Saturday, February 1, 2014

A break from sub-zero

Hanging by a hook

4' Icicle
Yesterday it finally broke above freezing temperatures after a long span of sub-zero temperatures. The dogs and I have been struggling to stay warm while Lee went South to a family funeral. It wasn't the warmest in Florida their 60 degrees above zero complaints feel on deaf ears when my thermometer read -19 last week. I spent most of the week dripping water to keep it from freezing in the pipes.

The warm up caused some strange icicle formations on my garage. Large four to five foot icicles formed off the garage roof and then when the air warmed up they were left hanging on Lee's hooks for the hummingbird feeders separated from the roof. It is almost like we hung fake ones up with metal hooks. 

Quite a few snowmobiles were running last night when I came home. I guess they are trying to use up the last bit of snow before it melts. This weekend we are supposed to get temperatures into the mid-thirties.  It almost feels like swimming weather. 

During last week's cold temperatures one of the women I work with came in with a story I know many people will relate to.  Although it varies a bit from my usual talk about the mountains. I thought you all might enjoy it. I call it: "Snapped in Coudersport".

Dee was a busy, working mother of two children.  Today would be “her day off,” an extra day in the middle of the week to do things for herself.  It started off with a delay of day report: Schools will be on a two-hour delay today due to the bad weather. Dee determined to have a good day made a choice not to freak out after all it was only two hours she would still get for her alone time. 

Later she drove the kids to school and noticed her low-tire pressure light coming on.  Not to worry she thought, the cold weather sometimes makes it come on.  She kept on driving thinking about the appointment with physical therapy that day.   Dee made it home and didn't notice anything strange about the tires.  Soon it would be off to the physical therapy appointment. The appointment had taken her a month to get.  Her knee pain bothered her for the last several months and she hadn't slowed down long enough to take care of it.

With just enough time to make it to her physical therapy appointment Dee jumped back into the truck and started down the road.  The truck began pulling to the side and just didn’t act right.  She got out in the sub-zero weather and saw her tire dangerously low.  No problem there was an air compressor at home.  She returned to blow it up.

Dee drove back home. She went into the garage and switched on the air compressor… nothing happened.  She could see the cord plugged in and couldn't understand why the air compressor wouldn't run. 
“What now!” she yelled out loud. 
Dee ran back inside the house to warm up and dialed her husband for support as she felt her “me time” turning into “scream time”.

“Why can’t I get this stupid air compressor to work?” she shouted to her husband frantic to get to her appointment.

“Do you have it plugged in?” he asked.

 Of course I do. She thought to herself, does he think I am an idiot.

“It is the orange cord not the yellow one,” he added.

Slightly annoyed with herself she spouted back. “I didn't know it wasn't plugged in. Okay, thanks.” Dee runs back out, plugs in the air compressor. Air is flowing into the tire all is well with the world.  The sound of hissing air tells her otherwise. She sees the tire is losing air around the rim and refusing to fill.

“NO! I am going to miss my appointment you stupid tire!” 

Dee stomps back inside and looks at the time. Facing defeat she calls to cancel her appointment.

Well, at least I can still relax; have some milk and my favorite mint Oreo cookies I keep hidden for myself.  Dee poured a nice glass of milk anticipating some small pleasure in her “me time day. “ She reached into the cupboard for her Oreo cookies and they weren’t in their normal hiding place.  She starts moving things, cans of soup, croutons, cereal, and green beans are plowed out of her way. Lighter things like potato chips fly through the air to uncover her sacred cookies.   

“What the H… happened to my Oreos,” she screamed matching the intensity of the nearby volunteer fire siren.

“I can deal with late school, flat tires, air compressors not working, but there will be hell to pay for the person who took my Oreos.” Dee went through her usual list of suspects and at the top of the list, rose one above the others… her husband.  Her eyes glowed red with the anger only a woman who does everything for everyone else and needed just one small thing to go right can feel.

The dial of death pressed on her phone an unaware husband answers.

“Did you take my cookies?”

Nothing her husband can say is going to end well for him and one word he seals his fate.


At that moment deafness befalls Dee and her husband’s rambling excuses are of little comfort to her. She hangs up.

Dee pours the milk in solemn ceremony back into the container and with the grave covered on her day declares its last rites.

“All I needed were my Oreos.”

Mountain girl, Paula logging out.

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