ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Health»
  • Mental Health»
  • Emotions

Winter - the joyous ritual of car scraping

Updated on November 26, 2010
Alright, this is not the best example of a frosty car photo.  But it wasn't all that frosty this morning - I might be able to provide a frostier one next week.
Alright, this is not the best example of a frosty car photo. But it wasn't all that frosty this morning - I might be able to provide a frostier one next week.

I'm not actually joking, or being sarcastic with the title of this blog. I do really, genuinely love scraping the car on frosty mornings. The first frosty morning of the season is a happy morning for me, and I can't help but grin from ear to ear - partly because my face has frozen into that position, but partly because I'm so particularly thrilled to be alive on such days. It has a little to do with feelings of festiveness. But it's not only that.

My mornings are so busy, with three children to feed and wash and dress and make lunch for, that I usually don't have chance to look out of the window to see what the weather's doing. So often the first glimpse of frost I get is when I open the front door and turf all of my young outside. There will be a little 'oh' of dismay from me initially, because we are usually leaving the house at exactly the right time to be at school just before the bell. The frost means that I have to get a move on and rush. I do not like to rush - which is strange, because I spend such a lot of my time doing just that in the end. You'd think I'd have learned by now, and would get up just fifteen minutes earlier to prevent any need for rushing at all. Well.

After the initial dismayed 'oh', I am quickly transferred into a state of childlike excitement (it's never a long journey to that state of being, since I'm always on the verge of childlike excitement anyway), and after piling the boys into the car and strapping them in, turning the engine on and switching on the front and back window heaters (yes, I am lucky, my car has good ones - although, if I'm not in a rush I don't bother to use them), I close all of the doors and begin the scraping.

Oh, first of all, I have retrieved the disused store rewards card from the glove compartment. Now, I want to tell you about the credit card shaped instrument as a scraping tool. Credit cards can be very dangerous things, they can ruin lives, they can destroy families, they can be a factor in the causes of depression, anxiety, and stress-related illnesses. But on frosty mornings they can also be your friend. And you can do yourself a favour by using the credit card to scrape the car, because the chances are that once you've used it in this new and exciting way, it won't work in a card reader any more. I don't have a disused credit card, because I've never had one of my own, so I use an old reward card. Any credit card shaped piece of rigid plastic will do, I am using the words 'credit card' as a generic term for all plastic cards of the same shape. I could encourage the use of the actual Car Scraper tool, which is available in various shapes, colours and sizes from all good garages, car accessory outlets, and supermarkets. That would indeed be good for local business and the general economy. But they just don't work as well as the good old credit card. The edge of a Car Scraper is just too flexible and too blunt. The edge of a credit card is, as I said, rigid, and more importantly it is sharp. A sharp edge cuts through the ice much more efficiently, without ever scratching the glass.

So, I have my credit card shaped piece of plastic in my bare hands. Do feel free to wear thick gloves. I do in the deepest weeks of Winter, but in this first cold snap of November I don't feel the need. I like to feel the frost as it dusts my fingers - and dust them it will if you are using such a small scraper. If you use a Car Scraper you are likely to save your fingers from being covered in frost dust, but where's the fun in that? The point of the exercise is not really to improve visibility whilst driving, it is to become at one with nature and the elements, surely?

With bare hands and credit card, I begin to scrape the frost from my car windows. My children are quiet in the car, shivering a little, but full of anticipation. I begin at James's window, and as I remove the ice from the first half of the glass I notice a little nose pointed in my direction. Below the nose is a huge grin, and above the nose is a pair of delighted eyes. I smile back at my most middle son, and his shoulders shake as he laughs with excitement. Do you see why I enjoy scraping the car now? Scraping mornings are just filled with laughter. James and I pull faces at each other for a few moments until the window is clear. I clear the driver's side rear window next (our car has three big windows on each side), and then move around to the passenger's side rear window - this is Thomas's window. Thomas is the eldest brother, but still the silliest. He is already in hysterics, part terror and part joy, he still finds it completely thrilling that I might shout 'boo!' through the window when he's only half expecting it. Just one glance at Thomas's gigantic smile and wide eyes makes me laugh. This morning he is shouting at me, 'CAN YOU HEAR ME?' I can't hear him, but I can read his lips, so I shake my head. Immediately he starts to scream, a sonic boom level of scream. The others join in, and the car is filled with little screaming boys, trying to out-scream each other. It is very funny. The noise is nicely contained and I can only just hear it, so I don't mind that they are letting off some steam in this way. Shouting feels good sometimes, doesn't it?

I move up to Matthew's window and he is so busy screaming that he doesn't immediately notice that his window is being cleared of frost. When he looks out and sees me scraping he stops screaming and grins his most precious and sincere smile, filled with pure unfiltered happiness.

One more window and I have finished. If we're not late for school I scrape the big windscreen as well, because I love to do it. It always has the thickest ice, and always creates the biggest spray of frost dust. It's not only seeing my children's faces appear in the windows that makes me love scraping the car, it's the cold and the frost itself also. There can be no denying the prettiness of frost, ghostly white, and sparkling with the sun's reflection. I love the way it makes me feel alive, and aware of my whole body at once. I can't feel my fingers, and my hands are bright lobster pink when I've finished, but the feeling of them warming through again when I get in the car is like nothing else. The feeling of relief can only be felt if you have something to be relieved from, like the feeling a long distance runner experiences when she allows herself to stop running - it's worth all the pain. Okay, I wouldn't really equate cold hands being warmed with the achievement of finishing a ten mile event, and the relief isn't as great, but it was the best analogy I could think of.

I wouldn't say that I like being cold per se, but being cold on a frosty morning, when I know that I will be warm again soon, is invigorating. I never feel more inspired to write than on a frosty morning (ask me about that in summer - I'll probably say that sunshine inspires me to write more than anything else.)

I have a neighbour who walks past every morning, to exercise his dogs and to go to the shop to buy his paper and milk, and on frosty days he says 'ooh, it's a bloody pain, scraping the car, eh?' He always looks at me like I'm a crazy person when I reply 'nooooo, I love scraping the car, love frosty mornings.'

We all love the things we love, and there's never much we can do about it. I don't really know why I love frosty mornings, I just do. What do you love?

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image
      Author

      Linda Rawlinson 6 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      Oh thank you chspublish. Glad to meet you.

      Linda.

    • chspublish profile image

      chspublish 6 years ago from Ireland

      Well done for your piece on icy frosty mornings. The next time I hear my neighbour busily scraping what seems like the glass off her car on a frosty morning I'll think of your account here within the hubs. Thanks for the read.

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image
      Author

      Linda Rawlinson 6 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      Oh thank you Laurie. I would have loved to enjoy the new snowfall this morning, but my boys are all poorly with a touch of 'flu, so we're curled up on the sofa with DVDs :) They did make a brave attempt to go out for a while, but when they lost the feeling in their toes after a few minutes they gave up. Hopefully the snow will still be around tomorrow...

      Thanks Laurie :)

      Linda.

    • LaurieDawn profile image

      LaurieDawn 6 years ago

      Linda, you have made it a delight to see the world through frosty windows and icy realities! Thank you for your beautiful moments of enjoying something that is so simple, the beauty of cold frost, and the beauty of doing something that brings such memories to you! Thumbs up and written beautifully.

      Blessings and hugs,

      Laurie

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image
      Author

      Linda Rawlinson 6 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      And a Happy Christmas to you and yours also :)

    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Have a Happy Christmas and, of course, your family.

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image
      Author

      Linda Rawlinson 6 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      I had to look up 'sanguine' then, as I thought you meant 'cheerfully optimistic' :D

      'A final glance at the cheerfully optimistic IKEA card assured Snow White that she would, in all likelihood, live happily ever after. And then she slipped into oblivion...'

      But yes, you are right, it has been overdone. No need for blood, although it would have looked awfully nice seeping through the ice crystals before melting them.

      We had a few flurries yesterday, good big flakes... but sadly, it had rained earlier in the day, so the snow couldn't stick. Maybe there will be some more tonight. Enjoy yours :).

    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      No, I don't like blood in stories anymore. Not that it horrifies me; I just feel it's been overdone. I think the red of the IKEA Family card is sanguine enough in appearance.

      Snow has started today in my part of South London. We were the worst hit last week. What's it like in Lancashire... Oops, more precisely... Lancaster?

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image
      Author

      Linda Rawlinson 6 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      Mmm, I like it. I wonder how we could feature the IKEA card - perhaps it could be a weapon, edged with poison, to send the victim to sleep for a hundred years. Her hand would slip (easily done when ice is involved), and she would cut her finger, staining the window-frost red, Except that I have a bit of an aversion to leaving a person unconscious in the cold, so maybe someone could carrry her inside so that she doesn't get frostbitten toes.

      Ooh, the ice was gorgeous this morning, all flowery on my windscreen. It was a shame to scrape it off today.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      The basis for an updated fairy tale... Remember the blood in the snow? Rose Red and Snow White (imagine how those two had the piss taken out of them at school at registration time).

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image
      Author

      Linda Rawlinson 6 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      I also have an IKEA family card on standby :) It looks particularly pretty, the red contrasting so strongly with the white of the ice.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      And thank you for that lovely mail. May you never run out of Credit cards (I use my "second" IKEA Family Card, and yes, I love the feeling of that sharp edge coursing under the film of frost/ice, and it peeling back, and curling over, before the onslaught of, soon to be, brightly pink fingers.

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image
      Author

      Linda Rawlinson 6 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      Aww shucks, Twilight, I'm blushing again! Thanks very much for that lovely commment :)

      Linda.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      You asked the question: "What do you like?". I can answer that by saying that I like reading something as well crafted as your above piece. Lovely work.

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image
      Author

      Linda Rawlinson 6 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      And... still scraping :) And... still enjoying it! I now have a helper, and my eldest son, Thomas, is enjoying scraping too - although it now takes a little longer as his arms can't reach to the tops of the windows, so I still have to finish off his side :)

      If I ever live anywhere that's much colder than this then I may not like scraping windows so much - it would be interesting to find out.

      Linda.

    • michael ely profile image

      michael ely 6 years ago from Scotland

      Hi Linda, Great story. I didn't until now think people liked doing it but the way you tell it i can see why. I really like the warmth and humour you use. Cheers. Michael.

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image
      Author

      Linda Rawlinson 6 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      Still scraping here, and still enjoying it :) Currently experiencing a slight thaw, but have been promised that the frost is coming back next week.

      Such compliments from you, epi, I'm truly honoured :) Thank you.

      Linda.

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 6 years ago

      ..the only joyous ritual I find here is visiting your hubs - I've had to scrape my car windows for the last week and already had enough - spoken like a true Canadian eh! But one thing is true though you write like the perfect storm - and your readers are captivated!

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image
      Author

      Linda Rawlinson 6 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      Oh, I can understand that kind of love :) We dug out our driveway and front garden when we laid our paving a few years ago. I loved it too - I got to play with a jackhammer, and load up lots of skips with rubble. It was great fun. I also built one of the small retaining walls for our patio :) Love it! Wouldn't like doing that kind of job in cold weather though - the ground's too hard, and I would probably lose a couple of fingers to frost bite.

      And there's nothing like a lovely hot brew when you've been working hard all day - heavenly.

    • attemptedhumour profile image

      attemptedhumour 6 years ago from Australia

      We get about four or five frosty mornings per year here in Melbourne and i don't miss those real English frosty mornings one bit. I'm a bricklayer but i do a lot of brick driveways and pathways and i love digging these areas out. I don't have to think about much and i can crash away with the pick and shovel and work up a nice appetite for lunch or dinner. No gym to rush off to after work, just a couple of cups of tea and a sit down. Lovely. I like other things too bye the way, but you did ask. Cheers Keith.

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image
      Author

      Linda Rawlinson 6 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      It's the hubs that come to you when you're just doing some very ordinary that can be the most fun to write sometimes :)

      I love that image - of you riding around with your dog in the basket. Wonderful. My mum's bike has a basket too, and I've often coveted that beautiful piece of wickerwork.

      Thanks Darlene :)

    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 6 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      How fun was this hub, and a great delight. I understand why you love it, this is another way to play with the kids. I love my bike, now I am old, but I have my bike with a basket and put my small doggie in there with me and we roam around odr community, winter, fall, spring and some summer days. This is fantastic, I rate it up awesome...love darski

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image
      Author

      Linda Rawlinson 6 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      Oh thank you so much, I'm blushing! Those really are kind words :) I'm just catching up on some hub reading now, so I also look forward to reading yours.

      Lovely to meet you.

      Linda.

    • tnderhrt23 profile image

      tnderhrt23 6 years ago

      Lady Wordsmith, you are a master at your craft! This is a really lovely piece! I love frosty mornings, I love your child like enthusiasm, I love your writing style...its fresh and invigorating like the frost! I look forward to reading more of your work!