As I write the temperature is roughly 30 and heading for 24 Fahrenheit. Many places I have lived would view this as warm for this time of year, but not here in America’s City: Houston, Texas. We are not ready for ice. Once I saw a newscaster marvel when breaking a piece off a car: “this is frozen water.”
If that makes you laugh, you who live in colder climes, then remember that there are millions of drivers here that needed to hear that truth: “this is frozen water.” They do not understand, they do not know frozen bridges, and our roads are not built with such temperatures in mind. Last week it was in the seventies and next Sunday the seventies will return. Our plants were blooming and allergies were on the rise. Now our overpasses, built to soar high in the air, are frozen and slick with ice and few know how to drive in such conditions.
The freeze has come and one can mock us, but we face something for which we are unprepared. Trust us when hard rains, high humidity, and blistering temperatures come to the northeast of America, we have a chuckle at the complaints about heat and humidity. That is half our year. We live where the globe is always is always warm. The unexpected is difficult and now this place, Houston, where the air is thick and comforting now has thin, cold, chilly air.
The freeze is here and for us it is weirdly cold.
The plants are filling the dining room table here at Saint Anne’s Villa (on no hill whatsoever) and the garage has Nessie’s favorite lemon tree. The stained glass of Saint Anne and Saint Joan have sleet hitting against the outer pains. This is different.
Different often makes us afraid. Roads that any decent driver in Rochester, New York would negotiate with ease are perilous to our brave Houston drivers. We knew how to defeat Harvey, but this is new to us. They saw we might get five inches of snow. Wayne County New York laughs, but we have no snow plows, just as they have no bayous to drain a hurricane.
We are, therefore, staying put for now. We have driven in blizzards and twenty below. We now winter weather, but our City does not. The unexpected is dangerous.
So it is in life: the unexpected is dangerous. We are not prepared and so might panic.
Bluntly life is full of risks and there is no excuse not to prepare for those. If you live in Houston and have no plan for a hurricane, then shame on you. If you live in Rochester and have no plan for an ice storm, then what is wrong with your mind? I recall waking up in Rochester and hearing explosions, louder than any fireworks, all around us. The trees were snapping under the pressure of a sudden freeze. The ice dropped limbs and power lines. We watched our line fall in the backyard and set off white sparks. We turned off everything, turned off the pilot light, and waited.
We made it.
Only the fool is deceived by commercials into thinking that some produce, some magic charm, can keep us from our doom. God is in Heaven and all will come to judgment. The world is a complex place and we fool around on the edges. Even the slightest anomaly breaks our systems and slows down our society. Mayhap we should know this and live as if the unexpected is expected. We should know that the unexpected can and will happen.
God knows. We live for eternity, moving from these shadow lands, to light eternal. That is certain. The rest is as it is.
So it goes.