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Column

Back to reality

If you live in Iowa long enough, you have felt the cold slap of negative degree wind chill as it hits your bare cheeks when you bravely emerge from the comforts of a warm building or vehicle. The past few days have been very cold, but I think most people have noticed. It’s not my ideal way of kicking off the new year, but we must play with the hand we are dealt.

I took some time off during the last week of the 2017 to spend extra time with family. Between my teacher family — my parents, sister, brother-in-law and future sister-in-law — who get Christmas vacation, and my brother and my fiancÚ getting Christmas shutdown at their workplaces, it only seems fair to save my vacation days to use at the end of the year in order to see them as much as possible.

The week was split between Tim’s family and mine, and it was wonderful to have a week of mostly leisure time before 2018 kicked off. The only hiccup of the entire week was the weather. It snowed on our travel day (Mother Nature always knows which day to pick), but we made it safely to our destination. The week went by fast, but it was great to spend time with family.

On New Year’s Day, we checked on Tim’s house and scooped the snow from the driveway and sidewalks. The subzero temperatures made the task a little harder, but Tim and I are both workers, so we completed the task in decent time.

We finally returned home to Newton with a truckload of luggage and gifts. Our apartment is a disaster area, but everything is unloaded, and we will soon get everything unpacked and return our home back to normal.

I was surprised to start looking forward to getting back to my regular routine. The days off were wonderful, but it was time to return. I guess I’m not one for a life of leisure. The thing I’ll really miss is sleeping in until 10 almost every day, but I’ll survive.

Tuesday brought its own little drama when Tim’s truck didn’t want to start at 4 in the morning. When it finally did, there were all kinds of “idiot lights” flashing. Tim let the truck warm up for awhile, but you could tell it wasn’t running right. We had driven it the whole time we were out of town, and it worked great. Of course, we hadn’t tried to start it when it was almost negative 30 degrees outside.

Tim tried to drive the truck, but it had no power. He had the accelerator to the floor and it barely went 5-10 miles an hour. Luckily, he has more than one vehicle. His little Aveo had been sitting for the whole time we were gone and was still covered in snow, but it fired right up and carried him to work. My prayers were answered on that one.

I avoided the possibility of car trouble by adding an extra layer and walking to work as I normally do. It would have taken longer to clean off/warm up my car than it does for me to walk to work. My family probably thinks I’m nuts, but I honestly don’t mind walking in the cold and snow. If it’s icy or raining, then I’ll grab my car keys.

These subzero days do test my resolve, however. The wind is the worst part. Even with a scarf wrapped around my face, leaving only a small slit so I can see, the wind still creeps it’ way in and makes my eyes water. Thoughts of warm, sunny days help me make the short journey to the office door. It makes me realize a life of leisure without routines doesn’t sound so bad afterall.

Contact Pam Rodgers
at prodgers@newtondailynews.com

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