There are a ton of YouTube videos on the internet teaching you some awesome ways to use your scrap wood. You can make small projects, gifts, or maybe even some shop furniture with leftover cutoffs from bigger builds.
That's not what we used ours for this week....
You probably won't find any YouTube videos on how we utilized ours....lol
Because we burned all of it in our fireplace to keep us warm after a MASSIVE winter storm rolled through Houston and took out our power and water....
It all started out when we woke up last Monday at 2am to our power going out. Then woke up to our water not running at 7am. We knew a bad winter storm was coming - so we kind of expected a power outage or two...but nothing to this degree! It was 51 degrees inside the house and there was an inch and a half of snow on the ground...in TROPICAL Houston! It never snows here!
Later that morning we found out that our entire street had no power and that everyone's water mains had frozen...some peoples' pipes had even burst! It was definitely not a great time.
Thankfully we have a gas stove. That reallllyyyy helped keep the house warm. We also have a fireplace (which is pretty rare here in Houston) and we discovered that it actually works! The chimney was clean and completely open to the outside of the house.
So we grabbed our big gray trash can overflowing with wood scraps and began heating the house! Never have wood scraps ever come in so handy...
We moved our guest bed into the living room and slept there for about 2 nights because it was the easiest part of the house to keep warm...right between the gas stove and the fireplace. At that point we had been without power for almost 40 hours! However, we were able to thaw our water main pipes using a blow torch (since the water pipes going into the houses in Houston are often exposed rather than built into the house...because this type of weather NEVER happens....)
BEFORE we ever got the water working again....and BEFORE we even knew the fireplace worked...we witnessed one of the most amazing acts of kindness that we've ever experienced in our lives.
So I'll preface this by saying...we don't know a lot of our neighbors....hardly any. We spent so much time away from home during our Air Force training that we never really got a chance to introduce ourselves. But, the morning the power went out and the pipes froze, we heard a knock on our front door. Standing outside was our next door neighbor holding an entire plate full of steaming hot tamales and an entire thermos of hot water for us. She didn't speak English...and she had no idea who we were....but she took the time to use some of her own limited water to bring us hot food.
We could hardly believe it. We live in a big city, people aren't supposed to be nice, right?! Wrong. Our entire street came together and made laps around the block simply checking on each other and offering up what little resources we all had at the time. It was enough to bring a tear to your eye.
Now, I know what some of you may be thinking..."Well I live in Canada and I drive to work in -40 degree temperatures every day and I'm fine. Why is everyone freaking out about 2 days of 13 degree weather and some snow?!"
Well, Texas' infrastructure literally wasn't built to withstand freezing temperatures. Our buildings simply were not made to do it. And our power grid wasn't designed to operate in several coats of freezing rain...
Now, when we lived in North Dakota for 4 years, yes...our buildings and infrastructure were ALLLL built to withstand that stuff. But not here. Your ability to stomach cold temperatures will not turn the power back on. Ever.
So after many games of battleship, gin, and solitaire, and a few sporadic spurts of power back to the house, we finally got our power back for a 12 hour stint! Just in time for us to get ready to leave and fly winter storm missions with our unit (a tad ironic, I know).
We started to come to terms with the fact that a lot of our business meetings and plans would be on hold for the next week to 2 weeks MINIMUM. As frustrating as that is, this was a really good lesson to learn in how to handle an unexpected event that affects your business. We learned a lot about how we personally need to respond as a business - and how other businesses we work with respond. It wasn't all bad. We are just so thankful to be surrounded with awesome people when hard times like these hit - and that includes YOU GUYS! We got so many kind messages even after the storm passed asking us how we were doing.
Thanks for being an amazing "Jennie and Davis fam"!
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This post may contain affiliate links for products we used to create this project! If you’d like to check them out, we do get a small percentage of the sale and they are of no extra cost to you! It all goes towards supporting the content creation of Jennie and Davis. BUT – we do not take tool sponsorships and there were no tool endorsements. Just our honest opinions!