Ice in and electricity out!
|It was a cold and sunny day outside in December 2006 at Lincoln, Nebraska. I put on my heavy coat and moved my dad's stuffed soft caterpillar for the pure joy of knowing I can get away with it.
"Where did you move my caterpillar to?" Dad asked when I went back to packing up.
"On your bed. Just a different place than before is all," I replied.
"Now it has cooties on it."
As I finished packing up He went out to the car. After gathering my things then I went out to the car. He is already in the car waiting for me. The ground is free of snow and ice. I grabbed my suitcase and came over to the car. I had a learner's permit and no driving experience on snowy roads. Then we went out to the church, where everyone was meeting, to go to the retreat out by Cozad.
Everything is doing great at the start. Roads were clear as we headed west on the interstate. On the radio there were warnings of freezing rain out towards the western part of the state. We talked about if we were going to be catching the bad weather for the retreat. When we arrived near Cozad the weather changed drastically and road conditions became worse. Icy rain fell from the sky and the trees and power lines were covered in ice. The build up kept on coming as if there seemed to be no end to the ice storm. Luckily, no one fell down going into the main building. When we entered lights were off. It was a temporary blackout. Soon, but only for a few hours, lights returned. I assumed then things were going to be okay. I was wrong.
It didn't take long before the plans to go to the cabins to stay changed to staying inside the main building. A few others had already gone out to the cabins. When Roni volunteered to go out and tell the other girls to come back inside the main building, pastor Ronald agreed. Quickly she went out the door. The ice on the ground made it difficult for Roni to move all the way to the cabins so the other girls can know to move inside the main building instead. On the way back Roni slipped and fell just a ways away from the door. She stood back up and helped the others inside. I overhead her saying she fell on the way back to the main building. Too dangerous to go outside in the ice. The power lines threatened to cave into the ice and fall. The storm was that bad.
While I was preparing to lie down on a bunk, lights flickered then went out. Everything became completely dark. The room we chose to sleep in had a very large window. A cold draft could be felt coming from the window. I didn't get much sleep from the fierce cold wind blowing in through the window.
The next day there is no electricity available. Some areas of the main building remained completely dark. The swimming pool is the only place of warmth. I went into the room with the swimming pool for a little bit to feel the warmth. Candles and flashlights replaced the lights to see. Inside one room with a fireplace pastor kept some logs burning. Some used cell phones too.
For two entire days the retreat went without electricity- everyone stayed in the main building. A few games were played during the time- I preferred staying where it's best warm, either by the fire or by the swimming pool. I joined in with a game called hide and seek. Even though I didn't pick out the best place to hide I still had fun. We also covered some important topics, like walking with God. I listened carefully as the pastor spoke.
On January 1st, the second the clock turned 12 am, the lights came back to life. Everyone screamed with joy and surprise. The sudden brightness blinded me for a moment. I was glad the retreat wasn't going to be in total darkness after all. Outside, however, everything was still a mess. Tree branches were falling down and the electrical lines was out of shape. It was hard starting back home due to the ice covering the ground and roads. Once away ice lessened until finally it was ice free and the trip home had no problems involved.