This year, because of the pandemic, my husband and I celebrated Valentine’s Day Friday night. The forecast called for snow Sunday night, so I made sure we had the fixings (and desserts, always!) for our family to enjoy Valentine’s dinner at home.
Little did we know. Texas winter was coming.
Snowmaggedon, Snowzilla, Snowpocalypse 2021. Call it what you will, but we will always remember this as the week of never-ending winter in Texas!
We got six inches of snow by Presidents Day (that’s the first time, it’s snowing again as I write this).
Now, this isn’t upstate New York we’re talking about, y’all. San Antonio is in south-central Texas, and most people who live south of the Texas panhandle don’t own a snow shovel, heavy-duty winter coats, or even an ice-scraper.
We’d soon realize that all 254 counties across Texas were under a severe winter storm warning for the first time in recorded history. Freezing temperatures, snow, ice, and winds would plunge the state into a deep Arctic winter that broke all kinds of records.
You’ve probably read or watched the news by now. Texas is built for excessive heat, not the Arctic Circle kind of Texas winter. I’ve got tinted windows at my house to keep it cool.
As the temperatures stayed in the single digits (8 degrees on Presidents Day, brrrr), the faucets in our master bath froze. Luckily, we still had power, so we did what we used to do growing up in the Northeast: opened all the cabinets and used our space heaters to defrost our bathroom pipes.
I am counting our blessings because we never lost power. We live in a house that is on the same power circuit dedicated to two major hospitals nearby.
However, the water stopped altogether. You see, water pumping stations need electricity to pump water and they were dealing with the same power outages that impacted most of our city’s residents. Heck, across Texas, there were 4 million people without power at one point.
So the week we’ll never forget became our modern-day version of Little House on the Prarie. Our boy would gather snow in buckets to boil down for water. Pa used my gardening spade to shovel the snow off our driveway.
Other than that, we stayed indoors, used wipes, and ate from our freezer and pantry.
[My family promised never to make fun of me again for stocking more than we need “just in case.”]
In case we need to nudge the spirit of dumpster-fire 2020 to move along, I’m lighting my candle as we watch the snowfall yet again.
February 2021, when we endured a solid week of snow, ice, unrelenting freezing temperatures, and massive power and water outages. Photo credit: Iris Gonzalez