The Great Texas Freeze of ’21

About a month ago, it snowed for the first time in about a decade. I wrote a post about my snowy adventures, including plenty of drama of how I had to enjoy every millisecond of it because it wouldn’t snow here again for another ten years.

And then last week happened. A winter storm of unprecedented, historical significance. Practically a blizzard that made last month’s snow seem like a mere dusting.

Another ten years, huh?


This is awkward.

But nevertheless, seeing as this was such a historical event, I will be true to my storyteller self and chronicle this…shall we say…ordeal. With lots of completely unedited pictures, because they didn’t need to be edited.


Day 1 of this ordeal was a storm in which we were pelted with ice, sleet, crystals, and overall freezing rain. We lost power early in the evening and it was in the 30s, but did that stop me from going out?




Everything was glazed in ice, with thick, tiny icicles dropping down from leaves and berries. Because of all the extra weight, tree limbs hung several feet lower, branches drooped, and I walked into several of them. Accidentally at first, purposefully afterwards.

Don’t you just love the geometry??

Startlingly, the leaves clinked together like glass windchimes. When I brushed my hands over our rosemary bush, they remained firmly in place. Each little bud and needle was frozen solid. Solid. With wide eyes, I squished them and they cracked and creaked before finally breaking apart.

I couldn’t believe my eyes or my ears. Leaves are not supposed to make that sound, and they are certainly not supposed to be sturdy.

It was awesome.

I let out a wild laugh and zipped around the area, inspecting and exclaiming at every little branch, leaf, and living thing.

In the eloquent words of a friend: “When the ice is so smooth it looks like slime…”

Quite a sensation when literal cacti are frozen over with icicles dangling from their needles.

There were also, to my increasing stupefaction, several orange-breasted robins hopping around, and by several, I mean dozens and dozens and dozens. Pecking at the dirt, hopping like a kangaroo, flapping their wings and circling in for another round.

Yes, that’s a nerf dart, a remnant of ancient battles waged in the desolate fields of Nerph.

I was delighted.

When I finally went back in, Papa had the fire going, but the house was still dark and the power was still very much out. For the first time, I took a shower by candlelight, which was an…interesting…experience for a clumsy girl like me who trips in broad daylight. We also had a nice, romantic candlelight dinner, which instantly took me back to the medieval times, and even further to ancient Jewish times. It felt so magical, and at the same time so frustrating, because when everything is soaked in that soft, mostly-dim golden flickers, it’s hard to see what you’re eating or doing.

Sometimes I think I’d like to go back to the old days, but experiences like those remind me that I was placed in this century for a reason.

The next day, after a cold night, the power was thankfully fixed.


During the weekend, the temperature continued to plummet. 20s, then teens, and finally, on Monday morning, it was in the single digits.

I had never been anywhere near that cold before, not even that one time stranded in Chicago in January when I was pathetically un-prepared for the cold.

When I woke that morning, my mind was blown.

The waterfall in our pool was frozen. Running, flowing water…frozen solid mid-stream.

And there was snow everywhere. Heaps and heaps of snow, blanketing the roads, the deck, the poor plants, the roofs, the trees…everything. Unlike last time, it wasn’t dark and grey and snowing. This time, the skies were blue and the sun was shining brilliantly, making the snow sparkle and shimmer.

It was incredible.

It was also in the low teens outside, so I geared up in several layers until I looked like the Invisible Man:

The mask, for once, was appreciated as a marvelous tool to keep out the blizzardly winds, because unlike scarves, they stay firmly in place. Also unlike scarves, they’re ugly, but whatever.

Papa, my brother Micah, and I marched all around, aiming for the main highway because we were dying to see if there was anyone crazy driving. Along the way, I was astounded.

The roads were thick and filled with snow. Such beautiful, pristine, deliciously clean white snow…

…that I couldn’t resist stepping in.

Those poor, adorable, tiny, and definitely freezing little birds…

The creek wasn’t frozen but when we dropped chunks of snow down, they didn’t melt. They just floated. Like icebergs. *mind is blown again*

I back-flopped in the road and proceeded to make a snow angel.

At least I tried to.

In my defense, this is the second snow angel I’ve ever done in my life.

And then, after lots of trudging up hills and delightedly crunching snow, we arrived at the highway. It was so surreal to see it covered in white, and even more so to see several people brave enough (or crazy or desperate) enough to drive.

Back down the hill, the wind bit and chomped at my face. It wasn’t so bad with my mask, two pairs of glasses, hoods, and scarf on, but the aforementioned glasses kept fogging up and I ended up stumbling down the hill with my arms frantically waving in front of me.

We headed home to thaw out and eat lunch, then Micah and I took off again to continue our explorations.

This time we headed for a golf course, which was gorgeous in its rolling hills of perfectly smooth whiteness…

…that we single-handedly ruined. Pictured above is Micah dragging a rake-thing (presumably to haul in golf balls from sand pits – which were now snow pits) through the snow. This is actually more fun than it sounds.

Then we practiced forward rolls, as learned in Taekwondo and from action movies, and, to my delight, rolled down the hills. This is an activity that I have not participated in since first grade, ever since I discovered that I am allergic to grass in the most medically baffling way possible.

But thankfully I’m perfectly fine with snow, because I got covered all over in it.

On the way home, we saw a herd of the most beautiful, adorable deer. There are tons of them in this area and I never tire of smiling back at their large black eyes.

Thus ended Monday, one of the best and happiest days of my life.


The next few days were much more difficult. We lost gas on Tuesday, meaning no heat, no fire, no stove cooking…in icy cold weather. We did still have water, but we had to boil it in case of contamination, we couldn’t shower since it was so freezing cold, and even washing hands became a gasping, frantic ordeal. Thank God we still had power, otherwise I don’t know what we’d have done.

Papa evacuated his office and gathered with the rest of us into our little study room, where Micah and I have school. Dressed in several layers and with an electric heat lamp going (again, thank God for that lamp), we were able to work and study. At night, I moved my mattress into my parents’ room so my face wouldn’t, you know, freeze solid.

And despite everything, despite feeling like we’d been plunged into the Dark Ages, I felt immensely grateful. How many people did I know who were suffering with no heater, no power, no water, nothing? How many workers were shivering out there in the cold, laboring day and night to bring things back for us? I was uncomfortable, yes, but people have died and suffered from worse things than not showering for several days and waddling around under layers of clothing.

I had a loving family, I was warm, and I had a full belly. That was more than enough to make me happy.

When the gas was restored, the heater was fixed, the world melted out of icy clutches, and everything returned back to normal…you are absolutely right, that shower felt amazing. But I also made myself remember those rough few days. Because when I really thought about it, there was plenty awesome about them. I had grown closer to my family, I had gained a deep appreciation for those modern luxuries we all too often take for granted, and I had seen a huge flock of swooping birds.

Seriously, they were just flying all over the place…if you look closely, you’ll see that tree is bursting with our friends the robins, and adorably fat cedar waxwings.


And so, the (astonishingly long) chronicle of this ordeal ends. If you get anything out of this, get three things:

1. appreciate modern conveniences

2. appreciate God’s artistic mastery over geometric ice

3. appreciate fluffy bird bellies

Need I say more?

12 thoughts on “The Great Texas Freeze of ’21

  1. I LOVE THIS. SERIOUSLY. (glad y’all were okay with the power outages and everything too!)

    And the ice is so crazy. We got ice like that several weeks before the Big Snow and I tried to take pictures because WHOA WHOA WHOA. The grass clumps looked like anemones??? But then they just…softly squished under your feet. Not like grass at all. It was all so beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Goodness. I still can’t believe all of that happened in TEXAS. I’m so glad you guys were okay through it all ❤

    Those birds though… xD I can just imagine them cheeping at each other and saying, "WHAT ON EARTH IS GOING ON WE WERE SUPPOSED TO BE SAFE FROM SNOW HERE!"

    Liked by 1 person

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