Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Saturday, December 2, 2017

Mitten Rescue

A repost of my favourite Christmas shopping story.

Red Mittens - not just for hands any more!
We were shopping. I will admit, here, that shopping is not my favourite activity. I need a really good excuse.
It was Christmas.
Okay, Christmas is a really good excuse . . .
My youngest two children and I were out to find a gift for Husby.
Their Dad, my Sweetheart.
The hardest person to shop for.
After much wrinkle-browed thought, we had decided that whatever we were seeking would best be found at Lee Valley Tools. My husband's favourite place on earth.
Really.
It is a long-standing family joke that he must go once a month to LVT to pay homage to Thor, the Tool God.
But I digress . . .
We set out.
It was December.
Winter.
In Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, winter equals snow. Ask anyone.
But avoid those with chattering teeth. Th-th-they c-c-c-can n-n-n-never be t-t-t-trusted.
Or understood.
Where was I? Oh, yes. Winter. Shopping. Setting out.
At first, things went well. A heavy, wet snow was falling thickly, but the window wipers were managing to keep the windshield clear – sort of.
We made it into the city. And immediately slowed to a snail's pace.
Let me describe the scene for those of you not familiar with travel accompanied by snow: All roads are now white. And slippery. All surfaces have become heavily coated in ice. Nothing is recognizable. Little is even visible.
The windshield wipers are your best, and only, friends.
But even they, too, get clogged with snow and need the occasional boost. This is accomplished by stopping. Getting out of the vehicle. And slapping said wiper against the window hard enough to remove any accumulated snow.
Or, if you are my husband, by opening the driver's window and catching the wiper when it is in its furthest upright position and giving it a quick snap while it is still in motion.
It's all about timing. And coordination.
Neither of which I have.
And both of which were to be needed shortly.
Several times, I pulled out of the crawling traffic and performed the necessary operation to clear the windshield. Then waited for a break in the traffic and pulled back in. Total time wasted? Hours.
Okay, well, it seemed like hours.
There must be a better way. I would try Grant's method!
Genius!
When the traffic had stopped for yet another light, or stalled vehicle, I quickly rolled down the window. Then I reached out.
I waited for just the right moment, when the wipers were at their apex (neat word, right?)
Closer. Closer. There!
I reached out and caught the top of the wiper.
Snap! Okay, that didn't sound good.
As the wipers began their downward stroke, I realized what I had done. The blade was still in my hand.
I had snapped the entire thing off its arm.
Umm . . . oops?
The window quickly became covered in a blanket of white. Well, half of it at any rate.
Unfortunately, it was the driver's half. Rather necessary if you want to see where you are going.
And usually, the driver does.
Something needed to be done. And there was no one but me to do it.
Rats!
Quickly, I climbed out and switched my only remaining wiper blade to the driver's side. Okay. Now I could see. That's important.
But now, the other side of the windshield was suffering from the lack of wiper-age.
Hmm.
I looked around. Our options were . . . limited.
“What about this?” My daughter's voice from the back seat.
She was holding up her red mitten.
I stared at it. Huh. Might work. I took it and, climbing out into the storm once more, proceeded to tie it to the other wiper arm.
There.
Perfect.
We switched on the wipers.
Wipe.
Wipe.
It worked!
Now we had a wiper and a . . . mitten.
I don't have to tell you how it looked. In point of fact, we giggled every time that mitten came into sight.
We finished our trip. Shopping done. Purchases made. Van safely parked back on the driveway.
And Husby replaced the wiper that had so inconveniently decided to come off.
Stupid thing.
The wiper, not Husby.
I learned several things from this:
1. Don't shop.
2. Don't drive.
3. Don't live in Canada
4. Don't go anywhere without your red mittens.
Okay, you're right. I didn't learn anything because:
1. I still shop.
2. I still drive.
3. I still live in Canada.
Pack your mittens!
You get the picture . . .


11 comments:

  1. Necessity is the mother of ... red mittens on wiper handles????

    ReplyDelete
  2. That’s one of the best stories I’ve ever heard. I’ve told it to a lot of people and they enjoy it immensely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! I'm famous. Well . . . my mitten . . .

      Delete
  3. I LOVE this story! I can just see it :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh, so funny. And I can only laugh because I live in upstate New York....at least, not in the heart of the snowbelt!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great writing! Your timing is impeccable although your wiper blade skills need some work!

    ReplyDelete
  6. ...obviously my blog posting skills needs some work as well.

    ReplyDelete

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