Trapped Under Ice


It was like being hunkered down on the ice planet Hoth waiting for the Empire to attack. The windshield of my truck was frozen…on the inside. I park the ’88 Dodge on the street because the family minivan gets to sleep in the garage. Since it qualifies, vehicularly speaking, as a senior citizen, I think the truck deserves to be sheltered in the garage, but my wife – who drives the minivan – doesn’t agree. Because I rarely win those debates, the old truck sat outside, unused, during the long Thanksgiving weekend. On Sunday night the temperature dropped into the twenties, and there was enough moisture in the air of the cab to create a layer of ice on the inside of the windshield. I discovered this after I scraped the ice off the outside of the windshield and got inside. Despite the fact I had started the engine and turned on the blower, the 26-year old defrosting mechanism had made little progress on thinning the ice after five minutes. This was a new problem for my truck, and I struggled to come up with a solution. I decided scraping the ice would result in snow falling, which was even less desirable than ice on the inside the cab. One of the features I appreciate most about an automobile – aside from propulsion – is at least a modicum of protection from the elements, especially snow. I decided to wait for the heater to do its job.

As I sat shivering* in the frosty cab, I reflected on the four-day weekend during which I had avoided writing a blog post about the things for which I am thankful. I thought a litany of gratitude would be cloyingly cliché for a Thanksgiving weekend blog post, so, instead of writing, I fretted away the days embodying other holiday clichés such as eating, watching football, and checking Facebook. My feelings were also chilled when it came to working on my new full-length book project. I thought about it a lot, but I didn’t type a word. The only writing I could manage was composing the annual Christmas letter, recapping family events of the past year. The letter is more like a list than a creative endeavor. Creatively, not unlike my windshield, I felt frozen. I couldn’t face the blank page on my laptop, thinking I didn’t have anything interesting to say. I thought about it a lot, but my thinking was uninspired.

I can only assume that the formation of ice on my windshield has something to do with the lack of any activity in the cab for four days of cold temperatures. I’m willing to admit that my lack of creative writing output was a result of a similar lack of activity. Just thinking about writing doesn’t result in writing. As the ice on the windshield turned to dew and slowly evaporated, I decided it was time to scrape the ice off the laptop monitor and start tapping the keys. It’s time for action. The Imperial Walkers are approaching the Echo Base.

By the way, I am thankful for the Star Wars Episode VII trailer released over the weekend. May the (writing) force be with me.


*Yes, I know I could have waited in the house, but I was fascinated to watch the ice slowly evaporate. It was a rare meteorological phenomenon I didn’t want to miss.


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