This is a developing situation… This is a developing situation… The words have been scrolling across the bottom of the TV screen for hours. I already knew that. I’m pretty sure everyone in Texas knows that. Everyone in the United States knows that. It’s been a developing situation for days.
Around here, night time temps are dipping into the mid-teens. It hasn’t been above freezing for 60 some hours. In southern Texas that has different ramifications that it would in say, Iowa or Minnesota, where 25 degrees can be considered nearly balmy for early February.
The RV furnace set at 60 for fear of running out of propane since we aren’t very portable right now. Henry isn’t finding his coat to be entirely sufficient. But overall, we’ve been coping pretty with the cold.
Here in Shiner, they’re breaking records. It’s only snowed 1 inch 18 times since 1885. Schools have gone from rolling brown-outs to closing all over southern Texas. Folks from all across the nation are wondering if they’ll be able to make it to Dallas to claim their $4500 scalped tickets for the Super Bowl on Sunday.
I have bowl issues of my own. Since I take the night shift, it’s been my job to make sure the water maintains it’s slow drip in the sink bowl. I felt heroic Tuesday night as I carefully monitored both sinks every 30 minutes. I slept peacefully Wednesday morning, confident the drip would keep on.
Heidi had already disconnected the outside hose to our water supply since we it would freeze right away. I’ve since learned that it’s amazing how quickly slowly dripping water can empty an entire RV reserve.
Doing my do diligence last night, I set aside my log sheet and knitting, I paused the DVR, unwound from the blanket and stopped dead in my track (it’s only one step from the chair to the sink). The kitchen faucet wasn’t dripping. My fear was confirmed when I couldn’t get any water from Bad, Bad Leroy Brown either. BBLB is the name of the bathroom sink. Heidi stuck a BAD label on it so I’d remember to quit brushing my teeth with the non-drinkable, bad tasting potable water. I named the sink Bad, Bad Leroy Brown because I now start humming the tune every time I get my tooth brush out.
I haven’t named any of the appliances yet, although Mr. Coffee, which came named, is next on my list of problematic necessities. My shift begins between 3-4 in the afternoon and goes until 5-6 in the morning. Coffee is my friend. Tonight when Mr Coffee began tripping breakers no matter where I plugged it in: on the counter where it belongs, out of place under the dinette etc… I eventually disconnected the bell and perked a pot outside while watching for monster trucks and white pickups through the icy window.
Now I re-heat it up a cup at a time in the microwave. Because the microwave is our most frequently depended upon appliance, I thought of naming it Bubba, after the rancher who owns this land. He seems like the rugged, reliable type. My hesitation was that when we had generator problems last month, ‘Bubba’ started losing time, and when we re-set the generator this month, ’Bubba’ began to gain about 15 minutes an hour, so now I’m thinking he may be more of a White Rabbit than a Bubba.
Back to bowls: the real crisis that precipitated this post is the toilet bowl. Our automatic septic pump is no longer automated. Apparently there’s a bit of a dam somewhere in the sewer line so the restroom is now closed for thawing.
This discovery late today prompted a trip to Gonzalas to the nearest WalMart. Heidi suggested I buy a 5 gallon bucket. The only 5 gallon bucket I could find included the cement, so I wandered the isles. I knew the blue plastic pail for $1.50 couldn’t possibly handle the stress. The bait buckets had holes. The trash cans looked sturdy enough but the logistics were insurmountable.
The store was teaming with prestorm shoppers when I finally found my solution.
There was a fairly wide variety of acceptable planters. I checked the bottom for weight restrictions but I guess they don’t sells planters that way, even though they do sometimes plant large patio trees in them. There was a warning label but I felt confident there was no danger of falling in.
I’ve accidentally done a number of things that drew quite a lot of embarrassing attention to myself (fallen off the stage, left the conference for the restroom with my mike still on etc…). But today, I was a woman with a mission. I was shameless.
As shoppers streamed by, I lined the most desirable planters up in a row and carefully sat in each pot until I found just the right one. I think this whole experience has given me greater self-confidence and has certainly added meaning to the saying: “Bloom Where You Are Planted”.
In the Express line, the clerk smiled at me and said:
“We’ve sold out of gloves and drinking water today, but you’re the first one to buy a pot.”
I briefly explained my predicament and told her that I thought there might be a run on planters, too, if the weather doesn‘t change soon.
“This surely is some crazy weather. We had to bring our chickens inside.”
“Oh gosh, how many chickens do you have?”
“Wow! That must be quite a cacophony!”
She handed me my pot.
“Sure is Sugar, especially with the 3 Chihuahuas.”
That added some perspective. I don’t have any water or bathroom facilities. I can’t shower or do dishes (the dirty dishes are in temporary storage in the shower) or keep the breakers from tripping. I don’t have much heat tonight and apparently even less pride, but I also don’t have 25 chickens and 3 Chihuahuas!