The Crowbar

We all know what a crowbar is. It is the tool that is used to pry open a door or a trunk and see what is inside. It is a rough way to open something. Just use that crowbar to get something out. You can just hear the nails squeaking and that groaning of the wood under pressure. That is what Janet and I say when I get her out of the house to do something active. It’s not that she doesn’t want to do it, and once she is out, she has a good time. It is just getting her out of the comfort zone of our house and out and about. I say- ” I just crowbarred you out of the house.” The groaning and squeaking seem to stop once the door is opened.

As with an actual crowbar, there is always the initial resistance. Take this weekend for instance. We have a lot of snow on the ground and I always say take advantage of the weather when you can. Jan likes to snowshoe but when it is 20 degrees and the wind is howling on the golf course near our house, it can become a real sales job on my part to crowbar Janet away from the fireplace. We set up the camp chairs, strap on the shoes, and then trudge off into the north wind. She is bundled up and moaning a bit but then the sun shines and we move towards the valley to shield us a little from the relentless biting wind. Things get better. The hands warm up a little bit and the conversation between the two of us distracts her from the bitter temperatures and wind. Clothing helps too in that she has a nice Patagonia Gore Tex shell and pants.

No such thing as bad weather.

I try to pick the good days to make the crowbar a little easier. When the sun shines, I have a better chance and nice groomed conditions doesn’t hurt either when we venture to the slopes.

Nice weather out west.

But sometimes, we get caught in nasty weather which makes the crowbar situation a little more resistant. Like when we get caught in a freezing rain situation.

Thanks Pat- freezing rain.

But for the most part, Gore Tex always does the trick especially when you can successfully get out of the house. And Janet always admits when we return home, she was glad she went and feels good that she got another day outside. Whether it is hiking, cycling, skiing, snowshoeing or just a plain walk in the neighborhood, once she is crowbarred out, things seem generally to go well. Some initial complaints wane as the outing progresses. Jan is a good sport and I have put her in some pretty nasty weather situations which never seem to be daunting to me. But I am a different type of person. Janet would prefer warm weather but she will take the good with the bad here in Western Pa.

The Hiker

Jan and I are empty nesters now. And with the pandemic, there is a lot of time spent in the house together. Not that we don’t like that, but it is important for us to be active outside. Jan loves her home and takes pride in having it well kept despite having to live with a guy who is a little less neat. She enjoys the comforts of home especially in the inclement weather. But when the crowbar comes out, deep down she knows that she will have a good time despite the feeling that she is being forced out into the frozen tundra. Or a rainstorm. Or blazing heat. That perfect day with sunshine and pleasant temperatures is the Holy Grail that we seem to rarely grasp. I am a ” stick your face in the wind and let it rattle your teeth” kind of guy and Jan bundles up and pulls her facemask tight. But that is ok. She allows me to crowbar her out and I do things for her at home. Together we are making the best of the pandemic, and also enjoying more time together. We are getting used to this empty nest thing and haven’t killed each other yet. My type A personality is motivating her and her common sense is teaching me – daily. After 33 years together, we have used the crowbar analogy to our advantage. You can’t buy much in the way of sports equipment today- all sold out. Lift lines are longer, and in general it seems like most people are trying to be more active outdoors. Maybe somebody is crowbarring them all out too. Enjoy the winter and thanks for reading

18 thoughts on “The Crowbar

  1. cvtskiier says:

    Crowbar? Geez Pat! LOL

  2. Dan DeMarco says:

    I hardly ever think about the wind whipping up when skiing. It was 18 degrees at around 2:00PM yesterday, and all I could think about on the chairlift was having another great run down North Face. I also guessed accurately: As it was Super Bowl Sunday I decided skiing in the afternoon was a better option. Very short (sometimes none) lift lines!

  3. Joyce says:

    She is a really good sport

  4. Janet Lee McCloskey says:

    Thanks Joyce 🙂

  5. Robert Wags Wagner says:

    Pat, have to side with Jan on this one. Remember the night about 8:30 and I said “Abe, put down that hot chocolate and put on your gear. It only went down to 18 and the wind really doesn’t get that bad at night and keep me company while I picket North Face and close the back then we can close the front and have the last ski of the night. Should only take about an hour.” I couldn’t blast here from there???

    Women, don’t think I will ever figure them out. LOL

  6. skimeister says:

    You are a lucky man Pat, and Janet, you are a lucky woman. The formula seems to be working! Best wishes going forward, 33 years is a great accomplishment. I wish you many more.

  7. Valerie Reading says:

    Go Janet! And you know she’ll live longer because of you Pat.

  8. John Humphrey says:

    Patrick me boy,that’s the same with Marge and me. Especially during this lockdown. Looking forward to the vaccine kicking in soon.

  9. mark sauers says:

    Pat I agree Tina always says i am glad i went. I try yo get her snowshoeing after we get back from Snowboarding, i tell her we haven’t had snow in forever! lets make the most of it! XC Snowshoe. Fat biking
    We are blessed with Godly wives!

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