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I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

IWSG - Snowvid 2021 - Being Thankful

Posting the First Wednesday of every month, the Insecure Writer's Support Group, is the brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh. YOU can sign up HERE to participate.

Every month a question will be posed that may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Remember, the question is optional. You can write about anything that relates to your writing journey.

Let's give a warm welcome to our co-hosts:   Sarah - The Faux Fountain Pen Jacqui Murray, Chemist Ken, Victoria Marie Lees, Natalie Aguirre, and JQ Rose!

This month's question is: Everyone has a favorite genre or genres to write. But what about your reading preferences? Do you read widely or only within the genre(s) you create stories for? What motivates your reading choice?

I read just about anything, except horror. I don't read much in the way of mysteries, but I do like me an occasional Tony Hillerman or Carl Hiaasen. In fiction I like a good historical romance, some science fiction and fantasy, the classics, literary and humorous novels, the occasional western and, of course, children's lit in all shapes and sizes. In non-fic I enjoy biography, autobiography, true crime, and history, philosophy, and books on religion/spirituality. I also like short story anthologies when I find a good one. In choosing what to read, it's sometimes because I know/like the author. Otherwise, I read the blurb, I check out the first page or two (or first chapter or two), or I ask people who have read the book what they thought. I've always been eclectic in my reading because a good book takes me to different places around the world and universe that I would otherwise never be able to visit personally.
***
Snowvid 2021 
or
The Great Texas Snowmageddon

By now, I'm sure most of you are aware that Texas took it on the chin during the days of February 11 through February 19. I won't get into the politics of why things got so bad for so many. Suffice it to say incompetence, mismanagement, money and greed had a lot to do with the power problems which led to deaths and to an incredible amount of water damage due to burst pipes. Many roads, like the one we live on, have been turned into wash boards.

Hubby and I were extremely blessed (it's almost embarrassing to say) in that we had power and water throughout. Plus we have a gas stove and were fairly well prepared with water and food set aside. (His experiences of winters in Ohio and my experiences of growing up in the Virgin Islands proved beneficial.) I personally know SO MANY people who lost power and water, anywhere from a few hours, to dealing with rolling black outs, to having no power for a few days, to having no power the entire 8 days. Areas just 35 miles northwest of where I live had ice an inch thick with 8 inches of snow. They won't be getting power back until sometime in March because of all the power poles that snapped under the weight of the ice. 

In the aftermath many homes and apartment buildings in my town have water damage and repairs are going to take time. It's a mess...

Let me say for the record, I've been through cold weather here. In December of 1989 we got down to 4 degrees (we got down to 6 with a wind chill of -8). In January of 1985 there was a blizzard that dumped 13 inches of snow. One time we had three ice storms before Thanksgiving. In between those times we've had other snow falls of 2 to 4 inches. We've had other ice storms. And hail storms. What makes this event so different is the duration. All of the others have lasted only 2 to 3 days. Usually it snows and the next day it melts away, even that 13 inches. But this was 8 solid days where the temperature never got above freezing. 

People here mostly have all electric homes. If they have a fireplace it's decorative - for ambiance don't you know. Our homes aren't built or insulated the way they are up north, to hold in heat. They're built to keep them cool in the summer, to wick heat away...

These pictures don't really do it justice, and I know many of you deal with ice and snow all winter long, but this is Texas and it was weird. The spookiest part was how quiet it got with no one out driving around and all we could hear was the trees crackling as the wind blew through their ice coated branches. 


Bird feeder with the first beginnings of a coating of ice.
Yard after the first snow

Sage in second coating of ice.
Two foot long icicle.


Chimenea with 4 inches of snow.
Never, in the 35 years of passing by this low-water crossing almost every day, have I ever even seen ice along it's edges. 
Let alone the whole pond frozen over. 
Granted, it's a shallow pond, but still, it covers a pretty large area and it was ice from bank to bank.
The heart of Texas, battered, but a survivor, like this prickly pear.

Being Thankful

I am extremely thankful and blessed that we came through this unscathed.
I am also extremely thankful for warm days and sunshine.

What are you thankful for? Are you an eclectic reader or do you stick to one or two genres? Or do you read the kinds of stories your write?

41 comments:

  1. A few year ago, we lost power for four days after a winter storm. Now, this is New England, so it's not unheard of, but it was such misery. That's all I could think of when reading about Texas...how miserable those days were for us and we were supposedly prepared for it. What a nightmare. I am glad you did OK through it, Bish.

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    1. Losing power in the winter for ANYONE is hard. I harken back to our ancestors and wonder how they did it!

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  2. Considering how many were without power and water, what a blessing you didn't lose yours. Our area doesn't see much snow either so when a big storm hits, it's chaos. Although quiet chaos as everyone is trapped at home.

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    1. Indeed, Alex. We feel/felt SO blessed. Not something to be taken for granted.

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  3. Its blessing that you had power and water. Stay safe and stay blessed, Bish!

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  4. It was just insane what happened in Texas. My best friend Kerri was without power and water for 3 days. She said that first warm shower was pure Heaven.

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    1. Three days is bad, but I know people who didn't get power back until just this past week-end. An estimated 2000 power pole were down.

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  5. What an experience! So glad you were safe. I have 2 friends in TX, both lost power. Fortunately they both had family nearby who had a gas heater/fireplace, so they camped out in their family's one room to keep warm for a few days. All have returned home safely and with no damage to their homes. It is so easy to take our comforts for granted.
    JQ Rose

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    1. I'm glad your friends had a warm place to stay for the duration. And VERY happy their home was undamaged.

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  6. Hi Bish - Texas all sounded so awful ... I'm glad you were safe and seemingly relatively unscathed. Having lived through our 1962/3 era: 10 weeks of snow, ice, freeze and then huge melt for a few weeks afterward - I understand some of it - and I really don't like the chill and cold. All the best - Hilary

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    1. 10 weeks!? Yikes. 8 days and we were out of commission. I'm not liking the cold too much either...

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  7. I live in Nova Scotia and our winters can be fairly snowy and cold. We have lots of power outages because they put the lines too close. For five years my fella and I lived in Labrador - that is sub-arctic but so dry that it isn't too bad comparatively. I'm sorry you guys had to deal with this on top of everything else going on. I'm glad you did alright through it. Thanks for coming by my site and glad we share dharma reading...

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    1. I don't think I live up north. Weeks and weeks of cold I think would make me crazy. I know people acclimatize or *get used* to it, but in my bone of bones I'll always be an island tropic girl.

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  8. I read most everything but horror too. And I'm really glad you had heat and water during the terrible Texas weather. My late husband was from Dallas, and I've been going there for over 30 years. I know that Texas can't handle winter weather very well. I'm glad my in-laws and other family members had heat and water throughout the storm.

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    1. Oh, I'm glad for you in-laws as well. For those of us who have it, we were more than lucky or fortunate, we were blessed.

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  9. We're currently in a warm part of Arizona so seeing your pictures of the snow makes me shiver. The storms were so horrible. Glad you guys came out okay.

    Tony Hillerman - love those book! I'm enjoying reading everyone's posts this month as they're giving me ideas for new books to read and old favorites to re-read.

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    1. Personally, I'm glad all that's left IS pictures! And I'm enjoying reading everyone's posts as well. Everyone has so many interests.

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  10. While the pictures are beautiful, I know those temperatures were miserable for so many Texans. Glad you were safe and with some of the comforts. I have my fireplace, but they're trying to eliminate those along with gas stoves. We lose electricity so often, that not having either of those backups is scary.

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    1. I don't think I would EVER give up my gas stove! They'd have to haul me off in handcuffs.

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  11. You are an eclectic reader, Bish. I love Tony Hillerman, not as much his niece who's taken over the franchise. She is good, just not the same.

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    1. I agree. There's something missing. For me it's the beautiful descriptions of the expansive country.

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  12. I am glad that you escaped the worse of Snowmageddon and feel for those who did not.
    Like you I read from most genres. Familiar authors are a temptation and also like you I need to read the first few pages. I also read the last few - including in non-fiction books.
    Thanks for participating in Words For Wednesday. I am still smiling at your contribution.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed my contribution to Words for Wednesday. First thing I've "written" in over a year!

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    2. I was very, very grateful that you came back again this week - and am still smiling at your seasonal contribution. Thank you.

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  13. This storm gave a whole new meaning to Texas Tough. I read everything, and we were without power for 21 hours. We never lost water, though. #thankful

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    1. Yikes, no power! I'm glad it was "only" 21 hours and that you never lost power.

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  14. I'm glad that you survived with water and electricity, Bish. What happened in Texas was a tragedy and a travesty. I always keep food and water on hand, along with other emergency supplies ~ kudos to living in the Canadian North. I love Tony Hillerman's writing too, and I've visited some of the places he wrote about. Stay safe in Texas!

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    1. Oh brrr... Just thinking about the Canadian north makes me cold! Years ago, before I had read any Hillerman, I drove through areas he described in his books.

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  15. Glad you were able to keep power and water through the storm!

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  16. I also read a lot of different genres, usually I have several books going at once. I tend to get bored of one genre/writer, although I go through reading jags where I read everything by a particular writer. So glad that you made it through the storm! Those pictures are unbelievable!

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    1. I think I read broadly for the same reason, that I'd get bored sticking to one genre and/or writer. However, being a slow reader I usually have only one book going at a time.

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  17. Like you, I read a lot of genres--even kids books. I love Paddington Bear. LOL.

    Glad you made it through the freeze!

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  18. Oh Bish! I feel so sorry for your fellow neighbors in Texas. Although your photos are beautiful, they show how cruel nature can be for the unsuspecting. You said homes in Texas aren't built to hold heat--and they're mostly electric. Yikes!

    You have the right attitude, of course. Being thankful is the way to look at these situations.

    I love reading widely too, Bish. Thanks for a great post. All best to you and your neighbors in Texas!

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  19. We watched the horror unfold on tv. It must have been frightening. I think of the little children unable to understand. Probably worse for teenagers because they're so reliant on their devices. We prepped for rollouts here in Nayarit, but they never happened. At one point I had 4 buckets full of water on the floor in our bathroom. Cold weather I understand. I'm Canadian. But no power and no water is not what I'd call fun. Glad you're okay, Bish.

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  20. I'm so glad you survived the snow, ice, & power loss. My heart goes out to those who had so many problems. We saw on the news how bad things were. Some people scoff at those who prepare for disasters. I believe in it.

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  21. I read like you do. So glad you were prepared even though you couldn't have expected. I feel so bad for those who weren't so lucky.

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  22. I had friends and family in both Texas and Oregon over the same span of days from ice storms. We got snow here in Colorado, but nothing out of the usual. Ice storms are a whole different beast, and not something we get here much. And even here, the cold and bad weather certainly don't last as long as 8 days. All that to say, I definitely feel (and felt) for those I knew going through that.

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  23. The clean up after receiving cold weather your area isn't used to can be so expensive!

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  24. I'm glad you came through what looks like a horrific and terrifying weather event. The pictures look beautiful but don't put across the damage that was done.

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Your Random Thoughts are most welcome!