By Delilah McMasters
This is my story and I’m sticking with it.
Back in 2021 we had the worst Texas blizzard of my lifetime. It lasted weeks and was a foot deep in places. It was toward the end of the great COVID-19 pandemic that lasted a hundred months. Texas was mere moments from shutting down its power grid, water mains were bursting all over the place, and the grocery stores were empty of chips and Valentine’s candy! It was more quality time with our kids that we desperately needed!
First and foremost, if you are a homegrown Texan, our bits and bodies are not made for anything under 30 degrees. What this means is at the slightest mention of snow, sleet, ice or 29 degrees we start layering our pajamas, hanging the heirloom quilts in doorways and on windows, and clearing out all the shelves of every grocery store. Essentially, we show our kids how to make the ultimate blanket fort and hoard Oreos, bread and milk, and fret about each forecast. Then we hunker down with them kids and count our blessings. Meanwhile, we instantly feel the judgment of our Northern transplanted neighbors as they start taking walks in their LL Bean coats and flexing with their snow shovels.
But this time it was different! The electricity started being wonky. Then the water either stopped or went to a trickle. Everyone kept losing power and water pipes kept bursting. And then it all lasted more than two days and yeah, it was a right cluster of a mess. Even them Northern transplants stopped tromping around like it was a day at the beach.
The Friday before the Big Freeze, the Drama Squad, Lila and Izzy, called me at work and asked to go to the store for supplies and groceries. It was a proud mom moment for sure! Sending my babies out to hoard eggs and toilet paper! I warned them I would only be making dinner, maybe breakfast, they were on their own for lunch. I would not be standing in the kitchen all day, I was looking forward to this mini vacation and grilled cheese sandwiches.
The first couple of days were awesome - the snow, the sledding, the bundling up in layers of pajamas. Then I discovered the grocery run I had approved had secured chocolate-covered donuts, muffins, Reese’s peanut butter cups, hot Cheetos, a bag of salad, one package of bacon, bagels, cream cheese, fruit, candy apples and juice. Instead of snow storm provisions, we had planned a slumber party with a bunny for entertainment.
But then the Drama Squad invited more kids with no power over, and the Moody Mob took up space in my blanket fort and partied and munched through the kitchen like locusts. And they kept trying to charge devices and looking at me like I hadn’t paid the electric bill or was personally responsible for them not being able to take bubble baths and warm showers. Did I mention how much they ate? It was a never-ending TikTok, feeding frenzy with complimentary home-cooked dinners in the evening by the glow of the fireplace, with a side of hissy fits or flouncy attitudes.
I read three books while trying to avoid the estrogen levels, along with the anime shows, Storage Wars and a half dozen other teen series being binge watched during the boredom By the end of this month-long week, I had a pile of wash, no Febreze or snacks left in the house, was hiding in my walk-in closet with the last of the Valentine’s Day candy and contemplating how soon before the next disaster would hit Texas and how many donuts and hot Cheetos would be required to keep the Drama Squad and Mob happy
Reality: A week of harsh conditions and we all opened our blanket forts and our hearts and took care of each other. Our kids are learning to be resilient, and what family means. We might not have snow shovels, but we do have Frito-Lay!
Delilah McMasters is a local resident and the mother of six. Reach her at BlessYourHeart76063@gmail.com
Mansfield, Texas, is a booming city, nestled between Fort Worth and Dallas, but with a personality all its own. The city’s 76,247 citizens enjoy an award-winning school district, vibrant economy, historic downtown, prize-winning park system and community focus spread across 37 square miles. The Mansfield Record is dedicated to reporting city and school news, community happenings, police and fire news, business, food and restaurants, parks and recreation, library, historical archives and special events. The city’s only online newspaper launched in September 2020 and will offer introductory advertising rates for the first three months at three different rates.