Mention was made a few days ago it has not been this cold since 1983. Oh, wow. One of the years that was so hard! I remember it well. It tried to break me.
I usually became very ill in January, every year. Sinus Infection, and it not only knocked me down, it started to bury me. It was so cold, I brought my car battery in the house every night. It was a few years old, the car was out all night in sub zero temps, and I could not afford a new battery. Don’t laugh. My friends who lived in Minnesota told me they did that very thing. It worked until my Income Tax refund came later in Spring.
I invited my husband to leave a year earlier. The kids and I were doing well. All things considered. I was doing well with my job, but not dating. I didn’t think it would be hard, but there were times I really needed someone for me.
Many guys I met immediately thought I was looking for a Dad for the kids. I told them, “No, they have a Dad.” Those guys were not the caliber I would have chosen. And so I kept on, raising kids, working, and going to school. Burning the candle at both ends, for sure. No wonder I got sick!
The world premiere of the movie, “On Golden Pond,” was held in January, 1983, in Omaha, at the Orpheum Theater. The Orpheum began as a Vaudeville Theater, and was one of many grand movie theaters in Downtown Omaha. Henry Fonda, who was from Omaha, was ill and could not attend.
I saw Jane Fonda on the news at the premier. She wore a pants suit. An elaborate one, but pants. Protocol at that time would have been an evening gown. It was just too cold.
The next day, I came home from work and saw a note on my door from Uncle Bob. Bob was Dad’s brother, and he worked for MUD, our local gas, water & sewer utility. The note said to call him. I did.
It seems they found a water main break in front of my house. Unfortunately, it was on my side of the pipes. I had to pay for it. I had no money. NONE. My uncle knew someone who could do the job. He waived the extra $300 fee for digging up frozen ground. Boy, was the ground frozen!
My parents loaned me the money, and the plumber started work two days later. They were finished as we had a huge snowstorm. My instructions were to turn the water back on when I got home from work. The commute was terrible, lots of accidents. I picked the kids up, came home, and went downstairs to turn the water on.
As I turned the valve, water sprayed all over me, my suit, blouse, hair, and I was in shock. I called the plumber, who worked in the cold all day, and told him he needed to come fix the leak. I had three kids, we couldn’t be without water in a blizzard. He wasn’t happy, but he did come fix it. We had water. Thank God!
I was sick from work for several days. It was awful. I was glad it had been over a year since the divorce. Being at the lowest low I’d ever seen, I was glad I didn’t consider getting back “together” with the ex. No, I can handle it. I had grown to believe it.
For all of these reasons, I won’t forget the last time it was this cold. It was a lifetime ago. I was 31. I’m looking down the barrel of 69 this year, 70 will soon follow on its heels. I’m so grateful for all the lessons learned. Yes, all of them. They helped make me strong enough to endure what lie ahead. It was one of those valleys you pass through on the way up the next mountain.
Thank you for reading – please, stay warm today. Help someone else stay warm. Yes, do what you have to do. Be Kind. Be Grateful. Be Courteous. We’ll see each other tomorrow.