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Mon Mar 1, 2021, 10:55 AM

This is interesting, but it's getting old. 03-01-21 UPDATE.

It’s now 46 degrees in North Dallas, TX, where the Daughter and I have been hanging out in a motel room for the past five days as we wait for a plumber to repair the damage done to our trailer in the Free State of Van Zandt (East Texas). Our plumber has already replaced both the kitchen faucet and the toilet. He plans to tackle the leaks behind the walls and under the cabinetry today, but today we have to check out and return to the trailer. The likelihood that we will have running water (without leaks) when we arrive is low, but we have no choice. We must go.

The temperatures here, yesterday, reached 73 degrees. I was in shorts. This morning it’s 46 with a wind chill that makes it feel like 43 degrees. Back to jeans and socks. We’re doing well, under the circumstances, but we would be very happy to return to a more stable life. A motel room 70 miles away from home is great when your home lacks running water, but we feel helpless and useless. We’re just waiting, and it’s depressing to know that our internal water lines still won’t be working properly when we return today. Perhaps we will have running water tomorrow.

Interesting observation:

When we left the Free State of Van Zandt early last week, it was typical to see roughly 50% of the population masked-up in public. Here, in North Dallas, over 95% of people remain masked-up in public. The difference is really quite dramatic (urban vs. rural attitudes re. masking).

Interesting anecdote:

On Saturday evening, I was returning to my room in the motel and waiting for the elevator. From down the hall, toward me, comes a black girl, maybe 9 or 10, trying to carry about 5 big blankets. She’s dragging one of them on the floor. She’s embarrassed that she’s not carrying her load well. She smiles at me, drops the load, gathers it up again, and carries it. Behind her is a black woman in her forties, and, in addition to her room key and purse, is carrying about 4 big blankets. She’s struggling with them, but she manages to keep them off the floor.

I smile at her (and her daughter or, perhaps, granddaughter), and say, “You’ve got plenty of blankets!” I hold the door to the elevator and welcome them in. Both smile, but neither responds to me. I say, “Well, you know you’re gonna be warm.” The adult woman says to me, “Yes, sir. It might get cold again.”

I was stunned ... puzzled. We were in a heated hotel/motel. Electricity has been consistent for over a week. The weather forecast had no prediction of freezing temperatures in the next ten days. Why did this woman want all of these blankets with her, inside her motel room? Why not leave the blankets in her vehicle?

I have only one reasonable guess ... a form of shell-shock. This woman isn’t taking any chances. For all I know, she’s already lost one or more loved ones to the deep freeze, or to COVID, or both. She’s gonna have her blankets. The fact that the motel has electricity today doesn’t mean that it will have electricity tomorrow. The fact that the weather is tolerable today doesn’t mean that the weather won’t be brutal tomorrow.

Shell-shock from the Texas deep freeze appears to be a real phenomenon.

More tomorrow.

-Laelth


Previous “This is bad.” threads are linked below, solely for their historical value.

This is bad. https://www.democraticunderground.com/10181470783

This is bad. 02-16-21 UPDATE.
https://www.democraticunderground.com/10181470956

This is bad. 02-17-21 UPDATE.
https://www.democraticunderground.com/10181471625

This is bad. 02-18-21 UPDATE.
https://www.democraticunderground.com/10181472034

This is bad. 02-19-21 UPDATE.
https://www.democraticunderground.com/10181472438

This is bad (but not too bad). 02-20-21 UPDATE.
https://www.democraticunderground.com/10181472943

This is really irritating. 02-21-21 UPDATE.
https://www.democraticunderground.com/10181473645

This is ... amazing and touching. 02-22-21 UPDATE. https://www.democraticunderground.com/10181474282

This is different. 02-23-21 UPDATE. https://www.democraticunderground.com/10181474689

This is even more different. 02-24-21 UPDATE. https://www.democraticunderground.com/10181475140

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