Let me set the scene. Dave and I were driving to Home Depot on Black Friday to buy foam insulation and a few other things. It was about 2 pm and about 50 degrees outside, with a slight drizzle. We were both dressed in jeans and hoodies. Normally Dad would have come with us to make purchases like these, but I thought we could handle this one on our own. Boy, was I wrong….
We got into the store, gathered our materials and checked out around 2:30. Outside, we discovered that the temperature had dropped about 15 degrees and the wind had kicked up. We knew that the six 4 x 8 sheets of foam board we purchased wouldn’t fit inside our SUV, but we had purchased some ratcheting tie downs and expected no issues strapping them to the top of the SUV. However, the wind and snow were making things very difficult. Even the journey – and I emphasize journey – from the store to the car was a problem. I was carrying one of the foam boards that wouldn’t fit in the cart, and the wind was so brutal I could barely move.
We finally made it to the car, and Dave said, “Let’s tie these foam boards together on the ground and then tie them down on the roof.” I responded, “No, it’s not necessary. It’s cold out. Let’s just get them on the car.” So, we proceeded to lift them on top of the car, with me trying to hold them in position and Dave working to secure the tie down. Just then, a huge gust picked up and one board blew off of the roof. Then, another gust, and another sheet. As we were scrambling to get our foam boards that were blowing across the parking lot, a nice man pulled over and asked, “Are you trying to get these into the store or on the car?” I threw on my best fake smile and answered, “On the car, thank you.” He then helped us collect the boards, I sat on top of them, and he got in his car and drove away.
At this point, our hands were frozen, and we felt pretty defeated. The wind was still blowing, it was still snowing, Dave was gathering the tie-downs, and I continued to sit on top of the boards. We began to get them together, but the racheting mechanisms just wouldn’t work… until, lo and behold, my uncle shows up – out of nowhere, a little Black Friday miracle!
He had been laughing at this poor couple chasing after their foam boards until he realized it was us. He came over and helped us get the boards back up onto the car. As we were trying to get everything secured, two people stopped and asked if we would like them to drive the boards to our house. Now, if you have ever met an Urbanek, you would know two things: we don’t like strangers, and we never admit that we need help. Again, I donned my best fake smile and said, “No thanks, we’ll be just fine.” Finally, we got the boards on the roof of the car, but with every wind gust, the front end of the boards would buck up. So, we used our brains – we opened the sunroof, turned the heat on full blast, and I held onto the tie-downs from the inside while Dave drove very cautiously.
By the time we got home, it was almost 4 pm. We were frozen, and I was on verge of tears. But, we unloaded the car and – like pros – opened up a couple beers and continued with our insulating project.
Dave and I are getting married in October, and each time we complete a repair, I always think the same thing: if we made it through this, we can accomplish anything. But, this time I really meant it. I’m proud that we didn’t have a meltdown in the Home Depot parking lot, and that we worked together as a team to solve the problem. Maybe we also learned to think ahead and be better prepared. We almost had $200 worth of insulation blow away on us…but, at least we got a good story out of the whole thing!