Every year in the middle of winter, my car battery decides to take a vacation. Now really…. I hate to think that a car battery is smarter than I am… Or that it is responsible for delivering sage (if subliminal) advice […take a vacation…] … But as the infamous they say, “truth is sometimes stranger than fiction.”
So, the weather here is unspeakably cold. I live in the upper Midwest… Minnesota, to be precise… And for the last 20 years, our winters have been relatively mild… Mild that is, compared to what they had been for the past 100 years, (or however long historians have been tracking weather). And so I fell in love with winter and smiled tolerantly at people who thought of Minnesota winters as prohibitive…
Until three years ago.
Now, we’ve had three years in a row with truly wretched weather that reminds me of my childhood, with snowfalls that never seem to end, snow drifts so high, if you fall into one, it’s like falling into a grain elevator… you’ll never get out… And thirty days or more where the temperature never gets above (or sometimes even close to) zero F. Then maybe a day or two where we’ll see 7F or even 13F… before the temp nosedives back down to subzero for another 28-30 days.
No joke. (Although the photo above IS a fake… it’s not QUITE that bad here.)
It’s February 7th. We have at least two more solid months of this.
In twenty years’ time, I’d forgotten how bitterly cold minus forever (as I’ve been calling the temperature, lately) is… And how limiting.
My gym seriously had to hire a parking lot attendant… Because the only way to get exercise is to “gym it”. No one is hardy enough to grin and bear exercising/playing outdoors. The traffic to the gym exceeds capacity… 😦
Okay, enough explanation that sounds suspiciously like whining…
So this morning, my car battery made that sickening sound just before everything goes ker-plunk… dead… Right?
Got a jump…
Drove the four miles to the Honda dealer… Yep, it’s that close 🙂
Car guy smiles broadly at me, and then frowns into his computer screen…
“Young Lady (bless him for that) did you know this is the third February in a row that you’ve come in here with the same issue… And every time, we replace your battery for free because it’s under warranty.. Which starts the warranty period over…”
He raised an eyebrow at me.
That’s right… HE (actually) RAISED AN EYEBROW AT ME!
I couldn’t help it… the idea of battery police just set me off. I started to laugh.
It rumbled up from my toes, passed through my ankles, my calves, rolled around in my knees for just a second or two and then continued up, tickling my belly, my throat… until it would not be denied.
“You got me,” I said, trying to catch my breath. “You’ve outed me and my diabolical battery scheme. Every year I put myself through the inconvenience of draining my battery and begging for a jump on the coldest day of the year so far… just so I can get a new one. Because that is so much easier than paying $90 at the appropriate time… before it dies on me, possibly leaving me stranded… In minus forever degrees.”
Really, the words slid out before I knew what I was saying.
Instantly I felt bad. I never want to be caustic and/or sarcastic (in this case it was definitely AND) just because it think someone is being unbelievably… obtuse. Note: I’m frequently obtuse 🙂
I felt WORSE!
But then he broke into another grin—bigger than the one when he first greeted me, and said, “well, if it means we get to see you, by all means, keep it up.” Yep… he winked at me. Twice, just in case I didn’t catch it the first time.
I blushed, yep… I did. Felt the flush all the way up from my toes.
So now, here I am, waiting while they replace my battery… And restart the warranty.
I have a Honda Accord. The sporty model. I love it—mostly because it’s fast. But this car (except for the battery in the dead of winter once a year) is so dependable, I never have to bring it in for anything.
I am so grateful for this car.
Did I remember that when I was having to beg for a jump?
I guess that’s something my brand new battery-under-warranty and I can work on.
PS: a dear, dear friend of mine who has an amazingly playful spirit, sent me this photo as a way of telling me she’d bought my book, NAKED HOPE. Look at where she’s placed it! On her dust-free, beloved hutch. (Dust-free? Does anyone have a dust-free hutch?)
Just look at her fabulous sense of color!! She’s a talented artist and I think her artist’s eye is so apparent in this photo. And my book looks pretty darn good too, yes ? 🙂
How do you spell g-r-a-t-e-f-u-l? This photo says it all.
So to all of you… thank you!
Wishing you unstoppable love and soft breezes,
Rebecca E. Grant
Love is Unstoppable
NAKED HOPE: Contemporary Romance
CRADLE OF LIES: Romantic Suspense
LIBERTY STARR: Contemporary Cowboy Romance
ARIANA SINGS: One Woman’s Journey to Find Her Voice nonfiction, spirituality