A Bad Cold Spell In The Winter Of 1973

It was about this time of year in 1973. Madeline & I had been married just a little more than a year. Austin was unusually cold and wet. The city was pretty much paralyzed for several days. Everything looked like a whole different place. I was like we were living in the movie Dr. Zhivago.

We were living in a mobile home at Oakhill. We had pretty much everything we needed so we stayed inside for about 3 days. Finally we had stood it as long as we could and got out and made our way slipping and sliding down to the Big Wheel Truck Stop Cafe. We each had a plate of enchiladas. They were cafe enchiladas, not like Mexican food places serve. Served with a basket of crackers to help absorb all the grease. They sure did warm our insides.

We returned home to snuggle up and wait it out. The weather said we could expect things to start warming up soon. We went off to sleep then about 3:00 or 4:00 AM we heard noises. They were loud enough to wake us both up. Suddenly, right above our head there were sounds like someone beating our roof with a sledge hammer. Every few seconds there would be another loud rap. We had no idea what was happening. We held each other tightly, reassuring the other we’d be okay. After a little while the loud banging stopped.
We continued to hear noises but they were farther away and we finally got back to sleep.

It was well into that next day before we figured out that the banging was from huge icicles thawing and dropping from power lines that ran directly over our bedroom. (Not sure it was to code to live underneath a big power line)

The other noises were the thawing and tree limbs snapping back to position and other ice melting sounds. That was something we weren’t prepared for. But it was nice to know someone hadn’t been on top of our house beating on the roof.

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