Ice!

Trees coated in ice today.
Trees coated in ice today.

 

We’ve had an ice storm for 2 days. Everything looks as if it is coated in glass. Kaitlin was carrying in groceries the other day and must have dropped a dental floss package outside her door.  Now, she says, she can see the white plastic container, but she can’t pick it up because it’s under a deep clear coating of glossy ice.

The trees make a beautiful noise when the wind blows.  I like watching thin little “branches” of ice blow off the birch trees occasionally, but we’ve heard that in other parts of Cook County, where the ice coating is thicker, the falling shards are dangerous. Ours have mostly been about the size of drinking straws and are fairly benign. (Bob went out for a walk and reports that actually they are more like half tubes of ice and are bigger than they first appear.)

 

The forecast looks great:

PERIODS OF FREEZING RAIN ARE EXPECTED TO CONTINUE THIS EVENING
AND TONIGHT ACROSS THE NORTH SHORE AND ARROWHEAD OF NORTHEAST
MINNESOTA…AS TEMPERATURES REMAIN NEAR OR BELOW FREEZING.
ADDITIONAL ICE ACCUMULATIONS OF A QUARTER INCH ARE
POSSIBLE…WITH SOME HIGHER AMOUNTS IN THE HIGH TERRAIN AREAS
INLAND FROM THE SHORELINE….

ICE ACCUMULATIONS ON ROAD SURFACES WILL MAKE TRAVEL EXTREMELY
DANGEROUS OR IMPOSSIBLE.

The all caps weather warnings make them seem even more disturbing.  I left out  all the sharply worded phrases about falling trees, dangerous electrical wires, power outages and carbon monoxide poisoning. 

Of course, everyone in this family has travel plans.  Quinn is returning from coaching in St. Cloud as I type–phoneless, because his cell phone went missing. I can’t even warn him to LET SOMEONE KNOW YOUR TRAVEL ROUTE AND EXPECTED ARRIVAL TIME AND HAVE A WORKING CELL PHONE IN CASE YOU BECOME STRANDED.  Kaitlin & Bob are heading to Indiana University in the morning, where she has a meeting for grad school.  And I’m supposed to pick up a staff member’s friend in Duluth at noon.  This was not quite the weather we were envisioning when these plans were made.

A positive note, though — much of Cook County had no power today.  Counting our blessings, we have lights, working  internet service and a great view of  the icy, jingling trees.

ADDENDUM: I spoke too soon. Count our blessings, we have candles, dial up, and a laptop with an 85% charge.  The main power line into the county has gone down.

I wonder where Quinn is on his journey back. 

(People have been asking whether Quinn arrived safely.  Yes, he made it back at about 12:30 AM, relatively unfazed by a grueling drive through rain, fog, ice pellets and falling trees.  Sitting here in the dark waiting and wondering, I was probably more stressed out by his drive than he was.)

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