The weatherman says a winter storm might be on the way. Of course, by the time you read this it will have either come or not. Normally I would be somewhat excited about the prospect of a power outage and frozen pipes, because it would give me a chance to flex all the survival skills I watch on television. Now, though, with the COVID keeping me down, I don’t quite have the energy to entertain my two children on my own and we don’t have a working fireplace to keep us toasty. I’m hoping the electricity continues to function.

I did go get all of my kindling and put it in the laundry room in case I need to cook on a fire. Of course, I don’t really have any dry wood besides that, but maybe it’d be enough to roast a hotdog if it comes down to it.

I remember when I was a kid and it came a big ice storm. I don’t remember whether or not the power went out. Things probably wouldn’t have been that bad if it had, since it was back when there wasn’t anything on TV anyway. There were no cell phones to charge and stare at all day long, and we had a wood stove.

I do remember that ice was much more fun to play in than snow.

We were out of school an entire week and each day that the ice didn’t melt was a day I spent outside, socks on my hands because I didn’t have proper gloves.

Our pond froze over, and I watched as my brother and his friends rode their four wheelers around it in circles and was jealous as they slid across it on a piece of slick metal.

It seems like they did pull me on a car hood across a frozen field, but I was never allowed on the pond.

My memory is fuzzy about a lot of that week. I remember attempting to ice skate on my roller blades and trying to fashion a sled out of all sorts of material. I know I had fun.

And, on Friday the ice had melted in the valley and me and Mama took off for a day in town.

Weeks like this, I sure wish I was back home. Our land is completely flat here. I couldn’t tell you where the nearest hill is. Sledding is no fun without hills. On the plus side, all the water in the swamp behind our house will probably freeze and we can slip and slide around on that. Although, I probably should not be out in the elements and risk taking pneumonia.

COVID is no joke. It has left me tired and short of breath and I didn’t even have it that bad. And the worst part is my family doesn’t think I need to be outside and they refuse to bring my kayak so that I can paddle down our ditch and really explore the swamp behind our house. This would have been the perfect week to take that trip, because the water moccasins surely would not harm me in an ice storm.

Maybe things won’t get that bad. Just think warm thoughts.

Danielle Wallingsford Kirkland is a former Sentinel staff writer and correspondent. She can be reached at

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