Been There, Done That by Laura Nethken

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We had a bunch of running around to do last Sunday, so I was less than thrilled to wake up to a bunch of snow on the ground. The weather had been great the day before. Well, still miserably cold, but no snow, thankfully. Especially because we threw ourselves under the bus and did laundry and two weeks worth of grocery shopping in one day.

I didn't think all of it would fit in the Jeep, which is why we had running around left to do on Sunday. There was no way to fit the kerosene cans in there with all the food and clothes.

So Saturday, we got up early, grabbed a bite of breakfast and took off for the laundromat.

Our water woes are not quite over at the house. The washer works fine, but the shower it drains into before it drains out doesn't. So most of the water ends up on the floor. I sop it up with towels and then the towels need to be washed. Then what? Sop it up with dirty clothes? Then wash them and go back to the towels?

It never ends, which is why we ended up at the laundromat. It only took us about a half hour to unload, wash and reload and we were off to the grocery store. It took us about two hours to shop and another two hours to unload the Jeep and get everything put away. We spent the rest of the afternoon drying and putting away the laundry. Yeah, Domestic Bliss -- it just don't get no better than this.

So Sunday, we had to put gas in the Jeep, fill up the kerosene cans and pick up a prescription. I had it all mapped out in my head. I'd back in nice and tight to the kerosene pump and go in and pay while Dave filled the cans. Then we'd stop at the gas station on the way to the pharmacy. I could've gotten gas at the one we were already at, but I didn't feel like moving the Jeep 15 feet to the gas pumps, going back in to pre-pay and then back to the Jeep.

So I moved it to the next gas station and saved us 4 cents a gallon. I had this domestic stuff down. I'm learning I can do everything, just not all at the same time.

We picked up the prescription and headed for home. What had started out as a put-it-in-4-wheel-drive, white knuckle excursion in the snow, ended up being just a wet-roads ride on the way home.

But the driveway was still covered with snow so I shuffled through several inches of the fluffy stuff to take the dogs out back. And decided I didn't feel like doing that all day. When I'm gone from the house, the dogs sleep all day. As soon as I hit the door, their potty break marathon begins. I'm not home an hour and they've been out three times. It doesn't help that they're both snow junkies.

Even with the big difference in age -- at 11 and 1 -- they're both like little kids in the snow. They romp and play and drag their tongues through it as they walk. I'd have given the puppy his first lesson in snowball fights, but it was fluffy, not packing, snow.

So I took them back in and grabbed the shovel so I could give myself a path to follow for their next trip outside. I shoveled a total of about a 100-foot path, however wide the shovel is, and was really surprised at how heavy that fluffy stuff was. Then I went in to thaw out my toes.

A while later, I had a pain in my chest on the left side. I told myself it was just from the shoveling. But what if I was having a heart attack? The longer I waited to get medical attention, the more damage I could be doing to my heart.

Nah. It was just a pulled muscle. I'm not used to that kind of physical activity. Of course, that's what brings on a lot of heart attacks -- the physical exertion of shoveling snow. As that all ran through my head, my heart hammered away in my chest. I didn't want to go to the ER on a Sunday. It's always packed with people trying to get a doctor's slip to get off work on Monday.

But what if it really was a heart attack? So as I stammered out that I thought I might be having a heart attack to my oldest son and his fiancée, who's in school to be a nurse, she asked a very simple question -- the same one the doctor asked me two days later at my office visit.

"If you push on where it hurts, does it hurt more?" If yes, then it's not a heart attack. You can't make your heart hurt. He suggested I add a baby aspirin to my daily vitamin intake. Yeah, "He" said. I'm not good with male doctors and fortunately, I live in an era where for the most part I have a choice. Except when the two females on staff are out on maternity leave.

I guess I'm OK with this male doctor. For one thing he wasn't out having a baby. And, he calmed my nerves and gave me a great piece of advice. Next time it snows, hand my son the shovel.

Copyright 2013 Laura Nethken

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