It’s November, which means National Novel Writing Month, so for Tuesday Tales this month I’m jumping to another WIP, My Wildest Dreams. This tale follows the prequel, A Second Chance, where Jenny survived Sudden Cardiac Arrest and desired to honor her second chance by living an authentic life. She decided she wanted to own her own herb and garden store. Join us as we catch glimpse of her here as she follows her wildest dream, with the help of her best friend Carla.
This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘nasty’. Return to Tuesday Tales here, to read the other snippets from talented writers.
Carla called Thursday night. “Have you seen the weather reports?”
“You know me. Do I watch the news? My TV hasn’t been turned on for weeks.”
“There’s a big storm heading in. It should be here late tomorrow night.”
“How big of a storm? Enough to keep us from moving furniture this weekend?”
“Oh yeah. If it happens like they say. Of course, half the time they’re wrong anyway. The reporters are predicting temps in the high teens and possible ice.”
Just when I thought we were going to make it through this winter without any nastiness. I stood in the kitchen opening cupboard doors, scanning the pantry contents. I checked the refrigerator to double check if there was anything I needed, in case the reporters were right.
Usually I was set fairly well and could eat of my cupboards for a good month or two, except for a few perishable items. This time though, trying to keep my expenditures notched down in readiness for my new business venture, I hadn’t been purchasing as much in the grocery store as I typically did.
Out came the list and I jotted down a few necessities to run out and pick up the next day.
By the time I got to the store the next morning, it seems that multitudes of others had the same idea. Except that they’d gone earlier than I did. The loaf of bread I’d written on the list? That wasn’t going to happen. The bread shelves were bare. I tossed a pack of hamburger buns in my cart and considered myself lucky. The milk racks were in about the same condition. There wasn’t very much left. I found a small container of chocolate milk and added it to my meager collection. I made it to the eggs before they were wiped out and picked up two dozen. Water bottles also were in scarce supply. I found a gallon jug of a pricier brand and scooped it off the shelf. The soup cans were just as picked over, but there were a few selections still waiting for the late vultures.
I hoped the forecasters were wrong.
The television was turned on that evening, to stay abreast of the news. I watched the storm progress, up from the gulf and north through this huge state. The house got colder with each advancing hour. To avoid the heater running so hard trying to keep the house warm, I dropped the thermostat a few degrees and added a sweatshirt.
After a while, I opened the front door and peered out, shutting it quickly when I saw the white tempest outside. February weather. It was not my friend.
I called Carla. “Well…guess we won’t be moving furniture this weekend.”
“Nope. But look at the bright side. I’m off work. Not that I’d drive there in this anyway. And you don’t have to try to get to Crafty Hands in bad weather anymore. So we both can stay home and be warm. And safe.”
When I peeked out the windows the next morning, I was glad to see the storm had past. I also had to admit that the pristine, icy world it left in its wake was beautiful. As long as I could view it through the window of my warm house and didn’t have to be out in it.
Not a single vehicle had gone down the street. The landscape in front of me was almost like one of the gorgeous snowy scenes on a Christmas card. But instead of white fluff surrounding us, it was a white layer over top of a nasty, icy crust.
Texas shuts down during an ice storm. The Midwest and the East laugh at us, as they keep on with life in their winter wonderland. But ice…nope, this California girl does not drive in ice. I was glad I’d gone ahead and picked up a few groceries.
For four days I couldn’t get out of my driveway. Not that I tried the first few days. The temperature never rose over twenty-four degrees. It was cloudy and dull, not a speck of sunshine to brighten our world – nor warm the icy layer cast over us.
By the second day, one or two vehicles made tracks down the street. I could hear one crunching along early one morning, making its way down the street very slowly. It sounded like a diesel, so it was probably four wheel drive. I didn’t care enough to get up and watch. I stay snuggled under my warm covers.
By the fifth day, the sun finally broke through and the temperature rose to a high of thirty three.
The down time gave me a chance to catch up on crafty projects for the store. I took advantage of that and worked up everything I could, until I was down to projects that needed one more piece, one more bottle of paint, one more item before it was complete. And I wasn’t going to go slide around on ice for a small bottle of acrylic paint, that’s for sure.
I pulled out the calendar to review the schedule I’d penciled in. There was no way I could open in one week. Without being able to move the large pieces in, and losing four days of making it to the shop, I’d lost too much critical time. It was going to be close anyway. But the ice storm had set me back too far.
Maybe I could move the opening to mid-March?
From past experience, I also knew that after a storm of this magnitude it would take a week or two before the world returned to normal. Not only had we cleared the grocery store shelves of produce and goods, trucks bringing new merchandise couldn’t get in to deliver their goods either.
I decided to push the opening back to April first. April in north Texas is nicer weather. People are excited to get out and about after a cold winter. And gardeners are starting to put in their first crops.