The freezing rain started shortly after the last of the What Women Write crew arrived at our retreat house in Granbury, Texas. It lasted through the night, covering houses, roads, and countryside with a layer of ice.
We do get ice storms around here every once in a while and when it happens the world pretty much stops.
Our cities have no supplies of sand or salt to put on the highways. Basics like eggs, milk, and bottled water disappear from grocery store shelves. Schools and offices close. News reporters beg everyone to stay home and wait for temperatures to rise. Those who don't heed the warning may be trapped on expressways for hours.
Everyone gets cabin fever except for us, apparently.
Though we were a short walk from one of the Texas’ quaintest down towns, no one lamented being unable to tour it. When husbands and children texted their concerns about us braving the roads to come home on Sunday, we called the landlady and she granted us an extra day. We took that time without guilt, scurried back off to whatever corners we had claimed for ourselves, and most of us had a productive day.
We never lost power and we had plenty of food. A temperamental coffee pot was our biggest inconvenience, and even that was swiftly overcome by Pioneer Susan who rigged up a French press and made coffee the old-fashioned way.
The best part of being iced-in, though, was that when emotions ran high, and they did for most of us at some point, the group became closer in ways that may not have happened had we had the option of escaping each other.
Those who needed consoling or encouragement got it. Those who needed a dose of tough love got that, too. I went into this retreat so discouraged and overwhelmed, I was dangerously close to a nervous breakdown. I didn't realize how close until I heard the things I needed to hear to stop the wheels spinning in my mind. Now home, I’m not only calmer than I have been in years, but I also know without a doubt that I have five women who accept my quirks and have my back.
I've never had that before and it’s one heck of a gift.
What about you, readers? Have you ever found yourself closer to a group when you are trapped together by circumstance? Or, has it soured relationships for you?