Archive for January, 2011

When All Is Lost!

We have a place for them.

A designated spot with nice hooks in our mudroom.

What place am I referring to?

Why, a place to hang the keys for our three cars, of course!

We have that designated place, but there are times when it doesn’t get used as much as it should. Keys wind up on the counter, left in coat or pant pockets, or on family room furniture. I’ve even found them on the OUTSIDE of our house thanks to an impromptu game of basketball involving a certain teenage boy who shall remain nameless! (Talk about inviting trouble with that one, why not just leave the car running in the driveway with it’s doors open?)

So what happened this week should come as no shock.

It was a school day and my oldest was running around trying to get ready to leave when he realized something was missing, specifically, his car keys!

Checked the above mentioned hook, no keys!

Checked his coat pocket, no keys!

Checked his pants that he was wearing the previous night, no keys!

Meanwhile the clock is ticking and start of school was getting close. So close, that a ride from a friend was no longer an option!

At the last minute it was decided that I would take him to school and I would resume the search when I returned home. While on the way to school we retraced his steps from the previous night in an attempt to figure out what happened to the keys.

He had gone to a basketball game the night before and gotten a ride. He claimed he pulled his car into the garage AFTER getting home. THEREFORE, the keys HAD to be in the house!

“Are you sure it wasn’t BEFORE you left and you might have left your keys in your friend’s car or dropped them at the game?” Nope!

“By the way, don’t we have a second set?”

Yes, but we figured out he left those in a neighbor’s car who just happened to be on a ski trip to Colorado and wouldn’t return for a couple of days!

How ’bout the fail safe?

The valet key?

“Yes, we have one, but where was that safe place we put it?”

So with no other options, it was time to find the missing set! They had to be somewhere in our house since my son had moved his car fifteen feet the night before and he didn’t physically push said car when he did!

So in order to help speed along the search I decided to think like a my son! (Now that’s scary!) Where would a teenage boy put his car keys? (Besides a friend’s car.)

I checked ALL coat pockets of every member of the family!

ALL pant pockets!

I checked on top of cushions, under cushions, in his bed, under his bed, in his dresser, behind his dresser! I checked upstairs, downstairs, in the garage and even though there was no chance of a pick-up game of basketball, I checked outside in the snow!

And yes, I even checked the garbage! (Brought back memories of trash night at the Twin’s game!)


Finally, after the exhaustive search, I phoned my wife regarding a totally different matter when I happened to mention the key problem and the mystery was solved…

She had grabbed his keys by mistake and put them in her coat pocket! She had realized her mistake, but assumed he had his spare keys so she didn’t think much about it!

“Thanks, honey!”

She told me, “You should have called sooner!”

I should have, but on a positve note, my son now has a clean and organized closet, I was able to find some long lost items and I even pocketed some money found in the furniture!

FYI…we still have the hooks for the keys, but they are now labeled with our names!


Drumroll please…

With a total of 1,052 the winner in my little loads of laundry versus miles ran in 2010 is…

Miles ran!

Loads of laundry came in a distant second with 852, which is an impressive total too!

Yes, it was the first time I cracked the thousand mile mark in a year, but with 852 loads in 2010, I think our washer got a good workout too!

When you break it down, I averaged running nearly 88 miles and doing 71 loads of back breaking laundry per month in 2010!

September proved to be the dirtiest month for our family with 93 loads. January, with all of it’s snowy slop was a close second, with 92 loads. The low point came as expected in June and July with 58 and 57 loads respectively. (Those were the months I traveled with my sons on scouting trips.) I did manage to close the year strong with 80 loads completed in December, no doubt a late push for the finish line played a part!

Running wise, training for two marathons and staying injury free for the most part were the main reasons I was able to top the 1,000 mile mark. I did take a few weeks off from running for those mentioned trips and I did back off my miles following my racing season and when cold weather set in.

So my little contest is over and my curriosity is satisfied, but there is one little problem…

I still find myself wanting count my loads of laundry!


Happy Weekend!

Old Man Winter

In late July and early August, we call them, the “dog days” of summer.

Those are the days that are usually very hot and very dry. High temperatures reach into the nineties and beyond for what seems like days on end.

The sun beats down.

Air conditioners are maxed out.

Lawns dry up despite the gallant efforts of our sprinklers!

People say, “Man, it is waaaay too hot, I can’t wait for it to cool off!”

Those are the days people love to complain about while enduring, but long for now.

Yep, mid-January to early February or as I like to call them, the “sled dog days” of winter!

The days that are usually very, very cold and snowy. High temperatures of single digits or below for what seems like days on end!

The sun barely reaches above the horizon.

Furnaces are maxed out.

Lawns are frozen solid under feet of snow!

People say, “Man it is waaaay too cold, I can’t wait for it to warm up!”

Funny, what a difference a few months can make!

It has been an “old fashioned” winter and not just for us living where we expect it and love to boast that we know how to handle it!

No, this winter has been different.

Yeah, New York and Philadelphia has gotten burried a couple of times.

So has Boston and the entire New England region.

But this year, winter’s wallop has also been felt in places that aren’t used to shoveling one’s burried car out of a snowbank or even own a shovel for that matter!

This winter, Jacksonville, Florida has seen the white stuff, so has Las Vegas and of course, Atlanta, which has recently been paralyzed by snow and ice. Of course, in Atlanta’s case, it might help if they had more than six snowplows in the metropolitan area, they do get some snow every year! It was somewhat comical to watch Atlanta police attempt to break up ice on city streets by using sledge hammers. I even saw a video of a man using his golf club to try and bust up the ice surrounding his vehicle! (Remember to keep your left arm straight, head down and follow through when using your driver to clear ice!)

Just a hunch, but I’ll bet someone, somewhere in the Atlanta area thought kitchen salt would help the situation too!


All us Minnesotans can say is, “Welcome to our world!”

A world where it is so cold, the snow makes a “crunching” sound when you walk on it.

A world where it is so cold, you can take a boiling cup of water outside, toss it in the air and have it instantly turn to vapor!

A world where you can freeze a banana on your deck in mere minutes! (Okay, I don’t know why you would want to do that one, but just know if you plan on visiting Minnesota anytime soon, you can!)

A world where you spend more time with your snowblower than your significant other!

But it is also a world where we embrace winter and make the best of it.

Many, even enjoy it.

There’s skiing.

Snowmobile riding.

And of course, ice fishing!

Ahh, ice fishing!

My oldest son, who you might recall, constructed an ice house this year. He assembled it on a nearby lake and has been enjoying many hours of ice fishing. (Feel free to add that one to your “busket list.)

There’s also camping.


You betcha!

My wife and daughter are heading off this weekend to a Girl Scout camp. (Although, they are staying in cabins-the wimps!)

Next weekend, my other son heads off for a Boy Scout campout where the boys will construct “snow huts” and actually sleep in them! ( If it’s cold enough, they’ll earn an award called, “Zero Hero”!)

Now that’s what I call embracing winter!

And what about me?

Well, after hearing our forecast, it looks like I have another date with my snowblower!

I can’t wait for it to warm up!

Happy Frozen Weekend!