Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



All of My Friends

Friday, September 2, 2011

Mitten to the Rescue

Red Mittens - not just for hands any more!
Photo credit: polarbearstale.blogspot.com


We were shopping.
I will admit, here, that shopping is not my favourite activity.
I need a really good excuse.
It was Christmas.
Okay, a really good excuse . . .
My youngest two children and I were out to find a gift for Grant. 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 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!
It was 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 it's 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 for the lack of wiper-age.
Hmm.
I looked around.
Our options were . . . limited.
“What about this?” My daughter's voice from the back seat.
My daughter holding up her red mitten.
I stared at it.
Huh. Might work.
I took it and, climbing out into the storm once more, proceed 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.
But it worked.
We finished our trip.
Shopping done. Purchases made.
Van safely parked back on the driveway.
And Grant replaced the wiper that had so inconveniently decided to come off.
Stupid thing.
The wiper, not Grant.
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.
Wait, I did learn something!
Yes, I know it's summer.
But it's also Canada.
Pack your mittens!

8 comments:

  1. Always keep a spare pair of mittens in the car. Welcome to Canada.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Here from NOBH congrats on getting star blogger! I'm following you on GFC, hope you'll follow back!

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is so funny! I can totally picture this happening to me.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love this.
    As always.
    And after my recent comment...I noticed that you do have a book out.

    And I'll read it...
    One of my closest friends is Canadian...and she'll love it too.

    ~Kara @ The Chuppies/NOBH

    ReplyDelete
  5. As a fellow Albertan, I know all too well that it can snow unexpectedly ANY month of the year! Congrats on the Star Blogger on NOBH!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh brrrrrr ..... I actually think you should have stayed with the red mittens -- would have been ADORABLE!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hilarious:) i think this is the first time I seen a story about your and your kids:)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hahaha! Fantastic!! And all the better because something RED saved the day!!!

    ReplyDelete

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