Can We Get Some Lithium, Please?

I’ve been in Texas for four years now, and I have to say, I like it here. The people are friendly; my city is beautiful; my university is the best in the country. Not that I’m at all biased. But it isn’t just me. Everyone I know who lives in Austin loves it.

Most of it.

Despite its beauty and charm, Austin has fallen victim to a force of evil stronger than a Starbucks Triple-Shot Espresso. See, here in Austin, we have a Winter Weather God. And our Winter Weather God – he’s bipolar.

I don’t mind the cold, not really. I grew up in North Carolina, where it was expected to be cold from late-November to early-March. You might get a rare, off-season snowfall, but for the most part, the weather was thoroughly predictable. And that was fine. Every fall, I’d pack away my summer clothes and pull out the boxes of parkas and sweaters. I looked forward to the long weeks ahead of eating soup and other warm things.

Not down here.

Nine days into February, and we’ve covered fall, winter, and spring weather. Here’s an excerpt from what my facebook page has looked like for the past week:

Matt: whoa whoa whoa…. we are under a winter weather advisory for tomorrow???? for real?!?!

Tammie: Did I really just wake up to 60 degree weather?! My dreams came true! Thank you bipolar Texas weather god!

Charlotte: Today is the beginning of my first actual SNOW DAY! WOOOHOOO! It is absolutely beautiful outside!

Una: brilliance of the power company… “we understand it is freezing outside and for that reason we shall turn the electricity off because you demand too much of it” ….. 4th time since this morning!

Kelly: It was 64 degrees at midnight.. This morning I almost fell on my butt running a dirty diaper to trash can at end of my deck – the rain we got last night froze…

That’s right. For the uninformed, let me give an account of the events since last week. First, it was warm. 65. Sunny. Typical Austin Winter.

Overnight, the temperature dropped to below freezing. That’s when our power company determined that it didn’t have enough power to supply the state, because of the cold. I still haven’t wrapped my head around this one. How can it be TOO COLD for power? How? HOW? The power company decided, in it’s brilliance, to fix the problem of “too little power, too many heaters” by executing a plan of rolling blackouts throughout the state.

What this actually meant was that we woke up to freezing temperatures with no heat, no light, and no idea of when it would come back on. My parents were out of power from 6 AM until 2 PM. Kelly got about 20 minutes of power to the hour. I learned that getting ready for school with no heater is an excellent motivator to get out of the house and head to UT, where it is warm.

This is the image of a dog who does NOT like to be cold.

That was Wednesday. By Thursday night, it was icing. And Friday morning, school was canceled for the day because of the half inch of snow on the ground. Which, of course, makes sense here. I know how to drive in snow – but I wouldn’t dare go out in ice in Austin. People down here? Well, they don’t have to learn. And the roads aren’t built for it. And ice turns them into high-rise death traps. So no school on Friday.


The snow was gone by Friday evening, and Saturday afternoon was 60 degrees and sunny. Sunday and Monday were lovely. And now, only a week after the rolling blackout hell, we find ourselves in the middle of another 25 degree overnight temperature drop.


It’s supposed to be 73.

So seriously – our *Winter Weather God is Bipolar. Can we get a little Lithium over here please?


* I would like to note that our Summer Weather God is not at all Bipolar, and is in fact, very rigid in his schedule of 40+ days of 100+ temperatures. It’s entirely possible that he is a Sadist. But that’s a different post all together.


One Comment to “Can We Get Some Lithium, Please?”

  1. Lol … That’s how it was in El Paso.
    God is very much a Sadist. We had crazy rolling blackouts and we could not use our for like three days. Only to drink. No showering, watering lawns, car washing, clothes washing.
    It totally sucked.

    hey if you can read my blog today I mention you and I give you some work to do!
    So do it!

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