Katie woke up on schedule and proceeded to get ready for school, having slept through the phone call. When we eventually became cognizant of this, we let her know that school had been canceled. Being awake already, she took advantage of the extra time to watch more anime. Julie was still sound asleep.
School or not, I had a dentist's appointment for a cleaning first thing this morning, so I had to get up and get there through the snow-covered and partially plowed streets. They were running a little late, but my 10:30 meeting was canceled, so that was good. My *noon* meeting, however, got moved to 11 AM, which made life a bit more exciting.
See, the girls had been invited over to a friend's house. I was supposed to deliver them before noon, except now I had a meeting in that hour. And I wanted to get Gretchen's car out of the driveway so that I could use the snowblower to clear the five-plus inches of snow a bit more easily.
It happened that Gretchen's car needed to take a trip to the shop. It's seven years old and on the original battery. I had noticed last weekend that it had once been *slightly* reluctant to start. (Not *very* reluctant -- just a bit of hesitation.) And I suspected that replacing the battery before the -25 degree predicted cold arrived on Wednesday would be an excellent career move.
So I called home, told Gretchen to call the shop and see if they could check the battery and change the oil, and that she could take the car there while I took the girls off to their friends house. This was executed with all of the precision and none of the planning of the D-Day invasion, which is pretty much par for the course when I say, "I've got it!" and recite a lunatic plan like this. But the girls went off to play, the car went off to the shop, I picked up Gretchen and then dialed into the meeting from the car only a few minutes late, so we're going to call this a success.
After the meeting, I cleared the driveway and Gretchen and I went out for a nice quiet lunch.
The shop eventually reported that the 750 amp battery was delivering an impressive 340 amps. Since the van requires 300 amps to start, the battery was toast. (This was the technical term that they used when reporting back to us.) So we have a nice new battery now.
Everyone is now home (including the van). We have had a tiny amount of freezing rain and snow since I cleared the driveway, which is making life more entertaining.
Later tonight, I will go hit the grocery store and pick up anything else we think we need for the next couple of days.
But now, it is time for dinner.