The Freeze Before the Freeze

2007 Vibe

Not a real license number

She walked up the driveway in the single-digit pre-dawn dark to scrape the windshield like she always does, all this before driving off to exercise at 6:30 a.m. I don’t know how she does either, frankly. On this particular morning, all the doors were frozen shut—a higher order of problem, since the ice scraper was in the back behind the seat. After a short struggle, she got the hatch open and retrieved her tool. But by the time she broke driver’s door open and started the engine, the fight had gone out of her. I emerged from the bedroom in my red fleece robe to see her sitting in her chair working a crossword puzzle on the iPad instead of reading the paper she’d have picked up on her way home. Given this and the weather, I knew the rough outline of the tale before she spoke Winter! And so it was…

The cold can do strange things, like make a man think about garages. There’s nothing like a garage, and we don’t have one. What an incredible boon that would be. After driving around and collecting those huge lumps of frozen slush behind the wheels, you could just leave the car in the garage overnight and let them melt off. (Even an unheated garage is going to be a little warmer than the outdoors.) I usually end up banging on them with a hammer and a screwdriver. One of these days I’m going to puncture something precious like a brake line or my hand.

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