Iceolation. How to stay positive about the 2014 ice storm.

Stay positive. That’s what I’m going to. I’m going to stay positive.

As we dig out from under the devastating ice storm of last week, I have decided I will focus on the good things that came from the past week. So to that end:

  • The four humans, two dogs, two snakes and tortoise that live under this roof were all unharmed during the storm. And we also found out that the six mammals in this house have very good reflexes. We found that out Thursday morning, as we all slept huddled in a single, powerless room of our house and a huge tree branch crashed on the roof and slid down the side of our house. All six of us were on our feet in roughly four nanoseconds. The reptiles were in another room, but I assume they were just as quick to respond.
  • I had planned to trim several of the trees in my yard. While not exactly using a surgeon’s touch, Mother Nature did remove quite a few of the branches I had eyed for removal by spring.
  • I had a memorable Valentine’s Day with my whole family. My parents and sisters were all without power, so we decided to all rally at my parents’ house with some KFC by candlelight and family togetherness. Romantic? Nope. But something that will always serve to remind me of the importance of family? Yep.
KFC by candlelight. A new Valentine's Day tradition?
KFC by candlelight. A new Valentine’s Day tradition?
  • I live in a great neighborhood. Cul-de-sac clean-up day was a lot of hard work, but it was nice to do it side by side with folks looking to lend a hand wherever they could. Granted, I prefer our cul-de-sac get-togethers when it does not involve downed forests, but remember – I’m staying positive.
  • The fence around my pool is very durable. During the 2004 ice storm, it took a pretty good beating. It has apparently strengthened, as all of the limbs that hit it did minimal damage, and I was able to bend everything back in shape. I will also say that such bending of metal is clear proof of my super-human strength. At least, that’s what I’m telling the kids.
  • My kids got to experience an earthquake. It’s a busy news week when an earthquake takes second fiddle on the hot topic list, but I’m glad to say my kids were awake for it, and that they can hopefully never experience one again.
  • On three different occasions, the blade of the chain saw I was using came off. And all three times, the blade was successfully reattached. And twice it was by me. That is a repair record for me. Normally, when a machine breaks on me, it might as well burst into flames and the get hit by a meteor.
  • Planning ahead paid off. I moved my car to a neighbor’s driveway, one that is not covered by trees. When I awoke to find the spot where my car normally lives covered in a massive pile of snapped tree branches, I felt some vindication. Little victories…
Below that pile of limbs is where my car normally parks.
Below that pile of limbs is where my car normally parks.
  • My nephew learned the valuable skill of snapping off the ends of green beans. While my powerless sister did a load of laundry at my fully energized house, Nicholas was hanging out here. I said, “Hey, Nicholas – you know what’s super fun and awesome? Snapping the ends off of green beans! Wanna try it!” “YEAH!!!!” he said. It was toward the end he realized Uncle Mike had played him.
Nicholas learns the super fun art of snapping green beans.
Nicholas learns the super fun art of snapping green beans.
  • The birds were quite nice to look at. I filled all of my feeders prior to the storm, and I enjoyed looking out over the carnage of my backyard and being able to be distracted by saying, “Hey, a goldfinch!

So hopefully the winter storms are behind us (just as I thought they were two weeks ago). I’m going to do my best to continue to stay positive and keep moving forward. And winter will soon be over, and I’ll be glad to bid it farewell. And I’m positive about that.

Mike Gibbons was born and raised in Aiken, S.C. A graduate of the University of Alabama, you can e-mail him at or follow him on Twitter @StandardMike.


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