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.

12 comments:

Grandmère Mimi said...

Diane, I could not bear it. Perhaps, if I had to, I would, but since I don't have to, I say I could not bear it.

It's getting late. Twice I wrote, "I could not bare it," and had to make corrections. Well, I certainly hope not in those temperatures.

Diane said...

no, grandmere, my husband says no bare skin allowed in these temperatures!

Barbara B. said...

Brrrrrrr!

LawAndGospel said...

Stay warm, and thanks for the car memories. I too had a little red Mazda. It replaced the cute little Toyota sports car of my youth- it was the "we now have babies and need a four door car" car. When it was near death, and after the blue crayon had been dropped on the back seat, rolled under the booster seat and melted on the gray upholstery, we said "goodbye." Did I mention, stay warm? Brrr...

Grace, Every Day said...

Oh, my.

It's 52 degrees here this morning.

I will not complain.

Jiff said...

Brrrr!
Great memories.
I think I'm not thaawed out enough to recall...

davenu said...

I know that I tell folks that I miss the winters in Michigan...and I really do, but I'm not crazy either. Those types of conditions are simply too harsh. Keep warm!

FranIAm said...

Stay warm and keep driving the Toyota!!!

I can't believe how cold it gets there. It is cold here, but nothing like that!

Diane said...

It doesn't always get this cold.

Kievas said...

We too had temperatures swing from the 40s to 20 below, along with snow, sleet, and ice...all in one day. This has been a pretty harsh winter already.

The Unlikely Conversationalist: said...

Diane,
The temperature gives us character and character produces endurance and endurance produces experience and experience produces stories which help us understand the world we are preaching in. Funny how a flooded car can be the best teacher about the incarnation.
My best car for learning lessons was my 87 LeBarron. It was a true work of art, a legend passed from seminarian to seminarian and finally traded in.

Crimson Rambler said...

Good morning, Diane -- a propos of a previous post, one of the Mothers in Zion in a previous parish, very Low Church scornful of embellishments, used to refer to "those Jezebel things" = chasubles... I cherish the memory!