The Ice Storm Warning issued by the weather service Saturday morning kept us from attending our planned Yule festivities, staying home instead. By the time darkness fell, I was glad we had made that decision. The rain that kept everything wet for two days started freezing right around sunset, and the ice began to accumulate quickly. Within an hour of full dark, the driveway had become an ice rink, making even getting presents out of the trunk a risky proposition.
When I go outside, I can see ice-lined tree limbs gleaming in the lights from the street and the factory up the street. Every gust of wind brings tinkling and crackling as the frozen branches hit each other. Icicles drip from the tarp covering our side porch. The cars are covered in sheets of ice. And the rain keep coming down.
Just a little while ago, as I stood on the side porch, I heard a great crack, followed by a crashing and rattling as a large limb, perhaps even a whole tree, came tumbling down somewhere nearby. I went out front to see if I could spot it, but couldn’t pinpoint anything missing through the mist. The landscape looks like the frost giants have come through, breathing ice and frost onto every surface. Familiar tree lines are broken by limbs bowed down to the ground under the added weight, and sagging power lines cut a strange swath through the view.
I can see crews working on something a block or two away, flashing lights splashing orange on the white lines drooping across the neighborhood. The lights have gone off and on, flickering and coming back, and as we near the end of our Yule vigil, we keep expecting to end holding a real vigil, warming our hands by candlelight as we await the dawn. The kids keep asking if we’ll be going to the cookie party we had planned to attend on Sunday, and I have to say I doubt it will be safe by then. The temperatures are not expected to rise, and more precipitation looms to our west on the radar.
I wish I could get a picture. The sight of the iced trees limned in fluorescent light is pretty breath-taking.