Those of us who lived through the Great New England Ice Storm of December 11–12, 2008, still have posttraumatic stress disorder. The storm lasted 2 days, but the power was out for more than a week at our house. Now, when ice is predicted, we check our water supplies, our batteries, our candles. We sleep with a flashlight; we unplug the computers. We lie awake listening for the chatter of sleet on the windows or, God forbid, the rifle shots of branches breaking or the chandelier-fall crash of a treetop.
But in many ways this was the most joyous holiday season ever. People checked on their neighbors. The General Store contributed 200 turkey dinners to a supper at the elementary school so that people could enjoy a hot meal and some company. One couple went ahead with a church wedding, lit by candles. Bundled up like fur trappers, they left little puffs of fog when they said their vows.
We’re just not quite ready to go through it all again. The worst part was going a week without a shower. Come to think of it: No, it was hauling water up from the creek in buckets. Actually: No, it was using up half a winter’s firewood in a fortnight!
This ice storm followed the last big one by 12 years. We’re about due for another.