November 17

I have a confession to make. I whined a lot today. A lot. Beginning in the morning when the van I now have parked outside wouldn’t start. I just got rid of the non-running Lincoln. Now I have a useless van. And it’s because it was ridiculously cold today. It was 7 degrees when I left my house but the wind was strong so it felt a whole heck of a lot colder. And then people happened. The guy in the office next to mine talks loudly about things uninteresting to me like his wife’s flu shot and what he ate over the weekend. I can hear everything he says as if there were no wall between us. And I know he hears me because if I sneeze, he says bless you. There were other bothersome people today and more horrible wind and cold. And as I was battling my way to the car after work, feeling the bitterness of the weather going right through my pant legs and jacket, I thought about a headline from the local newspaper the other day where two homeless men died because the abandoned house they were in burned to the ground from the fire they started to keep warm. And I was immediately shamed and grateful that I was heading to my car. Because I have access to more than one vehicle. And I was going home to a house where the furnace works and I have a fireplace and other ways to stay warm. And I was leaving a job that I’m lucky to have, regardless of the inconvenience of my thin office walls. It’s so easy to forget that the things we take for granted are things others sometimes literally die trying to get.

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