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Driving Home

freezing man

(Photo Credit: Scott Olson / Getty)

The cold weather is all anyone is talking about around here. Apparently it’s cold. Really, really cold. As I’ve humorously been reading blogs and chuckling over all the people who are “chilly” and had to put on a sweater or (gasp) a jacket before going outside, it occured to me how very unfair it must seem to them to not have a first-hand account of all this fun.

So for something a little different, in decidedly un-Ali-blog fashion, today I’ll be summarizing yesterday’s drive home from work, for all of you. And just so we’re clear, yes I am crazy, yes I am over-dramatic, and yes there are 20+ random things circling through my mind at any given time…


 It’s 4pm and time to go home. Honestly I’m a little tired of all the office talk involving the weather. Yeah, it’s cold – but we’re all inside. The schools are all closed and you’re out of luck if you’re planning on late night grocery shopping because most everything is closing early. You know, except my office.

I planned ahead and grabbed both a scarf and my brand-new Packer sideline hat with the little puff thing on top. Packer pride – loss or fail. I briefly wonder why I didn’t bring boots but why would I need them, it’s not like it snowed or anything. Scarf, mittens, hat, winter jacket and hood firmly in place, I trek out into the parking lot.

I expected to be hit with a blast of frosty air making it difficult to breathe but this is really mild. The air around my nose is freezing and un-freezing and I know my nose will be running soon. About 4 steps later, I’m actually cold. I juggle my backpack and fish my car keys from my pocket so that I don’t have to break stride and can fly into the front seat.

As my butt hits the seat, I hear a weird noise – like plastic ripping apart. Uh-oh, can leather rip? I’m guessing anything can crack under low enough temps. OMG did I just rip my leather? Is it covered under my warranty? Wow my hands are cold!

Hoisting my butt up off the seat, I try and start the car. I see the lights on my dash oddly fade in and out as the car moans, groans, and wails (similar to how I sounded walking up the stairs a day after my first BodyPump class). I briefly recall someone mentioning not to let your car try and turn over for more than 20 seconds or your engine will flood. I also recall something about frostbite hitting in 5-10min. I begin counting, feverishly praying the darn car will start while also angrily annoyed that it would even think of NOT starting. The dang thing is only a year old.

By the time I count to 9, the car sputters. I quick slap on my heated seat to High and grab my snowflake covered fleece blanket and settle it over my lap and upper legs. Now… I wait. I’m watching people get in their cars and immediately leave but Ben has given me strict instructions to let the car warm up a minute or two. Darn Ben. My teeth are lightly chattering and I’m trying somehow to both press my back into my seat in the hopes of feeling some of the heat while also NOT pressing against it in case I truly did damage the leather.

I remove my fingers from the tips of my gloves and press them into my palm, wishing I’d had thicker mittens. Heck, these are my thicker mittens! Glancing at the clock, it’s been a minute. 4 minutes until my frostbite sets in. Oh I think that’s just for exposed skin, so only my nose will fall off. Another minute and I can’t take it any more, I shift into drive and my car makes a terrible, hard lurch forward – as if I’ve rolled over a dead body in the parking lot.

I briefly wonder if I should give my car more time to warm up and decide to just drive home. I lurch and creak forward in a painful fashion even as I know it’s a bad idea. My car sounds tragic each time I apply the gas and the wind pulls me ever closer to the median. I turn off onto a back road so I won’t have cars behind me and I creep forward 15mph under the speed limit.

What if my car dies? I suppose if I have to pull over I could call Ben. You know, if I’d brought my cell phone – which I didn’t. I wonder if people would even stop in this weather, wouldn’t everyone assume the person had a cell phone? I keep lurching forward, tentatively applying more gas and easing off as I try and warm the car up.

A mile down the road I realize I really can’t feel my fingers or toes. It’s a lovely WI feeling that you get used to. If you want to experience this yourself, just dip your fingers in icy water and directly apply to the side of your freezer. It’s good times.

By the time my car gets home, the engine gauge still has not registered more than a hair above the “C” – indicating the car is still frozen. IEternally greatful that I didn’t expire on the way home, I dash into house, slam the door behind me, and immediately rip my gloves off to inspect my bright red fingertips. Ouch.

I survived. Do you know the best part? I get to do it all over again today!


Despite the cold, honestly I’d take it over the snow and ice. I suppose dying inside my car as it tries to warm up is slightly less likely (to me anyway) then slamming into another car or falling into a ditch during trecherous road conditions. Good times; anyone feel like moving to Green Bay??

low temps

It looks like -16 outside right now. Tomorrow a heat wave comes through and we’re up to 5 degrees! Woo. Time to break out the shorts. 😉 Everything is closed again today making the city seem relatively ghost-like… kinda similar to the roads during a Packer game.

I won’t tell you to stay warm today. You’re an idiot if you are out in shorts and an unzipped sweater coat in this weather (and yes, I am referring to the dude at the grocery store who apparently thinks frostbite doesn’t apply to him).

On to warmer and better things, congrats to Debra for winning the Core Power giveaway!

corepower winner

Please send your mailing address to me at alis.kitchen@yahoo.com and I will pass along to the Core Power folks. Congratulations!! For anyone still wanting to try Core Power, the $5 off coupon is still good.

Happy Tuesday everyone!


6 Responses

  1. I’m one of those peeps who can’t take the time to warm her car up for the cars sake. When I’m at work, my car is right outside my window so I can hit the remote start, but that’s for my benefit, not the car 🙂

    Good luck with the cold today. If you’re like us, you might have another day of it then we warm up again to those sweat inducing temps of 15 to 20 above… 😦 We should all go south for the winter.

  2. OMG, you had me laughing out loud! So true, the random thoughts of freezing to death, numb fingers, etc. This too shall pass, right?

  3. You need a remote start. They were saying on the news last night that it is important to let the car warm up for a couple minutes before just taking off.

    Hope today went better for you!

    • *groan* I’m slightly regretting not getting a remote start but all my co-workers who have one say you have to be outside and part-way down the sidewalk before you’re close enough to make it work. By that point, might as well just sit the extra 15 seconds it would have bought me. Overall, need to move south!

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