CRESTVIEW — North county residents woke up to a winter wonderland of ice-encased foliage and streets coated in a crisp, white mantle.
At 7:30 a.m., the time-and-temperature sign outside the First National Bank of Crestview announced a brisk 22 degrees to sparse traffic on iced-over State Road 85. By 1 p.m. temperatures had climbed only 3 degrees.
Crestview resident Janice Marcus and her brother Robb, who's visiting from California, prepared in advance for the icy weather and planned to stay off the roads.
"I told Robb we're just staying home until Friday," Janice Marcus said. "I called my Bible study leader Monday night and said, 'I won't be there Wednesday,' and she said, 'Why not?'
"I lived in Oklahoma and I know better than to go out on icy roads. Two hours later I got a text, 'Bible study has been cancelled.'"
In Laurel Hill, where morning temperatures were three degrees colder than Crestview, resident April Tucker said she and her husband Todd were huddled around a space heater in their mobile home.
"We're all bundled up. Todd brought home some carbs," Tucker said, laughing. "We're eating a lot of cookies. It seems like good winter comfort food."
Both families ventured outside to let their dogs run around.
"The dogs are trying to eat the ice," Tucker said. "At first they thought they wanted to go out to use the bathroom but they stuck their nose out and decided to stay inside."
Janice Marcus said it was entertaining to see how her collies reacted to the ice that coated her Crestview backyard.
"I'm watching the puppy dogs play," she said. "They like the 'crunch-crunch' sound. My dogs are having a ball. I'm freezing to death but they're just racing each other. They're having a blast."
While Eglin Air Force Base, most businesses, and state, county and local offices were closed, not everyone appreciated having an unexpected day off.
Tucker, who owns a home-cleaning service, said she had to cancel scheduled appointments for the day, and when she's not working, there's no money coming into the household.
"I rescheduled one that got cancelled for next week," she said. "I'm missing work today. Hopefully next week will be better."