Often I question why I live in Chicagoland, and last week was certainly one of those times. But here I live, and I’ve got a mortgage and some pretty nifty friends and family who are all crazy enough to live here, too, so I plan to make the best of things. That means last week I had to gear up for the cold. Polar cold.
We Illinoisans have been spoiled by some pretty mild winters the last couple years. (I fondly remember hiking without a jacket at Starved Rock — in January!) So, I’d forgotten what real cold feels like and acts like, and I needed to adjust. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday morning were predicted to be wicked cold (in the negatives), and unfortunately, I only got Monday off. So, I resigned myself to getting prepared, and I had one question: At what point does my face turn blue and my fingers fall off?? According to the news: within minutes. So, I geared up. (See Figure 1)
Warm weather checklist:
- 2 or 3 pairs of socks — including some thermal ones
- long underwear (top and bottom)
- heavy sweats
- T-shirt, long-sleeved shirt, sweatshirt, and jacket
- hat (with hood up)
- ninja mask (face mask)
- tennis shoes (my boots finally just came in the mail, and they are the best thing EVER)
I also made sure I had a sleeping bag, some water, and snacks.
Everything almost went off without a hitch. The warehouse where I work was actually decently warm. I was more confident in the snow, managing the skidding and taking things extra slow, especially around the turns and approaching lights and stop signs. The highway was a mess, but I took the alternate route, and I made it to work without a problem. I made sure I warmed up my car for 5 minutes during lunch, and everything was going smoothly.
And then Tuesday evening I got into my car, turned the key, got a “vrrp” and then. . . nothing. I tried again. . . nothing. I couldn’t believe it. The one reason I had considered calling in sick — and it had happened to me. I stilled my mind and worked on the next step. The maintenance guy. Find the maintenance guy. 2nd shift was still going, and my friend in maintenance was still in there somewhere. So, I gave up on my car and went back in to work to find him. He came back with me, lugging some kind of charger thing and proceeded to hook it up in my trunk. (Yes, my battery is in my trunk). We waited a little while, and then I tried the ignition again. Vrrp. . .nothing.
Now I was getting a bit concerned. He continued to charge the battery and asked to poke around under my hood for a bit (unsure about my battery really being in the trunk). Meanwhile, my fingers were starting to get cold — I don’t have heavy duty gloves; Honestly, I try to get away without wearing gloves as much as possible, and I’d go without a coat, too, if I could get away with it! — and I started worrying that my hands were going to shrivel up and become smurf blue.
I decided it was time to put some metaphysics learning to use. First, I sent my car light energy. Then, not sure if sending energy worked for cars, I tried visualization — recreating the sound and feel of the car revving up with confidence and gusto. I then repeated this image a few times in my mind.
I’m not sure if it was the maintenance guy’s gizmo, or the light energy, or the visualization — or all 3 –but when I tried the car the next time, it gave a hearty, unhesitating start, exactly as I’d imagined it. I thanked my friend profusely and hurried into my car, rubbing my hands together like two sticks making a fire, and I let the car warm up. “That’s my girl!” I crowed to my metal baby, and I couldn’t wait to get home, kiss the floor, and hug and kiss my honey (maybe not in that order).
And this week I’ve officially become one of those crazy people who thinks 30 degrees is spring weather and goes about willy-nilly without gloves and hat. But, I mean, can you blame me? Winter was 50 degrees ago!