What is a monkeybox?

When I was a little girl, we had a pet monkey named Amanda. My Dad worked in the produce business, so each night he brought home that days culls in a big box - spotty cucumbers, pithy apples, limp celery, moldy oranges and the like. We called it a monkeybox. It was really just trash, but my Mom would take each piece of fruit and trim it, pare it and cut it up to make a beautiful fruit platter for Amanda. Even though it was deemed trash by one, it still had life left in it and was good for the purpose we needed it. That's how I live my life - thrifting, yard saling, looking for another's trash to be my treasure.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ice Storm 2009

An ice storm moved through Tuesday morning downing electricity to over 100,000 people. Our power went out Tuesday at noon and much to our delight and approval came back on again at about 6:00 tonight - Thursday. It is like a war zone outside. There is not a tree left intact. I have never witnessed the things I have seen and heard. The noise of a tree breaking is a noise I will not soon forget. The first night in the dark and cold was absolutely terrifying. Tree upon tree cracking, breaking and falling. Outside our house we have two of the largest trees on the entire block. The one out closest to the street was the first to fall. It lost one branch that fell across the street. I called 911 to report the down limb was blocking the street. A downed limb doesn't sound as bad as it was, it was a 200 year old tree and that limb was as big as a full grown normal tree. It took five firemen with as many chainsaws to cut it up and make a path wide enough for one car to pass. After they left, our tree started losing branches. One by one, they came crashing down through the other branches, dropping ice like shattered glass on everything. We held our breath waiting for one to crash through the bay window or through the roof, but it never did. Actually, one did poke through the roof, but it is hopefully minor and can be fixed easily and inexpensively. The whole street, town, surrounding towns and counties are in a State of Emergency. The Red Cross and FEMA are enroute. The grocery stores are open for awhile,t then the generators go down and they have to shut down. It is like something out of a movie - literally hundreds of cars trying to get into and out of the parking lots. The gas stations are lined up ten deep per pump. The few fast food restaurants that are open are packed with people eating and trying to stay warm. Yesterday Chick fil A had lines of power strips out for people to recharge their cell phones, laptops and DVD players. Everyone is really nice and looking out for one another. My neighbors not more than thirty feet away have had power the entire time (A particularly hard pill to swallow for a certain Bean) and have been bringing me coffee and charging our appliances too. They have fifteen people staying with them right now too. This is Arkansas - we are not prepared for ice storms. We had several big candles and a few flashlights, but that was it. We are in an all electric home, so no heat, no hot water, no cooking. We ate up the peanut butter and some bags of donuts. Pretty healthy, huh? We were about to start eating cans of cold vegetables. Which we could have easily done, but I am happy that we didn't have to do that after all. I am so very happy that everyone in my family had phone service the entire time or I would have gone bonkers worrying about everyone. My Mom is still without power and she is in a very rural area, so it may take some time.
I leave you with some of the over 400 photos I have taken so far.


House at the end of my street. Even more sadly is that the poor people actually just bought the house and moved in today. No power to boot!



Our house and tree BEFORE it hit. See the lovely ELECTRICITY coming in from the window. It went out about three minutes after this photo was taken. The tree is still standing, but pretty sparse.

The "limb" across the road. Such a mess to clean up everywhere.





Trees across the street from my house.

Even in the destruction, there is beauty.


Weeping willow encrusted in ice. Really awesome.
Side view of our yard. That "was" a wrought iron archway. It is now crushed. Not of that stuff should be in the yard. The privacy fence is crushed too.

Even the sun had a snotsicle. What a few days this has been. We have power, but there is along row to hoe getting stores back open, schools open, jobs up and running. Food will be short due to the massive power outages. It is pretty scary - nothing I have ever dealt with and hope to not deal with again. Thank you!

14 comments:

  1. Hey, Shara - I was going to e-mail you saying I hoped you were OK there but (duh) you wouldn't get e-mail if you didn't have power. I'm glad you've got electricity - isn't it wonderful? I've been in 1.5 ice storms (hard to explain - in one, on the edge of one) and nobody quite gets it - like they think that once everything thaws, everything is back to normal. Good luck with the cleanup, and be careful and all of that. Thinking of you and your neighbors - Barbara

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  2. Wow, Shara, you have been in my thoughts alot lately. I hope that it doesn't get any worse for you. Keep us up to date on your mom! Take care and keep warm!

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  3. How scary! So what is it that makes the trees fall down? They just get so cold they freeze and snap? I've never been in an ice storm. I would a happy that your tree feel in the street and not on your house. Not that having your tree fall down is anything to be happy about as it was a beautiful big tree.

    You are so right about beauty being found everywhere. Even when things seem so bad it's still there if you look.

    Had to laugh at the sun!

    Did you ever get my package?

    Hugs,
    Joanne

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  4. THANK GOODNESS you are all okay! ...and hey - at least you had just cleaned out the freezer 8-)!!

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  5. Holy Moly!~~~I'm glad you have your power back! Yikes! Be careful out there!~~~XXOO, Beth

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  6. OMG Shara...I've been watching all this stuff on the news, and thanking God that I'm in a warm place...and not knowing that anyone I "know" {blog-wise} has been personally affected. Read your post this AM and my heart and prayers go out to you and your neighbors, for a quick recovery from the bitter cold. And even in the face of adversity, you make us smile...snotsicle, indeed!!! Warm thoughts from Florida...*elaine*

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  7. I know exactly what you are talking about...we had the Jan. of '07 storm. We were in the thinking process of building a house and had ALMOST decided to go all electric due to the gas prices....then the storm hit. Yep, we now have a house w/ woodstove and gas. We were piled in my in-laws house for a week w/ two other families.
    I know it is hard to believe, we do look back on it with fondness, because EVERYTHING had to shut down....no trying to get to work, no errands that could be done...etc. We do have generators that can hook up to the electric box and I would suggest you get one if you can afford or find one. It looks like this might be a norm in the winters now.....we just barely missed the one that hit you. We've been out of school all week though....
    I'm glad all is good and you are safe.

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  8. Just yesterday it occurred to me that you guys were likely powerless. I had a look at a power map for down there (also looking to see if my brother is out), but it showed your area as good. HA!

    We've been through that twice in the last two years, and that dead silence combined with the breaking trees really is a horrifying noise.

    Hope you guys are warm and well fed soon.

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  9. I've been worried about you! I knew your blog silence meant that you guys had no electricity. How scary! I can deal with big snow storms--they're inconvenient, but not destructive and scary like ice storms seem to be. I'm so glad that big tree isn't in the middle of your living room right now! Stay warm, I'll be thinking of you.

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  10. Glad you're okay. The pictures are awesome.

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  11. I know the sound you are talking about. During Katrina the sound of the pine trees breaking and falling was very frightening! I'm glad your house is in tact and your power is back on. Nature is a powerful thing. Stay warm!

    M

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  12. I was afraid that would be the case, when you didn't update your blog for several days. Been there, done that in Dec. 07 and I sympathise with you. It's not fun. I'm glad that you are all ok. It's very scary to have to go through that, the tree limbs, etc. It will take a long while to get through the after effects, such as tree limbs. I always keep a few days worth of canned food & bottled water on hand, along with essential personal items and always, ALWAYS toilet paper as it's not something you want to run out of. People will pull together and take care of each other, be safe!

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  13. PocketChange12:16 AM

    Shara,
    Glad to hear that you're okay! I have lived through an ice storm too, and you're right about the sound, nothing like hearing a cracking sound outside (whether in the day or night)! LOL! That next hot shower will feel WONDERFUL! And, loved your photos too; you're right about that too, as devastating as an ice storm can be, if you're safe, and have some electricity, it CAN be beautiful!

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  14. I'm used to ice storms (or at least have lived through them lol) but YIKES that sux!

    I feel for your neighborhood, your photos tell a story so well, and hope the breadman didn't have too much drama with the hill folk and the bread.

    NO HEAT...BRRR! Glad you are back up!

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