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A winter storm walloped the St. Louis area. Lots of sleet Thursday followed by some snow and ice Friday made roads treacherous for a bit, but worse than that, it caused nearly half a million people to lose power. Our family is among them. The friends and relatives I talked with by phone on Friday were also all without power, as were many of my coworkers at the Post-Dispatch.

So far it hasn’t been too awful bad (says the guy who has been working in a warm building all evening), but overnight it’ll be very cold and in the days ahead it won’t be anywhere near as warm inside the house as it was Friday during the day.

We just moved into this house in August, and we haven’t yet had our chimney cleaned and the flue opened, so we can’t light any fires yet to keep warm.

Today we spent most of the day outside the house, eating out, and going to Target to buy a few Christmas gifts. And I hurt my lower back trying to break through the ice on the driveway so I could back the car out.

Hopefully power will be restored soon, but realistically I know it could be as much as a week before it’s fixed. That’s how long it took for many when back-to-back storms this summer knocked out power across the region. (yeah, it’s been one of those years for St. Louisans)

On a positive note, everything is covered by ice and the tree branches look like they are encased in crystal when the sun illuminates them. With luck we might try and take some photos tomorrow.