What does one write on a zero temperature January day? I hear the wind howling around the corners of the house. At least it is cozy and warm in my chair, especially since I am leaning on a nice warm heating pad.
The last few days have been a struggle. On Saturday, as I scurried about my usual life’s activities, I bent over to move a piece of clothing from one wash pile to another. I felt a separation in my lower back followed by a stabbing pain. Oh, no! Now is not the time to have my back go out. I have an appointment with my daughter to go wedding dress shopping in the afternoon and my hubby and I will be leaving for Florida on Wednesday. But backs do not ask what our plans are before giving up on us. And so for three days, I have been wearing a back brace and walking bent over like an old lady. Every step is a painful struggle.
Today, I knew I needed to get some things done as we are leaving tomorrow. But how am I going to do that. My back is stiff and painful, though less so. I still cannot pick anything up off the floor. How am I going to plow the drive, sand the drive, and shovel the sidewalk? I am overwhelmed just by the thought. But at 9 a.m. as the thermometer still displays -6 degrees F, I ever so slowly pull on my boots and bundle up. As I trundle through the cutting wind to the unattached garage, I hope that the plow truck will start. I don’t even have the strength to push the garage door up. This is just dandy. The truck stares at me open mouthed. The open hood reveals the battery charger in place. Maybe, there is hope. I turn the key, but only a half a turn of the engine breaks the stillness followed by a click. Well, there is nothing to do but to trundle back to the attached garage for the car and some jumper cables. I want to sit in the truck and cry. On a good day, jumping the truck would not be my first plan of the day but with the cold, cutting wind, and aching back, this is the last thing I want to do.
I am soon parked facing the truck and with fumbling gloved up fingers, have the jumper cables attached. A turn of the key and my ears are rewarded with the welcome sound of a rumbling truck engine. Goal one completed. Back to the garage with the car and I am ready to plow. Now to get the plowing done without getting stuck or stalling the truck. I am convinced that if I stall it, it will not restart without another jump. As proof of this, each time that I try to raise the plow, it empties the battery of power and all the warning lights on the dashboard say “hello.” Twenty minutes later, I decide to call it “good enough” before I have pushed my luck to far. As I am backing into the garage, the inevitable happens. I stall it. A click is the only response I receive from turning the key. I sigh. I almost made it. Ten more feet and it would have been back in its designated place. So off to the house I go again for the car and jumper cables. One more jump and the truck is parked. Goal two completed.
Now, I just have to sand the hill and the drive will be good again for a few days anyway. I don’t think my back will allow me to lift the heavy buckets of sand and salt that I have stored in the garage for this task but I am determined to get this task done too. But as I eye the 5 gallon bucket and the distance between the ground and the car trunk, I know that I can’t lift it in my current shape. Suddenly, it hits me. I can be resourceful. I will take 1/2 of the sand out of the full bucket and put it in an empty one. Then I can lift them. I am proud of myself for thinking of this. As I back down the drive with my precious cargo, I meet the Grainger truck slowly backing down after a failed attempt to make it up our hill. At least, he didn’t put himself in the ditch. Soon the drive is sanded and ready for the next attempt by unsuspecting visitors.
And that plow truck has made ANOTHER trip to the repairman to determine what ails it. Maybe by spring we will have a functional plow truck.