“The Sinister Surprise Late Squall” was Mother Nature’s malady of choice. At least my procrastination paid off for once. Despite the weeks of congenial climate, I haven’t done anything to my yard. Then a lovely layer of April snow concealed and justified my delinquency.
While the storm validated my yard neglect, it did create a couple damsel-in-distress situations for me.
I was hardly raised to be helpless though.
My dad grew up on a remote ranch among a bunch of brothers, so when he got hitched and hatched four chicks in a row he was a little bewildered. He resolved that what was good for the gander was good for his geese, so my sisters and I had a very rustic upbringing.
We were taught how to change the oil, fix a flat, jump a battery, gut a fish, chop a log, butterfly a gash, level a bully and sing four part harmony (Mom’s influence). I learned street smarts and ranch resourcefulness in a suburban cul-de-sac so I was prepared for anything—except for meeting Prince Charming. I let him sweep me off my feet, then wait on me hand and foot.
Over the years, I’ve gotten all spoiled and dependent.
I don’t know why he even bothered to put that emergency kit on my bike because when I get a flat, all I need to fix it is speed dial #1. He works from home so he can even open a pickle jar for me in the middle of the day. He’s almost always at my beck and call, except on a Cache Valley April day during a blizzard when a friend’s car battery dies in my driveway and Charming happens to be in Texas on business.
I must’ve had intuition that morning my mad skills would need resuscitation because I decided to put on the new denim jumper I ordered. The online fashion catalog called it “industrial vogue,” but when I modeled it for my prince he said “You paid what for mechanic coveralls?!” Now perfectly attired for the occasion, I completed the Jiffy Lube look with a ball cap and headed into the storm determined to reclaim self-reliance.
My friend and I braced against the pelting snow as we fumbled with jumper cables, searched for hood latches and deciphered positive and negative terminals. Much had changed about cars since doing this on a 1979 Chevette. In a moment of desperation, I pressed speed dial #1. Charming couldn’t be reached on his steed in the Texas wild so I was on my own. But I had the training from my youth, a cute new outfit, and the power to do something ten men couldn’t do; pull out the vehicle manual and read the instructions!
I figured it out.
The car started and my friend drove safely home. After such a victory I wasn’t even fazed when the power went out that night and I couldn’t find a single working flashlight in the house. I took apart three broken ones and reassembled them into two working ones then gave them to my children to take to bed so they wouldn’t be afraid.
I slept in my handywoman uniform that night. I wanted to be ready for anything.