So, it’s winter here in Chicago. If you’ve followed the weather maps you know that we’re buried in snow, stuck if you will. Though Bruce (Mr Intrepid) has managed to get to his job all week in spite of the blizzard.
We’ve also had Covid! As if heart surgery, unemployment and a pandemic weren’t enough for this (and last) year. It came through Bruce’s job, 40 employees and 14 got the virus…
We were not happy
Blessedly we didn’t have a dire case, it’s lingered and its been uncomfortable but not dire. And now we have something called
At least for a few months. Silver linings, glass half full and all that. I just want to be able to get outta here for a week somewhere warm!
We’re making plans
Covid hit right as we got our first snow storm. We were too ill to tackle the shoveling so Bruce’s street car was buried for 2 weeks. Last week I dug it out. I spent an hour shoveling ice, scraping windows, and generally huffing and puffing away so he could use his car.
Did I mention that I hadn’t driven in 3 weeks?
Due to virus recovery Bruce was using my car, from the garage, so that he didn’t have to tackle digging his out. I was stuck at home, my motivation for digging his car out wasn’t pure. Just to give you an idea of what’s involved, here’s how snow works in our city.
Residential streets are parked with cars, usually both sides, going one direction. The streets are narrow. Snow falls and the plow comes along to remove the snow so the street is drivable. The extra snow is piled up along the parked cars creating waist high frozen berms to remove so that the car can leave the parking space. And there is a pile in front and back of the car to dig out. All that along with the inches that accumulate on the hood, windows, doors and roof.
Digging out a car is a big job
Because I dug out the car, we took a drive to see our daughter in Hebron IL on Valentine’s Day. It hadn’t been driven in 3 weeks! It was wonderful to take a drive, get out of the apartment and go somewhere different. Her house is so bright! She doesn’t have to use lamps until evening.
Winter in a Chicago apartment is rather dreary. I didn’t feel the effects of it till our 2nd winter here and it sent me into a depression. We’ve helped to remedy it by painting some therapeutic colors on the walls, and so far this year I’ve had a much better time of it.
Back to snow removal
On Monday we had a storm of epic proportions. Our neighborhood received 18” of new snow! We broke records. We watched it snow all evening in sideways patterns. The wind chill was real.
After my Friday dig fest we used a time honored system for saving our spot, it’s called dibs. People dig out their vehicles then place extra chairs, buckets, knicked traffic cones etc… in that spot and it’s saved for you. You did the work so you get the spot. AND people respect it!
Most of them anyway
But on Tuesday, after Bruce left for work and used his dibs chairs, after I’d shoveled the front walk and roped my neighbor into doing the sidewalk – someone took our space.
I couldn’t find the person to inform him/her (politely) of their error, so I stewed all afternoon. Bruce came home from work, parked on a street a couple of blocks away and walked home. His asthma doesn’t like the cold and he’s still recovering from Covid.
I stewed some more
In the evening I saw someone at the errant car warming it up. I opened my front window and shouted at him (nicely) that it was ‘OUR SPOT’. He pushed back, saying he was saving it for his dad. He didn’t know why people do this, it’s not anyone’s to own blah blah blah….
In other words, “Too bad for you lady”
I came away angry. The kind of anger that deeply disturbs. It brews inside your chest, looking for a way to express itself. It was worse than election anger! It was anger born of the selfishness of another’s actions.
I had to bake something chocolate
Adding to my anger, this morning as Bruce left for work he told me that the person who took the spot now had buckets in it so they could save it. I normally go back to sleep after he leaves, but today I had to get up,
There was chocolate for breakfast
I’m so disturbed! I can’t believe someone would be so disrespectful of the work that I did to clear that parking spot. I’m frustrated, angry and there is absolutely nothing I can do. It’s not a the law, I can’t report him. It’s curtesy and consideration. I know that my response is to ‘turn the other cheek’ or to give him my coat along with my parking spot.
But I don’t want to!
True confessions, Bruce just called to say that he tossed the buckets our thief used onto the snow bank so that someone else could take the spot. And they did. The son is back in that spot holding it for the day so his dad can have it tonight.
Bruce also confessed that he felt bad after he did it. It’s uncharacteristic of him, he usually takes the moral high ground. I suppose it shows that under the right circumstances we all have a capacity to seek ill towards others.
I want to give this guy the benefit of the doubt. To say that he’s watching out for his dad’s health or that his dad is aging and walking too far is hard for him.
But all those things are true of us too!
For now, I’ll live with my frustrated anger and resentment. There really isn’t anything else I can do. I’m not holy enough to pray for the guy, and that’s probably what I should do.
I have a feeling more baking is in my future…