The good news is, the moving/planning is flying along fairly rapidly. Got the Subaru (that I will be taking over to Montana with me until my car gets shipped back) serviced and will pick up a new battery for it tomorrow! I have run into a couple of semi-major snafus, though – primarily that most moving companies won’t move your things until they have done an in-home inspection to see how much stuff you have, estimate the weight, and figure out how much to charge you. As you all know, my things are currently located in a (padlocked) storage unit – and I am not in a position to go over and show anyone the contents. I went through four different moving companies before I found one that would accept a cell phone picture of the inside of the POD (that I specifically took for this blog – lucky I did!) and a list of the contents (that I wrote up for myself because I’m anal-retentive). Now I have to mail them my key to the padlock, and cross my fingers!
I’m also still working on the car-shipping aspect. But I did line up hotels for my trip over (one stop in Spokane) and then in Helena for my stay for the first week. This included several phone calls to multiple hotels to find out which ones had free wireless internet in the rooms (all of them), continental breakfast (all), had a fridge/microwave in the room (a couple) and had a pool and swim spa (only one – the one I picked ;) ). I’m also crossing my fingers that I find an apartment ASAP! I have a meeting to check out one place on Monday – hopefully that works out and I don’t have to do too much looking around. It is on the edge of a park, has a garage and lots of windows, and is within my price range! Again, crossing my fingers!
Yesterday, Carolyn sent me a text informing me that the low in Helena that night was -40°F and advising me to get some earmiffs. But wait: -40°F!!!!!!!?? That has to include wind chill……….right? Last time I was in Helena, it was snowing and I think it was around 10°F. Cold, but nothing worse than I experienced while going to college in Eastern Washington. -40°, on the other hand…that’s another ballgame all together! While I do have a few pairs of nice snow boots, ski pants, and ski jacket, and my nice down jacket (that is from the Gap, okay, we aren’t talking North Face here), I don’t think I own anything that will stand up to -40°.
I started remember snippets of life in Pullman – waiting a half an hour for your car to warm up, de-icing the keyhole of your car so you can get your key in the door to turn on your car, fingers about to fall off while trying to scrape layers of solid ice out from under the snow on your windshield….. Or, what if I had to put on chains? Or slide into a ditch and have to walk thirteen miles in a blizzard? (I’m a worst-case scenario kind of girl.)
(I also realized that I had never lived in that kind of climate, when I had to actually put on something other than layered sweats every day…but that’s a topic for another post.)
So I decided to suck it up and shell out the moulah for a pair of real gloves. Not the fuzzy fleece kind that you can get at Target (of which I own three pair) but the real ones you can wear in real cold. So I dragged myself down to Alpine Experience, an outdoor store/ski rental shop in downtown Olympia. I found the lady’s glove section – and holy COW are gloves expensive. I picked out two different pairs, one that was thin and slightly stretchy with little silicone bumps on the palm, and one that was slightly thicker with a silicone-y, plastic-y coating all over the palm and fingers.
I found a salesman and held up both pairs and asked which would be better for my purposes. He laughed at me. He told me I needed something way more substantial. But I knew I didn’t want something so thick and poufy that I couldn’t bend my fingers – I would end up taking them off to get dexterity back and freezing my hands anyway. These were in the middle – windproof, zip up the wrists and have leather palms and fingers. [Note: Anyway, they are really cozy - I wore them on the drive home because my pathetic Florida blood hasn't cooled off yet and I'm cold all the time. It was easy to drive with them on, which I was also looking for.]
The palms and fingers are real leather. I specify “real leather” because I don’t think I’ve ever purchased real leather before – not because I’m morally opposed but because it’ s usually pretty expensive! However, in the store, I didn’t even realize that it was leather. I assumed it was some sort of waterproof, windproof, weatherproof man-made material designed to look like leather. And to be honest, I got sort of side-tracked once I tried the gloves on.
Because to me, black leather gloves only mean one thing: Darth Vader.
In fact, as soon as I put them on, all I could think of was Vader extending his gloved hand to Luke when Luke is hanging over Cloud City (“If you only knew the power of the Dark Side…..I….am…your father.”) Full disclosure: the Star Wars trilogy and the prequels were on TV over the holidays so I watched snippets here and there between Christmas parties and, you know, naps, so I had also just seen the movie where the young Darth Vader gets his hand cut off and has to be fitted for his black leather glove. Hayden Christensen looks down at his (black leather) gloved hand and flexes his fingers into a fist. And now that’s all I see!
Watch this clip and keep your eye on Darth Vader’s hands – I’m telling you, you won’t be able to see anything but black gloves, either!
P.S. I haven’t decided yet if these gloves are waterproof enough for scraping off a windshield or doing whatever it is I might do in them. What do you think? I might exchange them….but I think my only option would be bulkier gloves. I like that these are sleek. But are they warm enough? Opinions?