As 2021 got underway, ice encased every tree branch and blade of prairie grass at Boomerang Creek. Housebound, Kit and I gathered in front of the Buck stove and reflected on times when self-reliance and family got us through hard times. Memories of a January past resurfaced—one when ice came a calling in the night, and isolation took on new meaning.
I’m not certain what woke me early that January morning—the thunderous crashing sounds reverberating from the woods or an awareness of being in total darkness. The ceiling fan over our bed was motionless. The ambient green face of our digital clock radio normally visible at night had gone dark. Another reverberating crash in the woods evoked images of rival bucks clashing like cymbals, their massive antlers locked in head- to-head combat.
The battle of nature that had begun in the night was in fact a drama of Wagnerian proportions. Warm air flowing up from the south had clashed with cold air descending from the north, resulting in a destructive band of sleet and freezing rain that coated a wide swath of Missouri in ice. Area-wide power outages resulted when tall, dense trees sagged under the weight of ice-encrusted branches. In random, rifle-like reports, crystalline limbs snapped like brittle bones, shattering in explosive cascades onto roads, driveways, sidewalks, roof tops and power lines.
~ Read more in today’s Journal ~