When only a few days’ worth of clean underwear remain in the drawer, I start watching the weather. Hanging one’s wash out at this time of year can be a challenge. Daylight hours are short and getting shorter, overcast skies are not uncommon, and unless there’s a good breeze, when the temperature dips much below 32 degrees F (0 degrees C), clothes tend to freeze before they dry.
Temps are predicted to plunge toward the end of the week, so when today dawned bright and sunny, as predicted, I was pleased, not least because in the off-season Wednesday is two-for-one day at the Airport Laundromat. Two washes for the price of one. I’d hit the jackpot, even before I fed my $10 bill into the coin changer and listened to 40 quarters come rattling down the chute.
This was a typical late fall laundry line: longjohns, long pants, no shorts, lots of turtlenecks. T-shirts are rare at this time of year, but there was one on the line, and a short-sleeve one at that.
If you look closely and can read upside down, you’ll notice that the T-shirt says DON’T BLAME ME, I VOTED FOR HILLARY. For reasons understandable (or maybe not), it did not become available till T-shirt season was over. I have worn it several times, but always over a turtleneck.
Once the laundry was hung, I headed into Vineyard Haven with several missions in mind. Foremost among them: Find out what was happening with Malvina Forester’s tires. The dashboard light indicating “underinflated tires” often comes on with cold weather, I think because tire pressure decreases in the cold so Malvina thinks there isn’t enough air in her tires. I put air in the tires, the light went off — but came on a couple of days later. Hmm, I thought. A slow leak maybe?
Same thing happened again: The light went off, then came on again after two days. I repeated the procedure, but this time the light didn’t go off at all.
At this point I started to get anxious. I am a stereotypical girl when it comes to cars. I trace this back to taking driver’s ed at the local high school when I was 16. This being 1967, the instructor spoke entirely to the guys in the class and for the hands-on demos the guys crowded around the car while the handful of girls hung way back and couldn’t see a thing. Being a suburban kid, I got my license ASAP, but then I became a city girl who got around on foot, bike, and public transportation. I didn’t own a car until I was 37, three years after I moved to the Vineyard and also three years after I got my first PC.
I am reasonably competent with computers, but when it comes to cars, I can add water to the radiator and pour windshield washer fluid in the proper opening, I can check the oil and replace the wiper blades, but that’s about it.
I’d thought I could successfully put air in my tires, but now I was beginning to wonder. As usual, I was torn between the equally unpleasant prospects of exposing myself as an idiot who couldn’t read an air-pressure gauge correctly and having a tire go flat on me, which would expose myself as an idiot of another sort.
So I was hugely relieved when the nice guy at Island Tire said the air pressure in all Malvina’s tires was fine. He reset the dashboard warning light; told me that if the light came back on, the battery for the dashboard light might need to be replaced; and didn’t charge me for the visit.
When I got home, I added flour, onions, and chopped walnuts to the bread batter that had been rising since late last night, kneaded it well and loafed it. My sourdough rises very, very slowly in cold weather, so I’ll probably be waking in the middle of the night to bake these loaves, but slow rising makes for great texture and it will be so worth it.
In between, I managed to get some work done, do my grocery shopping, and get in a couple of good walks with Travvy.
Happiness is a well-stuffed underwear drawer. It’s been a pretty good Wednesday, all in all.