This morning I was supposed to go to the gym with my friend, Becky; something we try to do regularly. I wasn’t feeling up to it, plus it was cold and windy outside, so I cancelled. Sometimes we end up canceling or postponing more than we end up going, but hey, we try.
But moments before I text messaged my friend to tell her I couldn’t go, I went out into the garage for an armful of firewood – and it was nearly empty.
This doesn’t mean we’re out of firewood. What it means is that we need to bring more wood from the outdoor pile into the garage. It works for us to do it in stages like this, since it all won’t fit in our basement or our garage.
But the ugly truth for me on this morning of not feeling up to par was that I needed to bring in wood. A lot of wood. There is an arctic chill coming our way, according to the weather people. Oddly enough, I was already under the impression that we were IN an arctic chill. Ten degrees and windy today – doesn’t that classify? But they say it will only get colder. A lot colder. Dang.
I got the kids off to school, bundled up, and begrudgingly went out into the cold. The not-yet-arctic-chill cold. To add to the fun, yesterday we had a tropical moment, and at 7:30 last night it was 35 degrees and raining. The rain fell on top of our already icy driveway and then froze (of course) overnight, so today we have the makings of a glacier. My path from the garage to the woodpile includes walking across the driveway. This, unless I open the big garage door, which won’t open because it is still broken.
But it gets even better!
We are out of ice-melt!
We had about a half-cup left in the bag in the garage (who is in charge of replenishing these things, anyway?) so I threw that down on the glacier and commenced to making my way to the woodpile. Within minutes, the little bit of ice-melt I put down began to melt the ice. But with a three-inch layer of ice, it only melted the top paper-thin layer, which meant now I had slimy water on top of the ice. It made for interesting walking while carrying armfuls of firewood.
After a few slips and near-misses, I got out the ice chipper and began to chip away the ice so I could make a relatively safe path for walking to and from the woodpile. But after a few minutes of this, my arms were sore and I hadn’t made much progress. I did manage to chip up enough of the ice on top to make it chunky, which meant less slippage, though I never did find the driveway underneath it all.
With the path less treacherous, I went back to carrying wood. And amazingly, after about 45 minutes, I realized something. I needn’t go to the gym on days such as this. It was positively lovely outside. Sure, my chin was numb (one of the only body parts exposed to the elements) but I was getting cardio-vascular exercise, I was building body strength, I was learning balance (remember, the ice) and best of all, I wasn’t breathing anyone’s sweat. Rather, I was out in the cold, clean, fresh Maine air, and when I finished, I was already home.
If only I could convince my friend, Becky, to come do this with me. It would be a lot more fun to do it with a friend, and I’d move twice the wood. Somehow, I don’t think she’d see it that way.
Copyright © 2009 - Paulla Estes