My car used to be red. Then January came with her snow and whipping wind. She sent temperatures diving and no one washed their cars, wore much make up or bothered to brush their hair. Or maybe that was just me. Deep cold is one of the reasons Minnesotans live according to the motto: Low expectations are always exceeded. In the moments of frigid tundra, we abandon style and grace for an extra blanket on the bed.
Today is somewhat mild. I did not line my jacket with layers of fleece and down. I left the socks that boast of scientific advantages in my drawer. Here in the hustle I realize that I've let things slide in January! I began with a car wash. The basic Blue Wash was $2.99 and, in this economy, it sounded free. I pulled my muddy, salty self into the wash and waited for the hurricane of brushes to bounce over me, releasing the scent of Clean Car and Winter Joy.
The CD changed and a new song came on, beating with the bath and singing, "All we can do is keep breathing". So I breathed, smelling the car soap wash away cold streets and lazy commutes. When the door came up and I was asked to pull forward, it became clear that a $2.99 wash doesn't include fans or that mysterious wax cycle. But Ruby was red again and she pulled out into the road dripping playfully.
Winter is far from over, but the smallest things can make it seem new and palatable. The fresh crunch of snow can send you looking for skis and a chilly house can entice to you search for your favorite sweatshirt that must be hiding in a box somewhere. All we can do is keep breathing, and pray that these little pleasures are not overlooked.