RE: Texas Power Situation

My report from ground zero:

Everything is really okay chez moi, considering the conditions, though the periodic blackouts are slightly inconvenient and nothing to get hysterical about.

They seem to turn on the power to my ‘hood for a couple of hours around mealtimes, then off again for 5 or 6 hours. I never bought a back up generator, because in 30 years here, we have never lost power for more than a half hour or so. I guess I need to get one, or at least some kind of DC power supply I can keep charged and run lights with in an emergency. We may get another crisis in 30 years.

My wife cooks on the gas powered fireplace, which has highly efficient fake logs that get hot and stay hot. Also, our hot water runs on gas, which has been unaffected.

Everything will settle down by Saturday. But we are getting a new storm tonight with snow, freezing rain, AND sleet!

I am trying to discontinue criticizing, and that includes public officials and power companies surprised by all this and under fire by the public who act like we are all dying.

If you want a totally unique and possibly unwelcome observation, I say that we Southeners, and maybe all Americans, need to quit bitching about weather. I am not at all in denial about climate change. But I cannot imagine my father’s generation, never mind the founding fathers, getting excited about a cold spell lasting for … what? … 5 days? This will be over by Saturday. People in the Dakotas endure wind chills of 50 below every year. I don’t hear them bitching. And then Texans bitch about the heat come August! (Hello, it’s summertime.)

You have to understand that my wife survived the Chinese cultural revolution deep in the Chinese countryside, this in the 60s. And she stayed there for 10 hard years, enduring floods and famine before being allowed back into Nanjing. Her father was a political prisoner afterwards. For 7 more years. My fellow Texans, you do not know what tough is. My wife is utterly unfazed by this “crisis.” She has been walking 5 miles in the ice every day to the store and back and thinks nothing of it. I’m serious. We don’t really need anything, but she is extremely energetic. If she doesn’t get in at least 5 miles of running or, in this case, walking through the snow and ice, she goes stir crazy. She comes back from the store with two bags of food and says something like “Walmart was closed, so I had to walk to Sprouts. Sorry it took so long.”

“Uh, that’s quite alright, dear. Did you bring me some cookies?”

She weighs 95 pounds. I weigh … more than that.

I will soon post an interesting essay by Ben Franklin I just read, about these Indians who declined his offer to sponsor some of their young men at American universities, because prior experience had turned out young braves who, when returning to the wigwams, were found to be slow, soft, unable to find their way around in the woods, and good for nothing. Can you imagine if they had had trans studies or sociology in those days and the braves had returned to their tribe holding forth about gender being a social construct? No offense here … I studied liberal arts myself.

But seriously, what the storm is revealing about our character worries me more than the slips and falls and pileups on the freeway.

Yours truly,


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