The Big Chill

By Nancy Black

My tulips are confused, and so am I. I just got through taking all my plants back outside, after moving them inside to protect them from the cold. Now I have to bring them back in? I have winter weather PTSD.

Post-traumatic stress syndrome is a very serious disorder, so please don’t think I am using the term lightly. I truly have increased anxiety when there is the threat of cold weather in Texas. Why? Because I, like most of you, survived the deep freeze of 2021 in the state, and it really messed with my state of mind.

Last month, local meteorologists predicted a huge ice storm. “It won’t be as bad as last year, but be prepared,” they all said. The next few days were cold and icy, but the state did not lose power, so at least we had lights and heat. 

Then I heard a news anchor say, “Now it’s time for the big thaw!” with such enthusiasm one would think Dallas had been buried under a huge glacier. I pictured people in our northern states, who spend months submerged in snow and ice, laughing at us “Texas weather wimps.”

“Did ya hear that, Ma?” the farmer says as he comes inside from shoveling five feet of snow from his driveway after tending to his animals all morning. “They had one eighth of an inch of ice and sleet in Dallas! How will those people survive?”

I survive by stocking up on Dr Pepper, gas and food — both for me and my pets. I make sure the filter in my heating system is clean, so I don’t waste energy. And I don’t drive on icy roads unless I absolutely have to.

That’s all fine and dandy if you can work from home. But what about those people who have to get out of their houses and go to work? Many of them were left stranded by Dallas Area Rapid Transit’s (DART) decision not to run a normal schedule on the Friday after our second “winter storm.” 

Not most, ALL of the streets were clear of any ice or snow by that time, yet the buses and trains still remained on a Sunday schedule. DART had a lot of explaining to do at the next city council meeting and promised better service in the future. 

Well, the future is here.

The weather minds in our area are predicting, once again, cold and possibly icy conditions for this coming weekend. So, I stocked up on groceries (including Dr Pepper, of course) this morning, topped my car off with gas and will bring my plants back inside before the winter weather returns. I just hope my tulips know what to do.