On this page will appear past examples of my weekly newspaper column,

"At the end of the Line with Ed Kelemen."

Keep coming back, because it will be frequently updated.

Winter Vagaries

from February 17, 2015

   We've all heard the sayings, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger," and "God will only send you what you can handle." Well, I'm still waiting to handle a million dollars, but that's another topic for another day. Along these lines, have you noticed how chilly it's been lately?

   The other day, I was relaxing as only I know how with a hot cuppa, staring out my window enjoying what appeared to be a biblical whiteout. I couldn't even see across the street. Well, wouldn't ya know that my phone chose that instant to chirp its summons. It was from young lady who is special to me and she found herself stuck in the Super-Duper Mart parking lot with, of all things, a broken axle. That just wouldn't do, so I donned my knight-to-the-rescue armor and jumped aboard my steed that was disguised as a 15-year old SUV and rode to the rescue. Now, it is only a 20 minute jaunt from my house to the scene of the problem, but that's in good weather. There were points along the way where I was actually able to see beyond the hood of my steed, er... car. Just not many. At the traffic signal in front of the parking lot, I had to wait a while because I couldn't even see what color the light was. Eventually I made it and confirmed her diagnosis – broken axle.

   I called a tow truck and was told it would be a 2-hour wait. Someone above smiled on us and the tow truck arrived within a half-hour. Got the car hooked up and pulled to the repair garage 8 miles away. Still in a blizzard. Nevertheless I was back home, safe and sound and snug with another hot cuppa in my hand just as darkness overtook the region. Another quest handled, and I felt just a tad stronger.

   That night a blast of Canadian air was visited upon us and the temperature dropped below zero – 8 full degrees below zero.

   I got out of bed the next morning bright and early to brew a pot of coffee. There was no water. The pipes had frozen and I was feeling just a tad "rumbly in my tummy" or regions south of my tummy. Road trip. But, nothing in the area was open.

   So I scraped the ice and snow from my venerable steed and headed over the snow-covered mountain to the Super-Duper Mart to use the facilities. I also bought some gallons of water because life without coffee is just too cruel to contemplate.

   Braving my way back over that mountain, peering through that small part of the windshield that the wipers and defroster combined to clear, I thought about the rest of my day. It was going to involve the crawl space under my house, a hair dryer, water, and a complete lack of warmth. It gave me an idea. I put it in the form of a prayer. It went something like this: "OK God, I think I'm strong enough now."

   Walking in the front door of my home, I was greeted by my son who seemed inordinately happy considering the temperature and the circumstances.

   "Hi Dad. When I woke up, the pipes were frozen."

   I glumly acknowledged that statement, and he went on, "but I thawed them out and everything is OK now."

   I whispered a silent "Thank You" as I headed for my favorite seat with my favorite hot beverage in hand.

   Life is good.