On the coldest night of the year, with the wind bending my four-story Blue Spruce trees, I left the door from my kitchen to the unheated mudroom ajar (insert "open").
Throughout the night, the wind-chilled -25 degrees refrigerated the mudroom. I can picture the arctic air seeping into the kitchen and weaving down the hallway to the only thermostat on the first floor. I could hear the furnace blasting away at my ignorance. Could I be any more careless? Oh yes.
I brought Bailey into the mudroom and let him out into the backyard. When I went to head back into the kitchen, I couldn't open the door. The night before, as always, I'd locked that door and somehow the locking mechanism held fast (insert "I pushed the locking button when I went out").
I'm no dummy. I sprung into action. I turned on the gas stove in the room to keep me from freezing to death in the next 2 minutes (uh?) and weighed my options. I thought about having to run to my neighbors for help. I pictured myself skipping across the street to the Sullivan's house in my pointy-toed slippers from Kazakhstan, a gift from Jan's parents.
I'm 4 years old. It's winter--or at least in this version of the story it is. Somehow, I'm alone on the first floor of our house on Lincoln Avenue in Rumford. I probably came down to watch Saturday morning cartoons. I decide it would be a good idea to head out onto the porch. I close the door, look up and down the quiet street, and head back in ... again, the door is locked. I pound on the door, but everyone's sleeping on the two floors above.
Our home on Lincoln Avenue in 1957 is a duplex. Our neighbors, the Mayer's, are awake and hear me. I'm rescued. In my mind today, they treat me to a nice breakfast of pancakes with maple syrup and a big tumbler of OJ....
|My blue slippers...|
Another lesson learned.