JACK SIMPSON: Surviving the storm with a mild case of cabin fever

I was trapped inside for the better part of last week as a treacherous snow and ice storm coated roads, froze on trees, power lines and my driveway! Emergency crews passed by on their way to assist the needy, otherwise very few vehicles went up and down the usually busy road in front of the house.

Schools and businesses were closed. Having recently had a knee operation and having spent months in rehab, I have no desire to gamble walking about outside on snow with a layer of ice underneath. I tried it one day, went out to feed my birds and promptly fell on the ice. I could not get up and could not attract the attention of my spouse who was inside the house. I tried whistling and shouting, but nothing worked! I eventually crawled through the wet snow and ice to the back door where a bench helped me to get up and return to my warm house. If I hadn’t already been a Christian, that would would have made me one!

Oh, I know I am lucky. Not only didn’t the fall cause me more than a sore wrist, I didn’t lose my electrical power. This was a blessing I will long remember. Many all around me were not so lucky and this includes one of my daughters who lost her power and was without heat for several days.

No doubt in my mind that this was a deadly winter storm with historic consequences. It stretched from Texas to New England causing major problems in metropolitan areas. Snowfall totals were unusually high.

As I looked out from my rocking chair with my case of cabin fever, my eyes fell upon the little snow-covered garden where I grow a few tomatoes and green beans each spring. I wondered if the groundhogs had predicted correctly and if I should be out there composting, fertilizing and getting ready to plant in April.

Frankly, my dear, I didn’t give a damn, because it was just too cold, snowy, miserable and unsafe to be outside. Actually, it was a winter wonderland out there and an excellent time to stay indoors and enjoy the view from the bay window.

We finally had a thaw toward the end of the week and were hopeful the worst of the stormy weather had moved north. My son and his family in Maryland reported about 12 inches of snow had fallen in their yard and was covering their driveway. They were bracing for the worst as we did a week ago.

I thought about my children and prayed their power didn’t stay off more than 48 hours when food in their freezers would spoil and have to be destroyed. We are all weary of the nasty winter weather and eager for the return of spring.

In preparation for the storm, we did as many others did. We went to the grocery store for staples, gathered an emergency supply of firewood, bought flashlight batteries and storm supplies. Sure, we overreacted, but who knew in advance what we would experience. We ate a lot of soup, chili, sandwiches. Tasted mighty good as ice gathered on the trees and a wintry mix fell on the yard and driveway. We had been hibernating and were ready to return to our normal routine. How about you and yours?

Jack Simpson is a former educator, a veteran, an author and a law enforcement officer. His column appears each Friday.