Winter Woes and Looking on the Bright Side

Well, what a week it has been around these parts! Old Man Winter in Newfoundland, as it has been for much of the continent caught in the “Polar Vortex,” is baring his teeth and delivering a wallop to most areas, a wallop stronger than any in recent memory. It has made some of us wish we could hibernate until spring, and others long to escape down south for an extended vacation or even retirement.


But the weather has also made some people shine. Like the old expression about when the going gets tough, that is just what was needed when our version of a “perfect storm” arrived: record low frigid temperatures, record amounts of early snowfall, and lengthy bone-chilling blackouts, the like which has not been experienced since 1994. Add a blizzard and our inadequate power infrastructure for our needs today, and you’ve got real trouble.

photo credit: Newfoundland page, Facebook
photo credit: Newfoundland page, Facebook

Sometimes it takes a situation, (or a “crisis,” if I may, Premier Dunderdale) to see who the heroes are, to see who is willing to stop complaining, roll up their sleeves and help wherever help is needed. No matter where any blame lies that contributed to the power problem, I’m the sort of person who prefers to look at the positive side of things whenever possible. I have heard stories of gratitude for those who shovelled, plowed, or dug people out of their homes. I have seen good folks answer the call when warm food and shelter were needed, and still others with wood stoves and propane fireplaces open their homes and offer comfort. Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Newfoundland Power maintenance workers and crews, the snow plow operators, and everyone who worked and is still working tirelessly to return everything back to some semblance of normal.

photo credit: Newfoundland page, Facebook
photo credit: Newfoundland page, Facebook

But it is the personal stories that warm me more than any wood stove can. Like the couple who went ahead with their wedding Saturday night in spite of the blackout and the freezing temperatures (link below). No, perhaps it was far from ideal, but they have quite a story to tell their children and grandchildren one day.

Even my daughter and son-in-law were up to the challenge this weekend, when they decided not to postpone our granddaughter’s sleepover birthday party at home, but went ahead with the event in the dark. Son-in-law even barbecued hot dogs outside in the freezing cold for them. And the party was a success! These are the things lasting memories are made of.


So whether this makes you think Newfoundlanders are hardy, or just plain foolhardy, that is entirely beside the point. All I know is the warmth of the human spirit is alive and well in our little corner of the continent.


Do you have any storm or power outage stories to share? How about one with an unexpected positive spin?

24 thoughts on “Winter Woes and Looking on the Bright Side

  1. Wow, I am impressed even more with Newfoundlanders than I was already. (I loved the cartoon) Jennifer, my favorite personal power outage story was when our second child was born and at home from the hospital when he was two days old. We had a February storm that kept our power out for 18 hrs. Thankfully we had a wood stove for our main heat source and a good supply of candles. My little guy needed a bath and so I bathed him by candlelight in the living room, since it was the warmest spot. Perhaps I could show the video my husband took of this precious event at this son’s wedding in about 5-10 yrs?

    Blessings ~ Wendy


  2. Here in North Florida, we are experiencing below freezing…last night was 13 degrees with the wind chill in the single digits. Our pipes outside have burst..ugh. While our winters are ugly….yours are so beautiful with the wintry white snow. Nothing like cold weather to bring the folks together…(Methinks me wrote a rhyme… LOL) Hugs for the Chill.


    1. Wow, pipes freezing in Florida! What is going on with the world’s weather?? Yes, I really like the snow too, it does look pretty, it’s just the long drawn out cold winter into cold spring that I dislike. As for bringing folks together, there was a joke on facebook showing all the babies that will be born here 9 months after the blackout. LOL
      Thanks for commenting! x


  3. I live out of town so blackouts are commonplace. Normally they last only a few hours but one year there was one that lasted five days. It was a challenge cooking on gas stoves, reading by candlelight and washing. there was no point in complaining as the whole area was in the same boat! Love the story about the wedding.


  4. Wow Jennifer amazing, people are pushed to their limits and they shine, i love this. Looks like a tough time though and we are thinking of you over the seas. One memory of a flood so bad we had no power for days the kids loved everything, BBQ and candles and glow sticks good memories on tough times.


    1. Kids treat it like camping, don`t they? πŸ™‚ My daughter had to keep telling her kids to put more clothes on because they seemed oblivious to the cold! Sometimes the attitude of the parents can make a situation like this more fun too.


  5. I was thinking of you guys over the last little while seeing how hard you were hit on the east coast. Glad to hear all is well and yes, I also love how hard times brings out the best in folks. Not to brag or anything but Calgary was one of the warmest places in North America a couple of day ago! Stay warm and positive!
    Diana x0


    1. Luckily, where we are here on the Bonavista peninsula, there is less snow and there were much fewer blackouts than on the Avalon. Still had to watch as my family dealt with it though. I hope the worst is behind us and we can start looking for relief in the cold temps. πŸ™‚


  6. Wow that is a LOT of snow, here on the west coast we make comments about how neat it would be to have THAT much but you guys have that! kudos for making the best out of the situation still πŸ™‚


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