Have you ever borrowed a windshield scraper from a parked car next to you? I’ve done that, in a pinch. It was the winter of 1994 in Pittsburgh, which was epic for record-breaking lows. That was the year we all learned the hard way that mercury freezes around -38 degrees Fahrenheit. So we switched to alcohol thermometers. That was also the year I wrote a poem entitled, “Be a Thermostat, Not a Thermometer” based on a sign I’d read. More on that poem another time.

Today I’m sharing with you a conversation I had with my Mom on this -2 degree day, via text. She was talking about wearing her snow pants to work tomorrow, and how her father used to remind her to dress for the weather.

“If you end up having to walk,” he’d say, “ You’ll be glad you dressed for the weather,” instead of dressing for the warm car ride or other situation that could fail.photo

Then she suddenly wrote:

“Pap K had wisdom, even when his body couldn’t keep up. I remember that he placed a windshield scraper near the kitchen door. I was going to put it in his vehicle, but he said he always left it there. He would scrape off his truck and then open the door to get in. He removed the snow first so none fell onto the seat and he didn’t end up with a cold, wet butt.  When he came home, he brought the scraper back into the house. I do that now. He was 90 years old when he told me that. We are never too old to learn or give good advice.”

Thanks, Mom, for the warm thoughts across the miles on a very chilly Minnesota evening here.