Downsizing is a give and take: I took the smaller carbon footprint, the abundant wild life, the beauty of nature, the “bigness of the sky” and the numerous stars visible only when away from the city.
I gave up a fenced in yard/dog run for my little doggie, multiple doors to the outside and a HEATED GARAGE! Being a baby boomer means we came of age during the hippie generation and learned “to roll” with those cold, hard, vinyl seats when our car spent the night outdoors. As we became homeowners over the past 30 years, we always had heated garages and never thought about having to warm our cars up for 10 minutes before driving.
As the polar vortex, a concept which was not even in our lexicon a decade ago, descended upon us the week before Christmas, I realized that we needed to find our winter gear: gloves, boots, hats, puffer coats and little doggie’s winter coat. I then looked in the refrigerator and freezer and was shocked at how empty they were. Being on “home vacation” I usually make a habit of stocking up on food before those last frantic days before Christmas, but this year I lost track of time, ( fear not, Post It Notes will become your BFF too ). So, hubby and I donned our winter gear, locked the house and attempted to open the garage door…NADA, ZIP, NO MOVEMENT! Back inside, while hubby called the garage door repair man, I made mental calculations of food prep for the next few days of predicated below zero weather, and remembered that we had just had the garage door serviced in the Fall. Our trusty repair man said, “my garage door didn’t open either, wait until later in the week when it’s supposed to be 5 degrees.” A virtual heat wave it wasn’t but warm enough that our garage door open. Then came the process of warming up the car: hubby did not want the car warming up inside the garage with the door open, ( not sure why but I went with his rather sophisticated plan ), so we moved the car to the driveway, locked it, closed the garage door and waited. I innocently asked him, “why go through all the locking and closing?”, and his reply was, “so no one would take the car or get into the garage.” My thought bubble said, “we live in the middle of nowhere and 1/2 the people on our tiny street are out of town”, (yes, my thought bubble stayed as a thought!).
Finally the car is warmed up but still concerned about the garage door not working we left through the front door. Off we went doing 1 1/2 weeks of errands in 2 hours – no way I was going out again in this frigid cold. Fast forward to the week of New Year, polar vortex still with us with a whopping 7 degree temperature. I went out to lunch with a friend and left hubby on speed dial if ye ole garage door was not going to defrost. Sure enough, my remote could not get it to open so I tried the front door…my key would not even go 1/2 way into the lock…FROZEN! I called hubby, he opened the garage door and I scurried my car inside. A few days passed and we hit 11 degrees, a real heat wave, and I declared that today was grocery day, ( best to try to beat the New Years Eve craziness ). Hubby was all set to go until I said, “ah, not so fast tiger, what if the garage door won’t open and your attempt at defrosting the front door lock with WD-40 didn’t work, how are we gonna get inside?” After a mild protest, he realized I was anxious about these weather related “issues” and he reluctantly agreed to stay home, once again on speed dial. Yes, I felt badly about “grounding him” but I am not my best when I am anxious. I did, however, bring him gourmet ice cream to make up for being a hard headed senior citizen! Being a baby boomer gives you carte blanche to eat ice cream in below zero weather!
As always, life throws us curve balls but my motto is, come rain or shine, snow or frost, my groceries will be purchased and my family will be fed!