So, Atlanta's had an ice storm this weekend. Freezing rain and sleet started Friday night and continued most of Saturday. I woke up Saturday morning to a partly white yard--the grass didn't get covered, but the patio and pinestraw-covered areas of the yard were covered in what looked like snow. On closer examination (Fish and I went out--he bounded vigorously across the yard with only the occasional foot-shake to note the new groundcover), it was more an accumulation of sleet--big granules. But the kids next door found that it would pack sufficiently like snow to make a 12-inch high snowman. OK, maybe 14 inches. But that was about it.
It being Saturday, and this being Atlanta which doesn't do well with wintry conditions on the roads, I stayed home and tackled some filing projects while listening to the audiobook of The Curse of Chalion. My father called mid-afternoon to ask how thick the ice was (about 1/2 inch on the top of the birdfeeder at that point), and I foolishly told him that the trees didn't look too bowed down with the ice load. About 15 minutes later came a WHOMP!, and I looked out the study window to see a pine limb across my back fence. Looked like the limb was slowed by a very small pine in the neighbor's yard, so the top pole of the fence has a small dent in it but not enough to warrant repair. I think.
Had dinner next door with my brother's family, a sort of make-your-own burrito/quesadilla arrangement using up leftover chicken and beef, with rice, black beans, sauteed mushrooms, grilled onions, etc. also available. We'd all just about finished except my brother, who was just starting to put his burrito together, when the power went out. That was about 7:15 PM. S-i-l called Georgia Power, heard the recording saying 50,000 customers were without power, and we collected flashlights, turned on their gas logs, and proceeded with the delayed birthday celebration for my younger niece. This kid gets perhaps the largest number and most protracted birthday celebrations I know of. She has a Dec. 30th birthday, when they are usually in Arizona visiting s-i-l's parents. So there's a party out there with Grandpa and Grandma, a family dinner/celebration when they are back home, then a birthday party with friends which has to wait until a) school's back so most kids are back in town and b) s-i-l has time to organize it. So, the organization end being a little slow this year, the family dinner was last night and the party with friends will be at an indoor rock-climbing facility next weekend.
After the present-opening and the eating of chocolate mousse in lieu of a birthday cake, I went home and turned on my gas logs, grabbed the iPod with The Curse of Chalion, lit a few candles, yelled at Fish for getting too close to the candles, and settled into the lounge chair under a fleece throw. Very comfy, indeed--I'm so glad I did get the gas logs finally installed this fall. Went to bed about 10, and the power came back on about 3:25 AM. I was awake, as Agatha-cat had woken me up for the second or third time demanding head scritches. OK, she probably really wanted some food, as she hadn't eaten quite all her dinner, but I wasn't getting out of my warm nest so she accepted head scritches. I checked the set-back thermostat which had forgotten the time, gave Agatha the remnants of her dinner, and went back to sleep as the house started to warm back up.
This morning things were already starting to melt when I went out for the paper, and the streets were mostly clear. It'll be mid-forties this afternoon, so the drive to work tomorrow will be fine. I keep staring at the tree limb on the back fence, but as there's a steady rain of icy clumps falling from the pine trees in the back yard, I think it will wait until later in the week.