The perils of winter

February is turning out to be a grumbling, grouchy old month.

February is turning out to be a grumbling, grouchy old month.

It seems to be full of miserable!

And it seems to be contagious. And I am no exception.

As the days progress on the calendar, I find myself beginning to feel like February, myself.

Miserable. Cold. Mad!

I don’t really like to feel all miserable, cold and mad like the weather, so I told myself to stop it.

Is your cup half full or half empty? I asked myself, sternly. “Frozen,” I answered myself. True! It was. Leave your coffee cup in the car overnight. And that’s what you get. Frozen coffee slush.

Anyway, despite the season, I decided I didn’t want to be all miserable and mad so I went out and bought this cool little coat that has layers and a fur trimmed hood that is delightful except it is too big and falls down over my eyes. I’m sure I do not look like a fashion guru, but just silly when I wear it, especially when I run into things as I can’t see too much because of all the fur over my eyes, but oh well. It is warm!

I also decided, even though it is not a characteristic I am well known for, to remember where my spare car key is, now and forever more.

That, of course, is because of the lesson Mother Nature taught me, only last week.

It was a chilly morning, minus 38 or something. Because it was so cold, I decided to start my car a few minutes before I left for work, hence not having to sit in a frozen icebox until I became frozen, as well.

I started the car, came back in the house and poured a coffee to go. All seemed well until I tried to get back into my car, coffee cup in hand.

My car was locked.

“This cannot be,” I said silently to the cold and frozen north that lay silently before me. “I know I did not lock it. Did not, did not, did not!”

I marched my little self, my rapidly cooling coffee cup and my anger back into the house, slamming the door in complete and utter frustration.

Just to be sure there was no key fairy lurking in my purse, I dumped its entire contents on the kitchen table.

I had a lot of junk in there, but, apparently, no spare keys.

Uttering several bad words entirely inappropriate for a grandma, I marched outside unsuccessfully pulling on all the door handles of my still running vehicle.

It was very locked!

Finally, I phoned a tow truck driver, spitting out my words in sharp, staccato sentences. “Come. Now. Please.”

“I’ll be there in half an hour,” he said, soothingly, like he held a magic key to my happiness which, of course, he did.

He was irritatingly cheerful when he arrived. “Weird things happen when it’s cold,” he said in that same soothing voice which made me want to hit something.

I smiled. He smiled. Then he took my money and he smiled again. I didn’t.

My car locked itself again this morning, but I was ready.

I had a spare key in my purse.

And, as I took the long, frozen drive to work, I felt something akin to happiness.

“Bring it on, winter,” I shouted to the frozen stillness, feigning bravery.

I heard a click.

Darn! My doors locked again. Where is that spare key?

— On The Other Side