1 degree; that was the outside temperature at 9 a.m. in Orange, CT according to my car. My Fiat clearly wasn’t pleased with the frigid temperature either. It began flashing a suggestion on the dash: “engine heater recommended.” In the three and a half years that I owed the vehicle, this was first time I’d ever seen this message. It then warned me the transmission may have problem.
I sat in my vehicle for nearly 30 minutes listening to branches covered in icicles hit the ground as I sung along with oldies on Lite FM. After straining my vocal chords to hold a long note at the end of Whitney Houston’s song “So Emotional,” I noticed the check engine light was off and the engine was finally at the right temperature to drive.
Instead of getting out of the car, I hit the drive thru at Dunkin Donuts. When I got to McDonald’s, I climbed out. The wind immediately blew my hat off, froze the water in my eyebrows, lifted my cane off the ground and chilled my fingers so much they were stiff by the time I got inside.
As I thawed out, I stretched my legs to stop them from tingling and I shook my hands in the air to improve circulation. A group of elderly people asked if they could help me. A man in his seventies moved so I get closer to a heat vent. Another suggested I get a battery powered vest like he had on. A third offered scarf and then his tea as I waited. Mostly, they warmed my heart with the amount of benevolence they showed me.
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