It was a strange morning, before I even got to the office.
I’ve been blessed my first winter back in Indiana—the first winter of lows below 35 degrees that I have experienced in thirteen years.
It has been the coldest winter in Indiana in something crazy like twenty years. Though I do not remember ever dealing with highs in the negative double digits before.
It has also been a very snow-packed winter, harking back thirty-some years to the winter of 1978. Digging my car out of the snow was one experience I did not miss while I was in California.
But I have actually been (mostly) fine with the winter. I’ve dealt with it. Digging my car out of a foot of snow. Praying Samson would start in negative degree weather. Bundling up to venture outside to the store. Dealing with cabin fever. (Actually, the last is really getting to me.)
The other day though was a new winter experience. I opened the passenger side door with a noticeable delay and crack. In I threw my bags. Around to the driver’s side I went. I pulled. Huh? I pulled again. No sound. No movement. I flashed to the story I heard many years ago. A story about my sister who had relocated to Seattle. Who had gone out to her car one morning to go to work, only to find it iced shut. She ended up calling Dad. What the heck do I do? And they brainstormed a way to get into her ice-encapsulated car.
The memory of the story hung in the air and then went up in the proverbial cloud of smoke. What the heck was I going to do? Call Dad? No wait. Think. I checked the other doors in the back. They obliging cracked opened. Figures. I could open all of the doors except the driver’s side door.
I could crawl into the driver’s side from the passenger side door so I could start the car and drive to work. But what if the driver’s side door didn’t open when I got to work? What if I became stuck? I crawled in the back and stretched up to the front door, pushing it from the inside. Slowly, slowly, it yielded. Ah! I could get in my car. Weirdness for the morning done.
Or so I thought.
Happily driving to work in my car, I realized at one point that the woman in the car behind me was flashing her lights. Huh? I wasn’t sure where she wanted me to go as we were part of a line snaking slowly down the road. Perhaps she didn’t want me (and everyone ahead of me) to hurry up, but actually was trying to tell me something else. But what?
As we approached a stoplight, she sped around me. To the left turn lane. That was staring right at a red light. As she did so, I caught her arms flaying all around. I could only surmise that she was expressing her exasperation at me. At all of us on the road ahead of her. I’m going to give her the benefit of the doubt that she was only waving arms at me, not certain parts of her appendages.
The weirdness of the morning passed and the day developed into a normal Monday. Thankfully at the end of the day the strangeness did not return. My car doors opened. No one signaled their displeasure with flashing lights and waving arms. Strange morning indeed.