Hot and Cold

It’s been very cold here on the east coast for weeks. There’s several inches of snow still on the ground. I have had a nice coat of ice on my car’s windshield every morning for days. Having misplaced lost my window scraper, I am reduced to waiting for the car to warm up and melt the ice. This morning, the ice layer was thin. I decided to wait in the car while the ice melted. Five minutes later, I was very cold, but ready to leave.

This is when events began to conspire against me. While my driveway was clear of snow, the road at the end of my driveway still had some snow from the plows, which I hadn’t moved. My plan was to roll through at speed, which generally works. As my front wheels were passing the gutter, I realized I’d turned my car the wrong way… towards a neighbor’s car which is always parked on the road, strategically in my blind spot when I back out. Instinctively, I slowed the car for an extended crane-the-neck look for the other car- forgetting that this was a bad time to slow down. I stopped with my front wheels (of my front-wheel drive Eclipse) directly in the snow, in the gutter. Got my bearings, tried to back up… spun my wheels. Same going foward. Stuck. What a way to start the day!

The back of my car was blocking half the street, on a busy intersection. I was not pleased. I ran to get the snow shovel and rock salt, and asked Sherri to come help. I moved some snow, tossed some salt, and tried again. No change. Sherri tried to push. No change. I tried again… and slipped sideways. Slightly less road blocked, but I was still stuck. Watching the school bus thread its way between my car and the neighbor’s car (the one that caused all this) was especially invigorating.

I am ashamed to say I started getting mad. I was angry that this had happened to me. I was already imagining waiting for AAA to arrive, standing in the snow, waving people around my car. I was livid. I watched a big truck coming up the adjoining street, and was pleased when he didn’t turn. Then his brakes came on, and he started backing up. “Great! You would decide to turn after all, wouldn’t you?” I thought. I was hot.

And then something happened that immediately defused my tantrum. The truck stopped, and two guys hopped out. They walked over, moved a little more snow with the shovel, and pushed me out. I suddenly felt very small for being so worked up over nothing. I also realized it’s a shame that having someone stop to help you is a surprising thing these days.

To the anonymous gentlemen who helped me this morning, thank you and God bless you. You were the answer to a prayer I was too angry to pray. You not only saved me a lot of time and frustration, you improved my outlook for the entire day.

What a good way to start the day.

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