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Creativity vs. Snow and Ice

Perhaps you heard that in mid-February, Texas suffered a devastating winter storm, which overwhelmed the power and water infrastructure.

(Click on any image to see a higher resolution version.)


It started with an ice storm on February 11. These are relatively uncommon in Central Texas, so when they happen, they tend to wreak havoc. This storm brought more ice than usual. The weight of the ice on trees and power lines led to several power outages around the city.


We lost power for 31 hours, beginning Thursday afternoon, February 11. Once power came back on Friday night, it pretty much stayed on for us through the rest of the storm. We were among the lucky ones; we had friends who went for several days without power or water or both.


To round out the week, we had a frozen water heater for a couple of days, and then went through five days of a boil water notice in Austin. Oh, and don’t forget about the pandemic.


Despite all of that, it was beautiful seeing Austin covered in powdery snow for several days. Our dogs loved it. (Well, okay, one dog loved it, and one was okay with it.)


I had my camera out and ready to go. And barely used it. Now that the snow is all gone, I regret not getting out more. But at the time, I think I was just too stressed to want to be creative. I could have been creative; I just didn’t want to.

I was responding to the psychology behind Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. For several days, I was worrying about not having power, or about losing power again, and about not having hot water, and about not having clean water, and about pipes bursting, and falling on ice, and… the list goes on. Even though a lot of things worked out in the end, the anxiety kept me from wanting to stop and enjoy the beauty of the snow.

An Instagram post (embedded below with permission) by my friend Kelly Holmes struck a chord with me. She’s the author of the Happy You, Happy Family website. I’m grateful that her daughter found a way to ask for joy. I could have used some of that “in the moment” advice.

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