Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A tale of spirituality?

Perhaps I’ll let you decide.

Last Wednesday night, 11:30pm, I was headed on my way home when I found the front door covered in ice. All the gutters had frozen solid and melting snow from the roof overflowed the sides to land on the awning above the doorway. Unfortunately, it had built up on top of there and wedged between a crack where the awning meets the aluminum siding. From there, the melting snow dripped onto the doorknob, freezing on contact and creating a gigantic ball of ice around the keyhole.

I was able to beat it off and wedge my key in to open the door. I should have done something else then and there to remedy the problem. But my tiredness had me go upstairs, wash my face off, grab a bite to eat, and crawl into bed to sleep.

In the morning I got ready for work. I planned to get there early to make up for being late on Wednesday because of the snow delays. I hurried down the steps ready to walk out the door and immediately catch the bus.

I couldn’t open the door. I couldn’t even turn the knob or the key in the lock. In that instant, I realized the ice must have completely covered the knob during the night. In my mind, I debated what to do. I was trapped inside my apartment with no way to get out. Should I call the landlord? Should I contact the police/fire department?

I went upstairs and grabbed a hammer. I pounded on the door to loosen the ice outside, then finally got the doorknob to turn. Strange, because when I opened the door the entire outside knob was still ice-covered including the keyhole. It shouldn’t have turned. Anyway, I tapped the ice away. Then I went back upstairs, turned on the gas stove, and took out a flat-headed screwdriver as I held it over the flame. I hurried down the steps and placed it inside the keyhole to melt the ice away.

While I was doing all of this, the bus I was suppose to catch came and passed by.

Knowing I could catch the next one, but not arrive early to work, I continued my efforts to make sure my knob would stay unfrozen. I went back upstairs (remembered to turn off the burner) and grabbed a garbage bag along with a rubber band. I covered over the knob with the bag and hurried to catch the next bus while carrying the screwdriver and a lighter in my backpack just in case after work my little contraption failed to hold back the ice.

Going along the route, and halfway downtown, there was an accident on the road that my bus was able to detour around. Unfortunately, the earlier bus I had missed was stuck ahead in traffic, unmoving and possibly involved in the accident.

I realized that if the doorknob had not frozen over, I would have caught that bus, been stuck there, and become late again for work.

After my shift ended that night, I reached the apartment expecting the bag to be covered in ice. Yet it wasn’t despite all the water coming from the gutter that had reformed more icicles on my mailbox. I took off the dry bag and headed inside.

What do you think of my story? Divine intervention? Or just a lucky coincidence?


  1. Maybe it was a bit of luck as well as divine intervention. Did you contact your landlord about the ice build-ups too then? I sure would. We have had similar problems from time to time here in my house when ice had formed in the gutter, then edged its way under the roof above the door frame and would melt down across the inside door and make it so we were "frozen" inside the house, unable to escape.

  2. I think most of life's notable occurrences have some element of the divine as a component; maybe all of them do. In any case, I'm sure glad to hear you got the better end of it in this instance!

    Also, glad to see you posting, as I assume that means the headache is gone (I hope.)

  3. I don't believe in coincidence. Thanks for sharing your story! :)

  4. No coinkidinks, babybee! Love your engineering/problem solving.

  5. Regardless of what some think, our lives are guided and our prayers of "watch over me and mine" do get answered, even when we take our daily lives for granted.

    It sounds like your building needs a wider overhang, gutters, or more insulation in the attic!

    The plastic bag sounds like your long-term fix...I doubt your land-lord is going to invest too heavily in any remedy.

  6. I'm gonna go with a little divine intervention.

  7. I'm not sure how I feel about coincidence.. I'm inclined to not believe in them.. most of the time. Maybe things are just started to "click" for you in the Universe. :)

  8. To answer a few of the questions posed...

    1: The sinus headache has lessened to the point where I can do things today, mainly catching up on chores.

    2: The landlord knows about the problem. He saw it himself and flipped out because he "claims" they are brand-new gutters. He has to do something. If one of those sheets of ice breaks off in a clump and lands on someone walking along the sidewalk, he'll have a lawsuit on his hands. Unfortunately, we're expecting another 3-8 inches of the white stuff throughout Tuesday.

    3: As for my problem-solving skills, beating it with a hammer and setting it on fire works best with about everything in life - not just frozen doorknobs ;-)

  9. Just your good Karma, Michelle. What goes around, comes around.

    In the meantime, might I suggest buying a blowtorch?

  10. See what clean living will do for you. Way to go on the door problem. Would have gotten a bigger hammer.
    Coach O

  11. Somewhere along the road of life I came to the realization that things happen for a reason. Someone was looking out for you today.

  12. I love to hear stories like this. I'll leave it to you to determine whether God was intervening on your behalf.

    Decades ago, when I went to college, I drove there in the first car I ever had, a used, brown Dodge Aires that a little old lady reportedly only had previously used to drive herself back and forth to church on Sundays. But the car occasionally had problems. I would be driving along when I'd suddenly lose acceleration. Sometimes, the car would even stall out. And every time I took it to the shop, it would start working just fine.

    So one day, while I was driving to school, I went swinging around a Boston rotary, and the car decided to cut out right in the middle. Before I knew what was happening, some idiot in a white sports car entered the rotary going 200 miles an hour (or something thereabouts), clearly not looking too carefully at where he was going, zooming in front of me way too close to my front end.

    If my engine had not cut out just at that moment, I'm sure at least one of us would have ended up running into the other.


  13. Remember that scene in Home Alone where the kid inventively fends off the robbers by putting a charcoal starter on the doorknob, heating it up and burning the SNOT out of the bad guy who touches it? I had this wonderful hopeful image of you using this scene to write a screenplay or a scene in a novel...just keep writing and let it come to you. Whether it's karma or an accident may not matter too much right now, but will surely come clear later. For now, just write. Your gift lifts all our hearts.
    Angie at Eat Here

  14. I'm glad you're enjoying the benefits of my Voodoo spells. Yes, that's right. You can attribute this particular bit of luck to me. I had a notion that you might be in trouble, so I made a wax voodoo doll in the shape of your doorknob and have been working it for some time now. Have no fear; I will keep the ice at bay. Muhahahahahaha.

  15. God works in mysterious ways...:)


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