We stayed home.
With my concerns about the drive, my older daughter was willing to take time off from working on commissions to go with me. Her sister is my back up driver, who would be able to take my mother’s car to come get me, if it ever came to that, so she had to stay home.
I had gone ahead to start the van and give it time to warm up. The first time I started it, it immediately stalled. It started again, and I could hear the fan and belts screaming from being so frozen, and the idle was way too high.
It’s just cold. It’s entirely possible that, if I just left it running for a few minutes, the engine would have warmed itself up and been just fine.
Memories of a rental car’s engine block cracking from the cold, many years ago, were enough to convince me not to push our luck.
My daughter barely had time to get out of the house by the time I was closing up the garage again.
At least we have a garage! It may be completely insulated, but at least the vehicles are getting hit by the winds and snow; just the temperatures. Even when we were living in the city, we just had an outdoor parking spot, and our old home has been hit with the same bitter cold we have.
Which means it will be at least a week before we can do any sort of major shopping. I should be able to take my mother’s car (which has a battery warmer and trickle charger, as well as a block heater, and that part of the garage does actually have a bit of insulation) to the post office/general store. We can at least get some basic groceries, cat food and (I think) litter, if we need to.
For now, my younger daughter and I have been doing some bread baking, and I whipped up some mayonnaise. Making mayonnaise is easy, but it takes a lot of oil. Thankfully, the last time I picked up a few groceries, I did get a large jug of basic cooking oil, so we’ve got plenty.
All this, because our van started acting up and needed repairs at a time when we should have been using it to stock up! Frustrating, but our habit of stocking up in general means that we will manage okay, even if we do run out of a few things. It’ll be inconvenient, but we’ll be okay.