Do you and Dad remember when I called you to tell you that I got married and I was moving to Minnesota? It was May 5, 2001, and it was a cold day in the most northern latitude I’d ever visited.
A year later, when we left Minnesota for the warm winters of Missouri, you never once said, “I told you so.” (Although you did diagnose my “bone chill” on more than one occasion.)
And now we’ve come full circle. The circle closed with an LL Bean winter coat, an automatic car starter, a towel warmer, a heated blanket, a flappy hat, a fireplace, snow boots, and a poncho.
I am learning winter.
That is why, when your son-in-law Flathead asked me this afternoon if I would get bundled up to help him shovel snow, I did not run screaming into the bedroom (to hide under the heated blanket). I nodded. Yes. If he needed me to clear the driveway, I would put on my snow pants and clear that bad boy.
A while later I asked your son-in-law Flathead if we should go ahead and get the family bundled.
“We don’t all need to go out,” he told me.
I did the math in my head. Either he was saying that I would go shovel the driveway myself (preposterous) or he was suggesting we leave a two-and-a-half old with pyromaniacal tendencies inside by herself.
“I guess you didn’t hear me before,” he explained. “I said Erma and I would get bundled up and clear the driveway. I didn’t think YOU would do it.”
See? Your almost five-year-old granddaughter is more acclimated to winter than I am, Mom, and I’ve lived here for like seven years already.
But since I was already wearing the snowpants and the flappy hat, we all went outside and we all shoveled. I made sure there was photographic proof of this life event, since it probably won’t happen again.
I told Erma, “You know, this is how people have heart attacks.”
“Yeah,” she sighed, knowingly.
Mom and Dad, I don’t think we’re in Florida anymore.
P.S. O the Fish passed away in his beehive on Saturday. Services will not be held, but memorials can be entrusted to the Fish Fund, in care of my bank account.