(Photo: A very frozen Rock river at sunrise. BRRRR! It's cold out!!! ...again!!!)

And I get to do Pepe's morning paper route.

I used to love mornings like this when I was a kid, delivering the morning Minneapolis Tribune. I’d wake up at 5:30 and turn on the radio to hear the weather...

“Clear skies and 7 degrees below zero, with a wind-chill of 20 below.”


(Actually back then - this was, what, 40 years ago - I don’t think they had invented wind-chill yet. Who’s idea was that???!!!)

But it was a personal challenge to see if I could stay warm when it was that cold out. When I walked out the back door, I imagined I was stepping onto the surface of the moon.

I had this big, furry parka I’d put over three or four layers of clothes - and I was never cold.

And the stars!

The stars on a frozen, crystal clear winter morning were so brilliant.

Seeing the constellation Orion, with those three bright stars of his belt against the deep, deep black sky, was almost like being greeted by a friend every morning.

Of course, then there were those mornings when I over-slept. I still had my paper route when I was in high school (I really liked doing it).... So there I’d be, doing my route while other kids were leaving for school. But having a paper route in high school isn’t exactly cool, and I’d have to hide in the bushes until the bus went by.


THIS morning I was prepared. I put on three pairs of pants, three pairs of socks, and three sweatshirts.

I managed to find a pair of gloves even. Well, not exactly a pair. I don’t think that exists in this house. We always seem to have an abundance of right handed gloves and mittens - and no left. Go figure.

Pepe bought himself a nice big pair of warm, fluffy gloves at Shopko the other night.

They lasted precisely one day.

He left one of them on the bus yesterday (no doubt the left one!).

Oh well.

I took the camera along with me - the sun was just beginning to creep over the horizon, and it was a beautiful winter morning. I HAD to get some pictures.

I also had to make sure I had the camera on the right setting. Which I didn’t.

About half way through the route I realized I was taking black and white pictures of all the beautiful colors of the sunrise.

And then I noticed the front tire on the car was going flat. REALLY flat.

Yesterday, Dani called to say that she was at Quizno’s (where she works part time... there, and at the Comfort Inn on weekends making beds - on top of her regular job as on-air news director at the radio station... which is kind of funny when you think of it. On a local scale, it is kind of like finding Barbara Walters making up your bed!). Anyway, she called to say BOTH back tires on the Cutlass were flat.

I suppose it being around 0 degrees out had something to do with it.

But we knew we needed new tires anyway, so I guess now was as good a time as any!

So I had D drop me off at Quizno’s and I limped along in the car, annoyingly slowing traffic across the Galena Avenu bridge, to the BP station a few blocks away to get enough air in the tires to make it over to the Tire Center.

It’s pretty funny driving a car with two flat rear tires. It sort of clunked and squirmed along through the snow.

And of course, there is nothing like fumbling with air hoses and frozen metal parts with your bare hands in below zero weather.

But, the tires held enough air to get across town, and a half hour later we had two new tires.

We couldn’t AFFORD two new tires, but what are you going to do?

But it's later Saturday morning now...

“Dad! I’m hungry!” Aracely said, as she lounged on the couch in her pj's watching a movie.

“What sounds good?”

“An Egg McMuffin!” Marcela chimed in, giving me that 'how can you resist this face' look.

Unfortunately, I have absolutely no cash, so that wasn’t going to happen (otherwise, I was a soft touch!).

So I dug out the griddle (this would be the electric griddle we have to prop up on one end with an empty cereal bowl), and made french toast and bacon instead.

I couldn't help but smile as the smell of bacon sizzling on the stove began to fill the house...

What a wonderful world God has made!


What marvelous things the LORD has done!

(Phot: more frozen stuff!)

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2004 Paul Dallgas-Frey

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