Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Bad Weather Stories

...will get back to serious posting, really....

We had a lovely weekend here, with weather soaring up near 40 degrees on Monday and lots of melting. We drove up up to Duluth on Sunday to deliver a piece of furniture (and I do mean 'piece') to the brilliant younger stepson. And everything was warm and melting up there, too. Scout came along for the ride as she always does. Several shopkeepers know her by name, as does every night clerk at the hotel where we always stay.

But today the temperature has been plummeting all day. Those two warm days were just a foretaste of the spring to come (kind of like transfiguration is a foretaste of the resurrection, maybe?). We were supposed to get snow, but that all went south of us. However, the wind is howling and temperatures are well below zero as I type this. (14 below? and windchills are 37 or 38 below now). And I am remembering all kinds of Bad Weather Stories. Here are two:

It was the time of my first car, the Renault, which I bought because it was the only car I could afford. And it was the coldest December in years. I was living in an apartment in the kind of hip Uptown neighborhood, and parking on the street every night. And there was a solid week when the temperature did not get above 15 below. And the car would not start. If the temperature got one degree higher, to 14 below, I could start the car, with a lot of finessing. I was not supposed to pump the accelerator, but I did, and I could start the car if I pumped the accelerator. Until 15 below. Then nothing I did helped. So in desperation I called a service station one day. They told me it was flooded. I said it was not flooded, but oh well, what did I know? And they towed it in. When it got nice and warm inside the garage, it started up fine. So I brought the car home (it was a Friday night) and set my alarm for 2 in the morning, so that I could get up and drive the car around in the middle of the night. Then it was up again at 6:00 a.m. on Saturday to drive it again. All this so I could do Christmas shopping on Saturday.

During seminary sometime, the Renault breathed its last and I instead started driving a cute little red Mazda. During my last January in seminary, my senior year, we again had some incredibly cold weather. One morning I was set to give a presentation for a class. But I needed to get some materials printed at the local Kinkos. I hopped in my car, which started right up (although it of course complained about it.) In less than five minutes I was putting together my presentation, then headed back to my car, which WOULD NOT START. This time it was (see above) flooded. It was a long cold and shall I say humble walk to campus that morning. And later a long walk back to the car, which started right up this time.

Needless to say, I love my Toyota.

And, tonight at least, I am glad I do not live in the part of Canada where Crimson Rambler lives.
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