When my husband’s job transferred us to Laramie, just about everyone we knew laughed and said some variation of “I hear the weather’s terrible!” or “I hope you don’t freeze to death!” I laughed right back in their faces and said, “Honey, please: I grew up in Alaska. I think I can handle Wyoming.”
The thing I forgot in my cold-weather-surviving-hubris was that when I lived in Alaska, my car was parked in my parents’ attached garage, and I didn’t have squirmy toddlers who needed buckled into car seats. By the time we moved to Laramie, I had lost the attached garage and gained the toddlers. But it was summer when we moved, so all I could think about was how nice it was that we didn’t have to install our window unit air conditioner, because if we opened our windows the constant breeze was just like free air conditioning!
But eventually, winter came.
Have you suffered the absolute indignity of standing outside your car trying to buckle a kicking and screaming three-year-old into a car seat while snow blows up the back of your coat at thirty-seven miles per hour? No? Well, if you ever need to be humbled, give it a try.
The first two places we lived in Laramie did not have attached garages. We just moved to a new home, and the first thing I told my parents about it was, “Mom, it has an attached garage. Yeah. Uh-huh. I know! Ninety-five percent of what I hate about winter here just got solved!” I have finally learned: if you live in Laramie and want to survive winter without hating yourself and your uncooperative children who can’t buckle themselves, you need an attached garage. Mine is currently occupied by a construction project of my husband’s, and let me tell you, if I don’t get my parking space back before it snows again, someone’s sleeping on the couch.