In Minneapolis today, the second day of spring with flood warnings on full throttle, we have a winter storm. Cold and blustery, heavy and wet snow, treacherous roads. Feel free to thank me, because I caused it.
Not with wizardry, but with the Law of Murphy. You see, I mistakenly brought the family Astrovan through the car wash on Monday. This is something I rarely do, not liking to spend the money, preferring to use the hose in the driveway. So, in the winter, I'll usually watch a weather forecast first, to be sure the roads will stay dry long enough to justify the 7 or 8 bucks needed to wash the salty grime off the White Wonder. I'm pretty sure this storm would have stayed north had I not sprung for the Deluxe+Undercarriage.
Also contributing to the stormy weather, it's Picture Day at the Boy's pre-school, the annual newly-pressed-and-collared-shirt and the What-can-the-boy-eat-for-breakfast-that-won't-leak-down-his-chin Rite of Passage day, to be memorialized in scrapbooks and on grandmotherly walls for decades to come.
Someday in the distant future, the Boy's wife will look at today's picture in the orange polo and spiky, gooped-up hair and see just how cute her darling husband was as a 5 year old. What she won't know is that the winds were gusting to 20 knots with swirling wet snow. Only on picture day.
But anyway, that's not what I wanted to blog about this week. I'll leave the SNOMG's for facebook, as I'm sure your newsfeed is filling up as fast as mine with harrowing adventures and pinings for warmer weather and empty promises to move south.
This week, I decided on what I was going to 'give up' for Lent. I haven't typically observed any fasting rituals (hence the present waistline, I suppose), probably because I'm usually still sulking over a too recently failed New Year's Resolution. But this year, I decided to stop swearing. I don't swear all that much, but recently I've noticed that when something isn't going my way (for example, the mere presence of another vehicle on the highway in MY lane....a slow computer....exercise) I've been muttering curses to the wind. Which doesn't help, just makes me more miserable. So, last Wednesday, I decided not to swear anymore.
It wasn't even an hour after I committed this to myself quietly that my car wouldn't start. At the library. With no cell phone.
And then after 20 minutes of threatening the scrapyard, it finally started. But wouldn't stay running. Unless I kept the engine revving. Like at 3000 rpm. So, I began my trip to the mechanic, only a mile or so down the road from the library, revving in neutral like a teenager at every stoplight and popping it into Drive when it turned green.
This time, he manifested himself as a Spring Lake Park police officer with no sense of humor as to why I was barreling through his quiet neighborhoods, engine screaming. He asked me to turn off the engine, of course. I could actually see the mechanic's parking lot a block away. I was able to convince him to let me keep it revved up, in neutral.
After collecting my violation along with a brochure titled "You've Received a Citation in Anoka County - What's Next?" I proceeded to the mechanic. I know them on a first name basis, unfortunately.
"What's Next" is right. Ah, Murphy, there you are.
They didn't have time to look at it right away. I didn't have a coat on, or gloves, or a hat, but walked home a mile because I don't have a cell phone to call anyone.
Fast forward a week, and they still have the car. I finally got a diagnosis yesterday (they had been working at it, but couldn't figure out what was wrong with it), and Murphy, cleverly disguised as a broken catalytic converter, is charging me around 500 bucks to get it road worthy again.
Murphy? Is that you?
Yes. Yes it is. My prediction is that the Olds will be done today. Why will it be done today? Because my plan has been to walk the 1.6 miles to pick it up while the Boy and my wife are navigating their separate workdays and not returning home until after 5, when of course the shop closes. Couldn't be worse weather.
But anyway, as far as small victories go, I haven't been cursing through any of these trifles. Just inconveniences, I tell myself. Having the best day ever.
Okay, so maybe one or two slips here and there - mostly during the "Ab Ripper" part of the P90X program. (if you've done their banana roll/superman, you have my pity) But overall, my mood has improved as a result of Lent, I swear.
I mean, I don't swear.
(If you find yourself wondering what the title of this entry is referencing along with some of my cleverly pilfered phrasing, you NEED to watch Phineas and Ferb on the Disney channel. Brilliantly insightful comedy for all ages. You can click on this sentence to get acquainted.)