Snowed-In: Keystone Style


It’s snowing in San Antonio. And, no, not just the little clumps of snow that we’ve had in the past—it’s actually snowing. It’s the type of winter wonderland Texans only see in movies or when they travel. This came as a huge surprise late Valentine’s Day; here are a few anecdotes from your Keynote editors on their interactions with the snow.



My Valentine’s Day was very dull and uneventful, but what made me excited was the possibility of snow. Now, I’ve seen snow quite a few times in my life, but in Texas? That’s new. My friend from El Paso first experienced the icy cold weather, telling me of tales of skating and pretty photography. Anticipating the same, I awaited Sunday night/Monday morning for the snowfall with promises of winter fun. 

That night was magical in all honesty. I was up chatting with Shreya and the aforementioned friend about the lowering temperatures and how charming the snow was. While I was in bed, Shreya showed a tour outside her house in the snow (via Discord), bringing her sister and their dog Michi. Meanwhile, our class GroupMe was sending snow pictures back and forth as if it was a competition to see who had the most snowfall. We were all like little kids again, feeling giddy and excited at the prospect of sledding, snowman building, and snow angels. I forced myself to stay in bed, watched another episode of Daredevil (the best Netflix show ever, I take no criticism), and anticipated the morning when I can go outside.

Come Monday morning, sure enough, the ground was covered in a thick blanket of snow. Our backyard that was formerly grass now looked like an ice pond, except softer because the snow hasn’t hardened yet. Just when I was able to run out and embrace the cold, reality came at us with a slap in the face because with temperatures of 9 degrees Fahrenheit (or -13 degrees Celsius to those more civilized), Texas’ power grid decided to go yeet. Simply said, we had power outages. After a relatively normal Monday morning, our power was rudely interrupted with the rolling outages, and every hour or so, my family would race to use as much of the 15 minutes of power we were blessedly granted. The internet was effectively knocked out and wouldn’t budge even when the power came back on.

Just we thought it couldn’t get worse, our power completely shut down by 7 pm that evening and didn’t come back for nearly a day later. Our house’s temperature dropped all the way to freezing and my family hid in the bed with all of our winter clothes on. By that point, any mood for playing in the snow was gone and we were just trying to stay warm. My Kindle wasn’t charged (bad foresight on my part), so I ended up reading and completing both A Raisin in the Sun and Death of a Salesman, our required readings for English while my Kindle remained plugged, ready to be charged whenever the power came back. That was probably the worst day, but thankfully, our power came back on that evening (still rolling outage, but I’d take that over no power), and we were able to get the house warm enough before the next outage. Throughout those two days, our water miraculously remained on and warm and we had a functioning gas stove (we kept it on the entire time since the stove would’ve required electricity to ignite it), so we could at least eat a warm meal and take a warm shower. I pre-download the rest of the season of Daredevil that I was watching, so I also had that to help kill time.

By Wednesday, things were looking better. In the morning, the power came back on and I even had WiFi (for about 2 hours before the WiFi decided to go down again). After ranting to Shreya via Discord, the WiFi got cut again and the power soon after, but after a warmer afternoon, our power and internet were completely restored and everything slowly returned to normal. It took about the rest of the week and the weekend for me to rid the paranoia of the power going out again. So much for a 9-day break because I felt that I have gotten no rest or peace of mind in between.

Of course, while I did experience some of the bad effects, there is no doubt that many people suffered more than my family had. I had an okay wireless data connection via my phone, so I was able to keep in touch with friends. I know many others, however, aren’t as lucky, with continued outages, burst pipes, and other troubles. This historic storm will be one for the storybooks, and now we will hope and see if any changes will happen in our state legislature.



On Valentine’s Day evening, the senior girls all gathered together on Zoom to watch the much-awaited To All The Boys: Always and Forever, streamed on Kaitlin’s computer. Tucked in my warm bed, I giggled with my friends and listened to the debates erupt between what was considered cringe and what was considered cute. Around 10:19, Nicole asked if we could take a snow break! Excitedly, I turned around to look out my bedroom window — sure enough, there was snow pressed along the panes of my window and piled up on the top of our roof. Kaitlin set a thirty-minute timer, and we all took a movie-hiatus to enjoy the rare Texas snow! 

I went out to my front yard, and decided to dance around in the snow! I took pictures of the snow falling through the leaves, took selfies of the snow decorating my hair, and, after a few minutes, got cold. So I decided to come back inside, dry off my boots, and enjoy the snowfall in the warmth. 

At 10:49, we all gathered back on the Zoom and finished watching our movie — which made us all feel a bit sad. The protagonist in the movie is our age, a fellow member of the Class of 2021. Yet her senior year consists of a prom, a senior trip, and a large graduation — events the Class of 2021, in the real world, may have to forego. The sad reflections from the senior girls at the end of the movie were cut-short by even more of the rare Texas snowfall — falling faster than it had an hour previously. We all left the zoom to, once again, dance around in the pearly white flakes decorating our midnight skies. 

The next morning, I awoke to what I imagined a winter-wonderland would look like. The oak trees outside my bedroom window decorated with icicles, the porch railings outside my kitchen coated in a layer of snow. My mom and I strapped on our winter boots, leashed our two dogs, and began our morning dog-walk. 

I do have to admit, walking my dogs in 10ºF was not ideal, however, the feeling of undisturbed, fresh, powdery snow was unrivaled. I spent the remains of the morning playing with my dogs in the snow and taking pictures of the scenery. Around noon, as I was pouring myself a steaming cup of earl grey, I got the alert that school was canceled for the following day! I was overjoyed with the prospect of a snow day! 

However, the joy of a snow day, and our subsequent nine-day weekend, was quickly put-out by the vast power outages across our state, burst pipes flooding the homes and businesses of our fellow Texas and our state government’s slow response to the failures occurring within our own communities. 

My family first lost power on Tuesday — the frigid air seeping through our walls forced me to wear my gloves and scarf inside the home. As a distraction from the cold, I busied myself playing chess with my dad. I also decided to start re-reading the Harry Potter series in the hopes of escaping the frigidity of the storm by immersing myself in the warmth of Hogwarts. With Harry Potter, chess, lots of hummus sandwiches, and the layering of chemical heat packs, I made it through the power outage! Wednesday afternoon, the power returned for a few hours! Luckily, we never lost our water — so as soon as the power turned on, I was able to take a hot shower, make a steaming cup of coffee, and boil drinking water! The power turned off again Wednesday evening, however by Thursday morning we had regained all power. 

I believe my family was fairly lucky. I am extremely grateful for the fact that we did not lose our water and that our outages were sparse. My heart goes out to all the families that suffered through the cold, the lack of water, and the inability to obtain food resources. The flaws surrounding our state’s power and water providers have now been exposed for the world to see. My hope is that from here we will only climb upwards as our state’s providers learn and work to protect the future livelihood of our fellow-Texans. 



Every week, I text my friend from Dallas for roughly two hours on Saturday, usually around 22:00. However, this Saturday we were busy, so we pushed the catch-up session to Sunday. We started off as usual: this week, we talked about the Problem of Evil along with a few other topics. Finally, my friend mentioned that it snowed in Dallas and sent me a picture of a snowman she made. Our class GroupMe was blowing up around that time, and while I briefly skimmed through it, seeing that people were talking about it snowing, I had thought that it was just a small cluster and didn’t care much about it since it was my dedicated time to text my friend. However, I told my friend that people were talking about it snowing here and that I would go outside to look out my window. 

I peered out of my window and saw sheets of white snow covering my backyard. There was so much snow. There was only one thing to do: wake up my sister. I slid into my sister’s room to wake her up; she had just gotten in bed. I told her to look outside, took her to my room, and opened the blinds.

She was in shock. All her sleepiness disappeared in an instance. We both woke up my parents and geared up to go outside. Before I put on three jackets, two pairs of pants, and one set of oversized gloves, I promised my friend that I’ll text her again in half an hour: “I don’t think I’ll survive long out there; I’m already cold.”

My entire family went outside snow coating our shoes and freezing our faces. My sister and I walked up towards the intersection of our road. It was all too surreal: it was dark, nearing midnight, with small specs of snow falling everywhere. The road was a white carpet of the substance, dented by our footprints. It was heart-stoppingly beautiful, the sort of scene you can only see on TV.

We returned to our house, faces numb with cold and excitement. We then decided to go outside again, and instead of recording, I got on a video call with my friend who unfortunately couldn’t go outside at the time and streamed my midnight snow walk. I went to my frosty front lawn, took off my glove, and wrote his name in the snow, my finger freezing in the process. Finally, my entire family returned to the warmth of our home. 

I immediately continued texting my friend with newfound excitement, rambling about the snow and how epic it was. My mother prepared hot chocolate and ramen for me and my sister. Finally, I returned to the warmth of my bed and continued to text my friend. A few minutes after I bid her goodnight, the house went dark—the power went out. 

Ah, I suppose the house is telling me it’s bedtime, I thought before sleep overcame me. 

The week which followed was chaotic, to say the least. On Monday, President’s Day, the power was going in and out, first in half-hour intervals, then in fifteen-minute intervals, then, as the sun was setting, five-minute intervals. We used a lantern in the living room till it too flickered and died. 

I slept with two layers and a green hoodie on. By the time I woke up, the outside’s cold intruded into the home. Worse, because of the power outage, the alarm was on but we couldn’t deactivate it without power, so we were stuck freezing inside. Finally, my parents deactivated the alarm and used the grill outside to heat up water, soup, rice, and other foods. As we finished our meal, the power finally turned on.

We heated the house to about eighty degrees, preparing for when the power would go out again. This continued through Wednesday and Thursday. Finally, Friday, the power stayed on the entire day. I could text my friends and work. We had made it through, and now we can finally admire the snow from the comfort of our homes. 


You can find more photos from the Keystone community here!