2021 has already tested our resolve. January brought back a record COVID spread. February tested the whole Lone Star territory with snow, record low temperatures and extended power failures. Here we are already in March to take on the next trial of the human resolve.
February weather stopped everything. Like most of us, I had to reset priorities. We all had different situations to overcome. Joyce and I were able to feed the wood stove to stay comfortable through the coldest nights. We had friends spend the night with us as their houses' inside temperature dropped below 24 degrees. My difficulty was getting any sleep, and keeping my parents' home warm. That required treks up the hill every two hours to check on their wellbeing and fuel for the generator. Adrenaline was my fuel during the first 36 hours. In between treks required bringing in more wood for the stove and constantly checking the water situation. I thought about the pioneers and how their winters must have been busy just keeping their families and animals safe. There was never idle time for very long before something else needed to be done. Now, waiting would have created an urgent situation!
Internet and phones took on a different role for a few days. Entertainment was not the purpose. When the power would intermittently pop on, we would communicate with family and team members.
The power was on and off so many times we would listen for all the devices in the house to chime in. There was a rhythm and sequence that became familiar. The first sound was the chirp of the driveway alarm followed by Alexa, the sound bar on the tv, the microwave and finally the security system beep. The reboot time for WIFI, Internet provider and Dish was just enough time for the power to flash and the reboot process starts over again.
That was part of my story. We all have a story to remember about the polar vortex of 2021. Take a few minutes to write down your memory of the event. A few years from now you will enjoy the tale. When we were living the experience, we thought we were barely surviving.
After hearing about other’s experiences, we did quite well. We feel very grateful.
Well, what will this month bring?
-Dan Hiett, Chief Operating Officer, Grand Prairie