winter is coming…

Now that I have hooked you with my John Snow reference, I have a lot to live up to, right? Let’s just say if I had to spend two weeks in ole John’s shoes, I would have long been a goner. (All non-Game of Thrones watchers are now totally lost, sorry!) Let’s just say this girl and the cold are merely acquaintances, and I don’t see a steadfast friendship forming any time soon.

So, as we inch closer and closer to my lowest ranking season, I thought I would share “my best snow story, ” (great title, I know), from last winter. As, you know I moved to Denver this past March. And luckily enough we only had about three legitimate snows my first couple of months here. Then, spring showed it’s glorious face and I have been relishing in the amazing weather this city is known for ever since. But, inevitably, winter is on it’s way yet again. Therefore, as I begin to mentally prepare for it, I am reminding myself of what I learned last season.

For the most part last winter went great. There is really only one day that stands out… as disastrous! Big red X, what the hell am I doing, I’m going home, head under the covers-kinda bad.

snow ecardIt Starts Here:
It’s roughly 5:45 a.m., I look outside and see the streets look great. No snow on them at all. Perfect! Yes, the rooftops and cars are still covered, but the drive to work should be a breeze!

It’s a Friday, so I am in a fantastic mood, obviously. This also means I can wear jeans, a cute top, and my fave footwear… flats.

I am prepared as I walk out the door, coat – check, gloves – check, hat – check, backpack, purse, keys, lunch – quadruple check! I cross the apartment complex courtyard just fine, to take the elevator up to the top level of our parking deck. I guess I was on my phone or putting my keys up, I honestly don’t remember, all I know is I was not paying attention to the ground. First mistake of the day. 

That is until both of my feet halt in violent, cringe-worthy protest! As the phrase goes, I am literally frozen still. Seriously though, I am in such shock as to what has just occurred, I can’t move. Once I do round up the courage to look at feet, my eyes confirm, what my body already knows. From my ankles down, I am covered in ankle high slush – ice, cold, grimy slush.

Note to self, roadways are cleared by salt trucks and plows.
Top floors of parking garages, not so much.

Like anyone, I don’t always make great decisions when under stress, or when suffering from severe cold. At the time, my brain made the interesting plan to take the remaining 15 or so steps to my car, then drive around to the front door of our complex, run inside, and grab a new pair of shoes. The wet jeans were just going to have to be dealt with. The 20-20 Ashley wants to know why I didn’t immediately go back and change my shoes? Why did I walk through more cold slush? 

Anyways, I throw myself and all my work belongings hurriedly into the car, start the car, and begin pulling out, ready to grab my new, dry shoes. Except, I can’t see a damn thing! There is ice and snow all over my car. I get back out with my ice scraper. Yes, this meant my feet, in my glorious flats, were now soaking up round two of this crazy cold concoction. I frantically scrape off all the snow on my windshield and side mirrors, then hop in the car!

I successfully run up to grab my new pair of shoes, and am once again am on my way. Maybe, I won’t be late after all, I think. My lips may be purple, but at least I will be on time.

Oh, how innocent I still was. 

It Gets More Interesting:minons in winter
See, the thing with scraping snow off your car, I learned, is that you have to get all of it. Because if you don’t, what is left on the top of your car, might melt enough to fall. Onto your windshield. While you are driving. Therefore, obstructing the very foundation of driving. Sight.

As I am sure you guessed, that’s exactly the series of events that happened next. I made it three blocks from my apartment, when I hear a crack, followed by the feeling of something softly sliding, then boom! A huge chunk of ice from the roof of my car has ever so nicely, collapsed itself onto my windshield. And of course, it’s too big for the wipers to move. Of course.

Luckily, I am still on a residential road, but I can’t see a thing. Nothing! Nada. I had to roll my window down and stick my head out the window, like an overanxious dog, to steer myself to the stop sign at the end of the road, to then turn my flashers on, and start the scraping process over again.

By this point, I am getting pretty annoyed. As I said, it’s Friday, and bad shit isn’t supposed to go down on Friday. Especially before 8 a.m. Plus, now I am sweating, in a coat. But I am determined I will not be some Southerner taken down by a little snow. I may be incredibly inept, but I am going to get this!

To the amusement of native and seasoned winter-weather drivers, I am certain I was a sight. Free entertainment as I always call it. Girl at stop sign, off of a main road, with flashers on, soaked pants, scraping her life away on her windshield. I tried to crack the back half of the ice on the roof of my car, so I was certain not to have this problem again… but it wouldn’t budge.

So, I set off again, this time in prayer! Lord, please do not let more ice and snow fall onto my windshield.

However, when God has decided that you are his real life sitcom, it’s just your day. So, buckle up! Or don’t actually. Because then you are probably just going to unbuckle again.

cartoon winterIt Really Sucks Here:
I made it four more blocks. Four! This time I am driving on a large, very busy, main Denver roadway. I have just left a red light and whoosh, the back half of the roof ice gave way. This time, I have a hole the size of a 81/2 by 11 sheet of paper to see out of. But nothing else.

I am now driving on my tiptoes, and severely craning my neck. Think Danny Devito in a Hummer. I also, sincerely hate my life at this moment. I am going to wreck, I am positive. And I have a laundry list of who all I going to blame for this catastrophe.

The hell with being from the South, snow sucks, and I want on the next flight to Boca. Let’s be honest, mostly I am pissed because I couldn’t stop this from happening and I am bigger than this.

As I am honked at and probably thrown the middle finger by half of Denver drivers, I slowly edge way over onto a side road. I once again, get out of my Subaru, grab my god-forsaken ice scraper, and slide off all the remaining snow and ice from my car.

Once I get back in my car and pick my head up off the steering wheel, I realize I am on a one way street.  Going the opposite direction. Sigh! Add it to my tab.

You will glad to know that from here, I turned my car around in a parking lot and set off to work. The rest of the way thankfully uneventful. I, however, had become the sheet of ice. It took me blowing the heat full blast the entire 25 minute drive to work to finally unthaw my feet and face!

So, as you think about cold weather creeping up on us, say a prayer or send a happy thought my way. Fingers crossed that I remember to wear appropriate shoes, no matter what the streets look like, and scrape down the whole car, roof and all.

Cheers to a wonderful winter!

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life defined.

IMG_1200I think I’ve posted about this before, and let’s be honest, I’ll probably do it again. After all, I am somewhat notorious for retelling stories…mostly because I just want to make you laugh… but today it’s on my mind again, so I thought I would share (again).

If you have spent two seconds looking at either mine or Christopher’s photos, you know we like to be outside, explore, and well, just see this awesome masterpiece of a world God has created. But as I walked back into my apartment this morning, I realized just how much I love my plain ole, routine, possibly boring Saturdays. I look forward to them. Crave them, even.

On Saturdays I find myself wanting to get up as early as possible. The quite opposite of what I would expect of myself, but yes, 28 year old Ashley is genuinely disappointed to wake up after 8 a.m. on a weekend. And it’s mainly because I don’t want to miss one moment of time with myself, just enjoying doing what makes me the most content.

My mundane Saturday morning ritual would probably come across as snoozeville to most of the weekend world. I do nothing remarkable, yet that’s the very thing I love. I go on a run, usually a much longer one than during the week, because I both have the time and am not as tired. Then, I carefully plan the end of my run to conclude at the Starbucks a few blocks from my apartment. Once I get my grande, skinny hazelnut latte I sit outside (now under the heaters) and catch up on emails, news, or just whatever. Lately, I spend the time watching upcoming movie trailers and getting excited about new flicks coming out.

Then, I walk home, usually to breakfast CK has made and enjoy the morning with him. We usually do laundry, clean the bathroom, and wash dishes. Boring, I know! But it is therapeutic for me. A recharge of simplicity if you will.

Saturday EcardI also fully believe that enjoying the mundane is one of the best things you can do for yourself. A day will eventually come where your regular routine, your norm, is disrupted, and all you will want is it back. You won’t crave the big moments, the ones you took pictures of or posted about. You will miss the rest of the “small stuff” that made up your day. It’s those moments that tend to reflect the intimacy in your life, with both family, friends, and yourself.

Whether it’s the loss of someone, making a big move, or changing jobs, there will be something in the everyday that will define what you miss most about those people or things. In the first few months of moving to Denver, the things I missed most where morning coffee chats with my coworker Sara, random nights spent with friends at Bardog tavern, and evening runs along the river. (And the Grizzlies…I missed the Grizzlies big time). These moments where never captured on camera or talked about in great detail to others, but they are what made up my life there, a life that I loved.

Furthermore, when I think back to time with my uncle before he passed away, the one moment I want back is simply a conversation that took place in the hallway of my dad’s work in the middle of the workday. We were catching up on each other’s lives and just talking. Not a noteworthy moment at all, but it’s the one I think about and miss the most.

So, cheers to enjoying your Saturday! Whether you are cleaning house, running your own personal taxi service, or binge watching your current Netflix obsession, enjoy. We can only hope for a mundane tomorrow.