How does the saying go?
If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.
My wife’s last week, in a nutshell.
On Thursday, February 11, my eldest daughter and she flew off to Austin, Texas. She was simply accompanying my daughter back to her home after spending a good deal of time here with us and, we hoped, well after any COVID-19 craziness with the traveling during Christman/New Years.
The flight there was fine. My wife, who has already gotten both Pfizer vaccines, accompanied her on the flight, got to Austin, and all was fine.
The trip was meant to be very brief. She would fly back home on Monday, February 15. One week ago today.
Mother nature, alas, had other plans.
For those who’ve been in a cave the last week, an icy blast hit the middle of the country starting on Sunday February the 14th. Snow fell, the roads iced up, and Texas was quickly exposed as a state that, thanks to deregulation, had an electric grid that simply wasn’t up to the chill.
Worse, for many water pipes froze and burst and roads were undriveable. Austin -and it seems the entirety of Texas as well- doesn’t have a good snow clearing and/or salting system. As someone who lived in Canada, what I saw on the news and heard from my wife about the situation there was something which would not have caused a problem for people in my (very) old stomping grounds.
But in Texas, it proved paralyzing.
The flight scheduled for Monday was cancelled. She rescheduled for Wednesday but, as the situation played out, it was clear Wednesday wouldn’t work either. The roads remained incredibly dangerous to drive on -there was absolutely no chance they would risk driving to the airport and even the Super Shuttle service was not going- but it didn’t matter: The airports were essentially closed and all flights were cancelled.
Thursday, we hoped, she would finally be able to travel home but the weather reports were grim, along with the general news. People were losing their power and water and the weather was bitterly cold.
Anticipating losing water, they collected snow in my daughter’s bathtub to use for the toilet. Eventually, their water was turned off.
But Thursday the 18th, the third scheduled day for my wife to fly back, was cancelled out and, while outside getting more snow for the bathtub, my wife slipped on some ice, fell, and broke her arm in two places.
Luckily, by Thursday the roads were better to drive on versus even the day before, and my daughter and wife were able to go to an emergency clinic. My wife thought maybe she didn’t break her arm but an X-Ray quickly proved she had. Luckily, again, she didn’t break her wrist but a little below it, which meant she likely didn’t need surgery.
A temporary cast was made to keep her arm stable but a more permanent cast couldn’t be put on until the swelling went down, three or four days later.
By this point, my wife had her flight scheduled, for the fourth time, for Saturday the 20th.
By then the cold snap was in the process of going away and the flight took off on time and she arrived home a little early, though it was quite late at night when we finally got her home.
We spent Sunday relaxing as best we could and, this morning, headed to a Hospital which had an Orthopedics department and were able to see us.
She got herself another set of X-Rays and -finally, good news!- the break was relatively stable and didn’t require any surgery.
In a little over one hour, she was back outside ready for me to pick her up, sporting a nice blue cast over her right arm.
Meanwhile in Austin, my daughter’s water was back Sunday night and its looking like things are somewhat getting back to normal in that beautiful city. Better yet, she was able to gas up her car today (she was getting very low) and it looks like some of the grocery stores are filling up with foods.
Meanwhile, horror stories about Texas are still coming in, from the incredibly inept Governor and Senator Ted Cruz’s idiotic attempt to flee the state for Cancun. There are heartbreaking stories of people who froze to death, including an 11 year old boy, and one can’t help but shake one’s head at all of this.
In light of these tragedies, my wife breaking her arm and my daughter’s inconvenience is a small thing indeed versus the suffering others have faced.
It shouldn’t have happened yet it did.
I really, really hope that the voters of Texas remember this the next time elections roll around.