Coming back from a family vacation is never a fun thing. The packing, the travel, the crabby kids — they all add up to one giant pain in the ass. It pretty much makes you forget that you were even on vacation at all. But this recent sucker punch back to reality after our New Year’s trip to Mexico? Well, let’s just say that it was even more painful than usual.
Yes, Lemony Snicket would’ve had even more unfortunate events for his series if he’d observed our start to the week. First off, Chicago decided to go ahead and transform itself into Si-freaking-beria. A foot of snow combined with negative forty degree windchills made for one helluva welcome home gift. Trying to get your body used to a ninety degree change in temperature is quite the challenge, let me just tell ya.
Then, we got slammed with the lovely news that schools were to be closed on Monday. (I mean, seriously, would it really kill them to shiver a little??!!) Kids were thrilled; I was not. My to-do list was a thousand miles long, at the top of which was the task of picking up Goatdog from the kennel. And unfortunately, my car had been parked behind our garage in the alley and was completely wedged between the snow drifts created by the plows. I tried my damnedest to dig the thing out, while ducking into my car every three to four minutes to thaw out my fingers.
All my efforts were fruitless, however, because much of the snow had frozen into huge chunks of ice. Apparently, the only way to get my car out was to freeze to death trying. So, naturally, I gave up and asked my sweet neighbor around the corner to borrow her car. After I grabbed Goatdog and brought him back home, I had every intention of returning my friend’s car but got distracted with all the damn laundry and left the car out in front of my house throughout the afternoon.
And wouldn’t you know that when I finally went out to take the car back, the stupid engine was totally and completely frozen!!! I’m pretty sure it told me to piss off when I turned the key in the ignition for the fifty gazillionth time. It was just not gonna happen. On the plus side, though, I did get my first lesson in how to jumpstart a car! (Well, sort of — I held the flashlight while my friend’s husband pretty much did all the work.)
When I finally returned to my frigid house, I was quickly reminded how poorly it’s apparently insulated. I pulled on some gloves and a hat and poured myself a tall glass of warm-me-up-vino just in time to learn that school had also been cancelled for Tuesday. Lovely. This “Polar Vortex” is evidently all business, and by “business“, I mean the ass-kicking kind….