpiling water and firewood and canned goods come December. Glad you made it to the other side safe, especially with the baby!

    Liked by 1 person

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