The weather outside is frightful

By Chuck Kajer

I don't know about you, but I'm already a little tired of winter.

Sure, winter hasn't officially started yet, but we've had two pretty good snowfalls so far that have made it necessary to shovel off the driveway. I took care of the task over the weekend, but on Tuesday I wasn't home most of the day and Jenny attacked the snow with a vengeance.

It isn't so much the cold, at least not yet. We haven't had the deep freeze temperatures that usually come in mid-January. It's more the inconvenience.

You'd think after 48 years I'd be used to this weather. I don't like having to put shoes on to just take a few steps outside to put the dog on her leash. I've got a whole shoebox on the shelf at home full of gloves....and the only ones that match are ones that don't fit or don't keep my hands warm. I've got at least a dozen gloves without a partner in that box.

Last Friday, after hearing that the snow was on its way, I stopped at a local retailer and found a nice pair of gloves at a good price. They were warm, comfortable and they matched. On Saturday I ventured out into the snow and went to take pictures at the high school wrestling tournament. After it was over, I was gathering my stuff together and saw the gloves next to my camera bag and made a mental note to grab them. Ten minutes later, I'm getting out of the car and can't find the gloves anywhere. I was back at the school an hour later to take pictures at the alumni wrestling tournament, but the gloves were gone.

Driving in the snow is another inconvenience, especially when you're approaching a stop sign. Twice this winter, I've found myself hurtling toward an intersection with my foot on the brakes and the car showing no sign of stopping. In both cases, there were cars approaching on the cross streets, but fortunately, in both cases, I was able to steer the car clear of any danger. After eight months without snow, winter driving takes some getting used to.

However, I now have found a new favorite device that makes life so much nicer in the winter...the remote car starter. Josh installed one on Jenny's van last year for Christmas, and offered to do the same on my car. I turned down the offer, thinking I'd have no use for it. I'm thankful I turned it down now, but only because the car died last spring. Since then, I've been sharing the van with Jenny. Now, about 10 minutes before I'm ready to go home on a cold winter day, I hit the yellow button on the starter - remember to turn the car's heater onto high when you get out of the car - and when it's time to leave, I go outside to a toasty warm car. The only thing is, you have to remember to put the key in the ignition before you try to get the car in motion, or it cuts out. When it's time to buy another car, that's an option I'm going to make sure is available.

OK, I feel better now that I've vented. I am, after all, a life-long Minnesotan. I do appreciate the changes in the seasons, it's just that when winter hits, I'm not ready. It's going to take some time. It's kind of like getting up in the morning. When you wake up, you aren't sure you want to get out of bed, but once you get moving, you realize everything's OK.

I just don't like my mornings so cold.

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