Friday, December 27, 2013

Happenings of the Heart: Ice Storm Crisis + A Belated Merry Christmas


First of all, thank you all so much for your kind thoughts while I was without power from Dec 22-25. I was going to post this card on Christmas Day but an ice storm hit Toronto on the night of December 21st. I woke up at 4:00 a.m. on December 22nd to the sound of branches and entire trees falling, crushing cars, landing on houses and blocking the road. My alarm clock was black so I knew we had lost power. Knowing that it was ice meant trouble for all. This was the first ice storm Toronto had been hit with, at least in my lifetime. I'd lived through one when I was living in Charlotte, North Carolina, and didn't really want to experience it again but there it was. Behold nature's beauty and destructive power all at the same time.


My son had just gotten sick and we had planned to take him to the walk-in clinic which, thankfully, had power. It was an ordeal just getting into the car which was coated in a sheet of ice one inch thick. With the ice scraper inside the car, and no electricity to boil water to melt the ice, my husband somehow managed to get in through the trunk. It closed on him and froze in seconds, locking him in the car. Luckily, he had a flashlight and his iPhone with him. I was just about to check on him since I could tell that he was inside the car and I was wondering why he hadn't started heating up the car. That's when he called for help.


I didn't know it yet but my Dad's car was damaged. Luckily for them, and us, they still had power so we packed up to stay with them after the temperature in the house dropped 12 degrees in the same number of hours. About half our neighbours left to stay with family or friends but others had to book hotel rooms while those with wood-burning fireplaces and/or gas stoves tried to stick it out. Despite having somewhere to stay, none of these options are the same as the comforts of home. With young kids, more stress is involved. A day later, there were piles like this every few houses. Most of these trees are 80-150 years old.


Since both my parents and my son were sick, I got sick, too. So much for a quick catch-up on baking and all-things-crafty! Things could've been a lot worse and I'm glad they weren't but after two bad Christmases, I'm feeling rather Grinchy towards next year. I won't ever forget last year's misery during the holidays - a miscarriage, flu, respiratory illness and broken rib - all while participating in the Go-To Gal auditions. I still have no idea how I made it through all of that. I certainly didn't feel that strong this year. Of course, I will always make a great Christmas for my son but I'm always going to be wary of what could happen.


I hope you and your families were warm and cozy, and that you were able to celebrate Christmas in its entirety. I'm really behind because of the pre-Christmas preparations that weren't completed. I had been texting with family and neighbours through the entire ordeal and we all shed tears when power was restored. It was really unbelievable and the stress weighed on us more than we knew at the time. Nothing brings people together like a crisis and I'm so grateful to my family, friends and neighbours for everything. We plan to ring in the New Year with plenty of alcohol and laughter. Next year has to be better.

Sources:

24 comments:

snappy scrappy said...

Sending Christmas wishes your way...horrible about the ice storm. I'd be a Grinch too!

Laura B. said...

So sorry you've had such a terrible two holidays in a row...you are overdue for a fabulous one!!! I love your card, though...super duper cuteness! sending hugs!!

Samantha Mann said...

Emily, I am so very sorry. I am so thankful you and your family is well and made it through the icy ordeal unscathed. Also, I am SO VERY sorry for your horrible Christmas season lady year as well. You poor thing and your poor family. Wow. You are so strong! I am sending lots of virtual hugs and happiness!
Side note - your card is gorgeous as usual. And the shape and glitter is so pretty with the pandas!

canadian_liner said...

Glad your POWER was finally restored--it is no fun managing that with young kids (survived the ice storm here in 1998). 2014 will be better!

Karolyn at Paper Therapy said...

Oh, sweetie . . . I'm so sorry that you had such a miserable Christmas. You're right though - things have GOT to be better in the coming year! They can't possibly get worse!! LOL Happy New Year - have a stiff one for me! XOXO

alexandra s.m. said...

Poor Emily, I love your card and I really do wish the very BEST for 2014!

Pauline said...

Sounds absolutely horrendous Emily, I can't imagine how scary and cold that experience was. Thank goodness tou are all safe, and recovering from your colds. Here's to a better, healthier new year xx

Jessi Fogan said...

It's truly awe-inspiring how destructive these storms can be - we get them every year, and maybe that's why we don't seem to be as hard hit (all the weak trees/power systems have already been knocked out? lol). I'm so glad you were able to go to your parents', germs & all, but man, your New Year's had better kick butt after all this!!

Lynne in NI said...

I have family in Toronto and believe it was an absolutely awful experience. Wishing you a happier New Year!

Taheerah (*LittleMissT*) said...

Oh my goodness Emily! I am so glad you all made it through safely, and am so sorry to heat about the last two Christmasses being so cruel to you. :-( My heart is warmed by the fact that you were all able to support each other and come out the other side of it. That shows how much of a survivor you are, and how loved you are as well. My best wishes for a much kinder holiday period next year and some hugs to help you get through the current one. And your card is beautiful btw. *hugs*

~amy~ said...

Oh Emily....what an ordeal that you and your family have been through! I can't begin to imagine! Hang in there and ♥Happy New Year♥

P.S. your card is oh-so-cute, gotta love the shape and glitz.

Aimes said...

Hugs to you Emily! I've only experienced two ice storms, but they were minor in comparison to this one and those were extremely scary!
Thank goodness you all stayed safe and had a wonderful network of people around you. It's true that a crisis can bring out the best in people.
Here's to looking forward to a happy New Year for you! :)

P.S Your card is seriously adorable. Well worth the wait. ;D

Jen said...

Oh wow! What a time you've had! I hope you are all feeling better now. Merry Christmas! Your card is so cute - love the shape and the shimmer!

Jocelyn Olson said...

Ugh! You're definitely due for a great Christmas next year. I can't believe Chris got locked in the car--scary! I'm glad you were able to get home for Christmas, even if it was just to sleep in your own bed that night. :) Big hugs!

Wendy said...

Well the card is super cute!!!! I was watching the news and thinking we will take the -25 over your ice any day! Stay warm!

Miriam Prantner said...

This is such a sweet card, so clever to use the little hole reinforcer for the sparklers! Glad that the power is back...I think next year you guys should go somewhere warm and away from home for Christmas! Might be safer!

Karenladd said...

Wow Emily, what an ordeal. I am so glad that you all got through it with family and friends but what a Christmas...yikes. Hoping that 2014 is kinder to you and thanks for your adorable little panda project to inspire us!

Mary-Anne V said...

I heard you had no power but thank goodness for family right? Sorry to hear you have had back to back stressful Christmases. Try and focus on the good things and know that many are thinking great thoughts for you!
Wishing you a New Year that is the best ever Emily!

Tammy said...

So sorry to hear of your suffering but glad to know that all is well now that your power is back!

Lindsey said...

Certainly does remind all of us to be thankful for family and friends, doesn't it? Helps make bad times bearable. And in the meantime, such a cute card -- may next Christmas season be as sparkly and fun as this card!

Barb Ghig said...

I feel so badly for all you've been through, Emily...2 years in a row!!! Next year just has to be better...you are deserving of a wonderful holiday!

I am glad no one was hurt! I pray that you and your little guy are both feeling better, and that New Year's will be lots of fun for all!

I love your sweet card, too! The star shape is perfect for that adorable panda and I love all the sparkle! Perfect with all the "Pandemonium" you've had to deal with!!!

SSR said...

Love the panda :)

Wendy ten Hove said...

I've been thinking about you, Emily! And sending warm thoughts to you!! I'm so sorry you had another ' 'crisis' Christmas!!! Do hope next year you'll have only good times coming! Wishing you all the best for the new year! And love this panda creation, these are so cute!!
Hugs, Wendy

Trinh said...

I'm thinking of you too, Emily. I hope your little guy is feeling better and that your eye is all better too. Wishing you a much better 2014!