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Yes, it is that time of year again, when the temperature falls and the heating bill rises. It is the beginning of tough driving, cars not starting, and me not wanting to venture into the cold for any reason. Having grown up in the State of Maine, I should be used to these winters, but the older I get the less I tolerate the cold, especially when it gets to minus digits.

My aging car does not tolerate the cold either. On three recent occasions I have not been able to start that little bugger. The first time it happened I had it towed to the garage. They could not find anything wrong and were able to get it started. The second time I finally was able to get it started and took it to the garage. Lester tried to find something but could not, and he clearly did not want to spend a lot of time on it. He did not charge me either. That is what happens when you are loyal to a privately owned garage – they treat you like family, well almost. There was a time when my bill was larger than my checking account, and the owner allowed me to pay half, then the other half the following month. Dealers are not that kind. Then I had an epiphany and bought some dry gas, which got the car started on the first turn.

This morning the car would not start, and I will add that the temperature was hovering around zero with wind chills to minus 8. I did not panic, as I had put dry gas in when I filled it two days before. But to be sure, I asked my very nice neighbor if she would take me to an auto parts store to buy more. She did, and I put it in the gas tank. It still did not start, so I left it alone and went inside to warm up. An hour later, I tried the ignition again and it started right up.

I tell you all this because it is a metaphor of my life and what I go through daily. Sometimes I don’t start very well either, and I stay in bed a little longer until I can get that second push and land my feet on the floor. Once that happens, I can “run” very well all day without “stalling.”

Two weeks ago I got a double hit – a fibromyalgia flare-up and a case of bronchitis, both in the same day. The flare-up came at night, as they always do, with all-over pain that made me moan; the moaning woke me up. I lay there a while, then took a tramadol, and within the hour I was much better. However, the flare of muscle pain and fatigue lasted through the day and evening. The sniffly cold that I had caught earlier in the week suddenly became much worse with what I knew was bronchitis, you know, that deep rattling cough. I saw the doctor, who prescribed a couple of meds, and today I am nearly over the darn thing. The cold air is not good for someone like me with respiratory problems, and the weather person says there is no end in sight. My little car and I are in for a long winter. The new spring outfit I ordered showed up in this morning’s mail, and it is hanging where I can fantasize the coming of spring. It looks like this, different top but same color:

Keep a positive attitude and stay healthy.

A photo of the beautiful Maine coast at Two Lights in Cape Elizabeth: