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Friday, December 23, 2011

Grandpa's Chevrolet, Saves Christmas!

Approximately 25 years ago the week of Christmas was giving us record cold temperatures. The high's was only zero! The normal high's for mid December are mid thirties and twenty five for the low. An arctic blast's sweeps down freezing the midwest, producing record low temperatures even for January! Life goes on, if your automobile and furnace can withstand the pressure that it requires of them! (Brrrrr!) Many cannot! My Olds Cutlass has been able to cope with 12 to 15 degree "below zero" at night. We received several inches of snow before the record sub-zero onslaught! (Once again Brrrr!) This snowpack adds to the difficulties of driving and helps to keep the temperature lower. There most certainly will be a white Christmas this year! The best selling items this Christmas are coats, boots, gloves, insulated underwear, automotive batteries. Them poor tow truck drivers stay frozen! (How about another Brrr on that!) The only way to make sure your automobile is going to start was to keep it in a heated garage! If you're one of the lucky ones! All the Automotive Shops are full a hodgepodge of all makes, waiting for the gas lines to thaw. Yep! Gas was turning to gel right in the lines! Yep! That's not good, not good at all!

So I'm setting the tone for this story. The week before Christmas was brutal, but the worst was yet to come on Christmas Eve! It was the worst of my now 60 years. This was mid-eighties. Twenty five below zero predicted for Christmas Eve! All them mice are snug in their beds, of that I have no doubt! But! But! But! Christmas Eve is special!!! We get together with family! No record cold going to stop any one who's automobile is running! Phone calls are made and baby Christmas Eve is still on! We get our presents ready and put on many layers of clothing! I go outside to start my Cutlass and it doesn't fire a lick! It's dead! So I try my pick-up truck, nope! It's also dead! "Oh Holy Night"! (It's a Christmas story so I'm trying to use nice language!) I go inside completely distraught singing Christmas Carols under me breath! (Yeah right! Remember I'm being nice!) So I'm mighty blue! "Oh well there's nothing I can do"! I have a really long shot left!

A couple years before this brutally cold unheard of winter I bought a 64 Chevrolet Impala. The kind with a three speed shift on the column. (Huh! A lot of you probably don't know what that means! You shift the gears behind the steering wheel like they did during the days of old baby! hahaha) (Sorry I was just having a little fun with you!) Any way! I purchased this big white automobile real cheap because it had a water pump out. The man I bought it from told me it was his grandpa's car. I need something to drive to work and this fit into my budget you see! It was a good old automobile with really nice interior. The interior was blue and fancy smancy, the way they made them back then, with plenty of chrome, beautiful! Upholstery was still perfect. The body was rusting from the salt put on the roads in the winter. It serves me nicely for a couple years, a good old automobile for sure!

Do you see where I'm headed! It's Christmas Eve with the wind howling and 12 below zero. My truck and Cutlass won't start and I'm about to go try a 20 year old rusted out grandpa's car, that hasn't been fired up in at least a couple months! I figure my odds are about as good as a snow ball's chance in hell! (HAHAHA) The 64 Chevrolet sit's beside my garage with about 8 inches of snow covering it and stuck in snow drifts! I put the key in grandpa pumping the exclerator about five times while saying a prayer, laughing at myself for even trying this! That sucker fires up the first time and stays running, never misses a lick, like it was in Miami Beach! I could not believe it! I go inside the house with the good news and get the broom and snow shovel to dig grandpa out! That old fart! So Christmas Eve is on!!! "Hi-ho! Hi-ho! It's off to work I go"! I'm singing I'm soo happy!!!  I dig grandpa out with a zest and sing Christmas Carols! I check grandpa and he's warming up right nice for me and my Missy! I fill the backseat with presents and brush off every snowflake, I'm so happy! About a half hour later we're off to the family get together on Christmas Eve. Whoopee! When temperatures get extremely cold the old timer's put cardboard in front of the radiator to help the radiator to produce warmer air to the heater, yes sir we need that! Grandpa was purring like a cat lying in front of the fireplace on the coldest day of winter, which it was! Grandpa drives like a Cadillac and we're as warm as two bugs in a rug for a long winter's nap! The family get together seemed better than ever, might be the obstacles that everyone has to go though to make it! No Siberian artic coldfront going to stop the Christmas spirit! No sir!

By now it's getting close to midnight. I fire grandpa back up. We go riding around looking at Christmas lights. Wow! We're the only ones out, eveyone must be asleep waiting for the big guy in the red suit! We have the city to ourself! Everyone else is smart enough to be safely at home with the record of 24 below zero upon us! It's nice to be young and adventuresome, or silly, or maybe it was meant to be! A special moment never to be forgotten! There's one place we always ride around because of the beautiful displays. There's two identical lakes called "The Lagoons". Well something truly special is about to be seen! Since bitterly cold air (Brrrr) has been around these small lakes are frozen and guess what? Someone has placed a Christmas tree in the middle of the lake, lite up in all it's glory! Houses surround this lake and people are ice skating on Christmas day! We stop grandpa where we could have a good look and it was unbelievable!

I have gone from the lowest of low's, to euphoria that only Christmas can produce!

WE MAY GROW OLDER AND A LOT OF THINGS CHANGE; HOWEVER THAT SPECIAL CHILDLIKE  AMAZEMENT CAN COME BACK! WHEN IT DOES, IT SEEMS A MIRACLE, AT LEAST FOR A WHILE!    Merry Christmas to all and to all sleep tight! (Brrrrrrrr!!!) Your good buddy Glen here at Glen View. By the way this story is 100% true!