We have gotten rather spoiled during this winter season. Wouldn’t you say? Days on end with a gentle 20 to 30-degree forecast. A brown Christmas and long weeks with nothing but clouds. No snowstorms or blizzard conditions. Not enough frigid days or nights to make one get up and go to Florida.

Even the very wimpy (those wearing fleece and heavy boots and socks) continued to go forward with grace. This wasn’t so bad! Winter in Wisconsin! Hardly worth mentioning.

Just when we were getting into waiting for the reluctant Ground Hog prognostication (thanks a lot buddy!) followed by the the annual warm weather red-light looming just ahead on February 14, AKA Valentine’s Day - we get hit with a ice/blowing snow/slick roads scenario.

Talk of minus 15 and maybe lower. Stay home if you can, the weather forecasters warned. Make sure you have warm clothes in the car along with ice scrapers, highway salt, shovels and additives to keep your car or truck from turning into an ice cube on wheels.

Given the Covid “Stay at Home” rules it is not hard to plan to stock up and bake some cookies. But, of course you know the drill. Out of milk? I can not be out of milk! I love milk and I drink it like they aren’t making anymore. So I head for the convenience store and decided to also get some antifreeze and fill up my tank (down to one-quarter). Forewarned forearmed.

After scraping and chipping at my windshield wipers and freeing them up (sort of) and then sweeping off four or five inches of snow on the top of my small vehicle - I made my way downtown and after pulling up along the pumps I discovered that my gas tank cover was frozen down to the center of the earth. What to do?

Got my milk and headed back home (OK, so there were a few packages of long johns and a small cake, but a person has to have some sustenance.)

I turned my car around in the driveway so the sun would hit it during the afternoon hours. That worked! The gas tank cover turned like a charm.

The whole process brought back memories of winters when I was a kid walking to school (ALONE over a mile, uphills and backwards - with the snow leopards crouched, waiting in the trees above me).

So just getting the tank opened seemed simple. My cheeks had a tendency to chap from the sharp wind (these were my upper cheeks, not my lowers) and my mother made me wear an old wool scarf that scratched and itched and I digress ...

My thoughtful teacher (Miss Graves) knew I was about the only “walker” and so gave me the desk by the old clanging register so I might warm up over the course of the day. The smell of warming wool became apparent right away. It smelled exactly like wet sheep.

My fellow classmates mothers drove them to school and dropped them off right by the front door. My mother was a proponent of fresh air and exercise and chapped cheeks be damned. Besides she didn't want to go out in that arctic blast!

Ahhhh! Winter! Remember to wear your mittens and your masks!

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