There is a perfectly good reason why I was shoveling snow onto my front steps. Sure I may have looked ridiculous walking into the yard in my bathrobe (shovel in hand, messy bun atop my head) scooping up piles of snow and dropping them onto the previously shoveled pavement, but it makes perfectly logical sense if you know what brought me to this point.
It all began yesterday. I had a kiddo who needed his jacket but he was on the other end of town. I had the jacket and the means to get it to him, but I had two little boys who just wanted to play in the snow. They had no desire to pile into the winter beater and traipse across town with me. I even tried to entice them with McDonald’s Happy Meals that could be nibbled on the way, but they weren’t buying it. In fact, Luke said, “I’ll take the Happy Meal, but I really don’t want to leave the house!” Smart kid.
I then tried to enlist the help of the older kids to stay home with the younger kids. Surely someone would be available to watch the boys play video games for the next 60 minutes. It’s an easy gig considering that the younger ones would require absolutely no human interaction as long as they were online. I just needed a grown up in the house to handle any emergencies (like a lost Wi-Fi connection.) There were no takers. It seems that the older kids all have an actual life and can’t just appear at my beckon call. Curses, foiled again!!
Defeated and deflated, I inform the mom at the house where my jacketless kiddo was chilling (literally) that I would not be able to fulfill the request. I tell her to please not wait on me to deliver the jacket because she might just grow old and gather dust in the meantime. She cushioned the blow by telling me that I was not interfering with their plans. Their day was going to be spent at home anyway as one of her children had an ear infection. No pun intended, but this was news to my ears!
I get oddly excited to hear that anyone is not well. You see, I fancy myself as the Florence Nightingale of essential oils. Realizing that someone is in need, I proudly exclaim, “There is an oil for that!” I immediately pulled out my reference book and asked if she would be open to me making a roller of healing oils to help her daughter. I was thrilled when she said, “yes” and I got to work on my potion. This has not solved the initial dilemma of getting the jacket across town, but it has given it increased urgency!
I finally succumb to my last resort – calling dad.
You see, the earth has spun on it’s axis to the point where our exposure to the light of day lasts for, oh, maybe 9 hours. As Vincent Price says in the “Thriller” monologue, “Darkness falls across the land…” and I am like Cinderella. No, I don’t have fancy slippers and mice doing my chores; I am like Cinderella in regards to needing to be safely at home when the clock strikes midnight (or 4pm in the northern hemisphere post the autumnal equinox). Since dad wouldn’t be home from work until after 4, this required calling in a favor.
It is not only Ryan’s bread and butter but also his mission in life to keep the roads safe for all passengers and drivers. (Literally – he works for the Department of Transportation.) Putting his visually impaired wife behind the wheel after dark would go against every moral fiber of his being so he has accepted his role of nighttime errand runner.
After dinner, he said he was gonna bring a plate of food to the neighbor then run the jacket across town. In my mind, I thought this was a two-step process but in his mind, one task would just flow into the other. He brought food to the neighbor than hopped in the car and began his journey. The jacket was safely in the car… the oil, however, was still in my pocket.
Realizing he was gone like Cinderella’s slipper, I called and begged him to turn around. Anyone who knows Ryan realizes that this is not gonna happen. I begged him to just come back and I told him I will run the jacket myself so that I could also bring the oil. He refused. I should be happy that he says I am worth more to him alive than dead, but instead I am just pissed. I do what any pissed off wife would do – turn on holiday music and start decorating the dang tree.
Yet when my left brain was focused on placing reindeer ornaments amongst the sledding penguins, my right brain began putting a devious plan in place. I informed my friend that I will wait until my errand running hubby goes to sleep, then I will grab the keys, sneak the car down the driveway and bring the oil to her. (Yes, the oils are really that important!) She and Ryan must have been in cahoots because she gave me the same message. Rational people drive me nuts when I am not rational…
Knowing that I was probably up to no good in his absence, Ryan called me after step one was completed – the jacket had been dropped off. He told me that it is very foggy on the road so my visibility would be less than zero if I tried to sneak out after curfew. (It’s like he knows me or something!) He calmly suggested that I wait ‘til morning and drive the oil when I could see. He even sweetened the deal by suggesting I get a “fufu coffee” on the way.
Like sands through the hourglass, the world turned and light once again descended upon the land. Not wanting to waste any time, I skipped the shower, didn’t bother putting on make-up or even changing into clean clothes, I grabbed the keys and a winter coat and drove to Caribou. After combining two gift cards from last Christmas, I purchased a fufu for me and a chai tea for my friend. I turned to put both cups in the cup holders and instead saw that one holder had a cup of dirt in it – a second grade science project gone wrong. (Perhaps the seed would sprout with a little TLC from home thus the school project became “homework.”) Clearly, Chai Tea was higher on the hierarchy of importance than a cup of dirt that Luke failed to bring in the house so the dirt was moved to the passenger seat while the Chai Tea and my “Ho Ho Latte” had the seats of honor.
I delivered the oil and drove home. After an hour to cool off, my latte would be the perfect temperature. I grabbed it from the holder and proceeded to walk to the front door. It was locked. I set the coffee down on the ledge of the house and searched for my keys. No luck. I looked back at the car and thought, “Oh no!”
Yep, the keys were still dangling from the ignition and my hand automatically hit the lock button. I had, indeed, locked the keys in the car! By now, my irritation had grown from moderate to severe. Again, I needed to request the aide of my husband who was in the backyard playing with the boys.
Of course he had spare keys (My knight in shining armor!). He told me where they were and I headed to the car to reunite with my own keys. I walked out the front door and somehow managed to spill the entire cup of Ho Ho Latte across the front steps! Rather than sipping on a delicious delicacy only available for a limited time during the holiday season, I think some rather ugly words may have slipped out of my mouth! I was justified. If Ryan had just turned around yesterday and grabbed the oil, I would not be in this predicament! It was his actions that forced me to the ground in a desperate attempt to scoop my latte back into the cup!
Once again, I accepted my defeat and decided to just plead with Caribou to replace my latte. However, there was a problem. I realize that we live in rather litigious society and Caribou would want photographic evidence that the latte had truly and literally “bit the dust,” but the memory on my phone was full! Unfortunately I needed to call on my “knight in shining armor” to borrow his phone. I did my best to suck up my emotions and not say, “THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT because you were STUBBORN and wouldn’t just turn around and get the sticking oil last night thus creating this very complicated web of obstacles for me to overcome that seem to be burying me alive right now and I hate the fact that I STILL NEED YOUR HELP!”
Yeah, it was killing me, but he leant me his phone and I was able to secure the evidence.
Keys? Check. Ryan’s phone with depressing picture of spilled latte? Check. Box of tissues? Check. (The motto advises not to cry over spilled milk, it doesn’t say anything about not bawling over a holiday latte!)
After careful examination of the photo, the manager at Caribou took pity on me and replaced my spilled latte. Pulling into the driveway again, I thought, “All is well that ends well.” I sighed and briefly smiled as I grabbed my belongings and proceeded to depart my vehicle. I had delivered my friend a cup of tea, I gave her daughter a gift from the earth to heal her ears, I successfully obtained a cup of latte for myself (not once but twice) and I had not killed anything in the process!
Dang it! Why didn’t I put Luke’s friggin’ plastic cup back in the cup holder? Time stood still and the dirt from the cup fell to the ground of the vehicle in slow motion. With one hand holding the coffee, I tried to stop the inevitable from happening, but my efforts were ineffective. I attempted to recover the seed amongst the dirt and put everything back into the cup, but it was useless. If I can’t see an SUV driving in front of me, I certainly was not going to find a seed amongst the dirt. Sorry little seed. You never even had a chance at life.
I realize that I have not yet explained why I was shoveling snow onto the sidewalk. Hold on, I am almost there!
I made it to the house, stepped over the spilled coffee on the front step, put my second coffee in the fridge because I didn’t even want it anymore and asked Ryan for suggestions on how to clean up the spilled latte. My first thought was to pour water on it but I have lived in Minnesota long enough to fully understand the three states of matter: liquid, gas and solid. Liquid water would soon turn to frozen ice on the cold ground; If I can’t even get safely through the door when the pavement is dry, creating an ice rink was probably not the best idea. (Though I am sure Ryan could find a Zamboni on Craig’s List!)
Mad as I was about the entire predicament, my heart melted when my genius husband suggested that I shovel snow onto the sidewalk so that it could absorb the coffee. (He is so smart. He always reminds me that I really “married up!” It is moments like this that he proves it.) Thus I threw on my bathrobe, waved at the confused neighbor’s as they saw me shoveling the lawn and decided to take Caribou gift cards off of my Santa List!
“Ho Ho” hope your day is going better than mine!