Greetings from I-40 East outside of Memphis! (Don't worry. Ryan is driving as I type)
This past week was extremely hectic, and unfortunately stressful. I suppose we were paying the price for taking a break last week to indulge our fancies of watching a British Sci-Fi/Comedy, and spending one day being thankful for what we had.
It seemed the fates were against us all this week as far as our prop construction was concerned. Every time we took a step forward, we were then forced to take two big steps back.
It was extremely frustrating and time consuming.
On Thursday we knew that an ice storm was set to blow through the area, but I severely underestimated the impact it was going to have.
I woke up around 3:00 a.m. Friday morning to find that the power was out. There was freezing rain all night that accumulated on the power lines, trees, and everything in sight until the power was knocked out in different parts of town.
When I woke up in the morning I found out that the trees surrounding our trailers were all either losing limbs at an alarming rate, or simply falling over.
Ryan and I moved our houses out of danger's reach, which was no easy feat since everything was frozen: truck doors, windshields, jacks, etc.
Luckily I had the forethought to keep my water running all night, so I was able to use hot water to thaw a lot of ice. And no, I didn't put hot water on my windshield!
After getting situated, I went to the Circus City Diner to warm up and have some coffee.
The place was packed not only with regulars but also with the men taking a break from restoring power to parts of the town.
Apparently Friday was the biggest day of business the diner has experienced in its history, and they didn't open Saturday morning because they had run out of food.
I stayed indoors most of the day until my trailer battery died, which quickly got rid of our lights and heat.
After that we went around town vainly looking for a propane heater or an adaptor so I could use my new generator. Of course every store was sold out long ago since we didn't start looking until the evening.
I also tried to book a hotel room for the night, but again I was a day late and a dollar short.
Later in the evening, over dinner, we explained our situation to Radar and Elisa, who graciously offered to let us borrow their generator.
However, on the way to Winter Quarters we found out that our power had been restored. Hallelujah!
Many thanks to the people who worked long, difficult hours to get the power restored. We were very lucky that our outage only lasted about 14 hours; many homes are still without power.
The ice storm threw a big, cold monkey wrench in our plans for the weekend. Ryan and I were put way behind schedule.
On Sunday Ryan and I needed to drive to Dallas anyway to pick up our rental car, as well as to buy some materials and costumes that we are not able to get in Hugo.
Unfortunately we had another wrench thrown into our plans since a few of the businesses we needed to visit were closed on Sunday.
We still managed to have a fun and safe day in Dallas. Here's an interesting little anecdote from lunch at In 'N Out Burger.
While I was waiting for our order to come up, I heard one irate woman complain to anyone that was listening, "No french fry sauce! I can't wait to get back to Utah where I can get french fry sauce!"
At first I thought "french fry sauce" was Mormon slang for ketchup since she was leaving the ketchup dispenser as she griped, but upon further research, I found this:
Ryan accurately guessed what the secret ingredients of french fry sauce were before I found the article, and he found it amusing that she could have easily made it herself with supplies readily available at the restaurant instead of complaining about it.
While we were shopping in Dallas Ryan picked up a present for Tatiana since they just celebrated their 4th wedding anniversary.....without either of them realizing it until the day after.
Ah, sweet romance.
At the airport Ryan and I were able to pick up our rental car.
The roads going to Dallas were not bad at all, but things got a little dicy around downtown and the airport. All the bridges and overpasses still had sludge and icy residue on them, and on our way back from the airport, Ryan and I encountered a five lane section of Interstate that was completely covered with slush that had frozen again,
It was a scary scenario since you couldn't see the lines designating the lanes. Everyone just had to carefully make their own way across the treacherous tundra….it was kind of like playing the game, "Oregon Trail"! Only no one in my party died of dysentery.
Ryan and I got back to Hugo around 10 p.m., and then I went right to work packing and getting my trailer ready for my departure.
Unfortunately I was up way past my bedtime, and I only got about 3 1/3 hours of sleep before I had to roll out of bed at 5:00 a.m.
An hour later Ryan and I were on the road to Williamsport, PA for our first engagement with our winter tour of "'Twas The Gift Show Before Christmas".
I'll be updating the blog sporadically over the next two weeks with updates from the tour. Keep checking in so you don't miss a moment of the madness.
Wait, did I say madness? I meant Christmasy madness!