French fries and free checking.

Friday afternoon, Tara and I stopped by our local credit union to open a new account. The receptionist had us take a seat while waiting for an available account representative and asked if she could get us anything, like water or coffee.

“I’d love some French fries,” I replied.

My dear wife didn’t even bat an eye. She might have rolled one, but that was it. And it occurred to me, in that moment, just how well-suited we are for one another. One of the things I love most about Tara is the fact that she appreciates my sense of humor. I can’t say that about anyone else I’ve ever been married to or dated. One woman was so aghast over my drive-through shenanigans, she swore off fast food entirely. Tara, by contrast, always laughs at my jokes. As outlandish and over-the-top as my sense of humor can be, that means the world to me.

The credit union, by the way, did not have French fries. But they did have favorable interest rates and free checking, so I let that slide.

Remember how southern Wisconsin had its snowiest March day in 15 years a couple of weeks ago? That was nothing compared to Saturday, which turned out to be the snowiest March day ever. When we pulled back the living room drapes, we were greeted by the following sight.

A solid foot of heavy, wet snow. We’d been planning a trip to Janesville for shopping, but instead, ended up housebound. We did take a walk around our property, and then through the woods and nearby park, to check out all that snow. It was just a ridiculous amount, and by the way, Madison’s official snowfall total for the season is now 70 inches. Normal is 48 inches, and last year at this time, they had 26 inches. Wisconsin really rolled out the welcome mat for Team MarTar’s first winter, huh?

That walk almost turned into an expensive disaster.

I’d wandered off to take some photos while Tara continued on down the trail. As I was walking back to catch up to her, I reached into my pocket–and discovered my phone was gone.

Insert panicked feeling.

I wasn’t too panicked, though. After all, I’d just taken some pics with it a couple of minutes earlier, and I was able to retrace my footsteps easily enough. So, I backtracked to where I’d stopped to take those photos…

…but there was no sign of my phone.

The snow was so deep, it had swallowed up my phone. Now I was feeling a bit more panicky, so I rendezvoused with Tara, told her what happened, and we set about searching for it. She kept dialing the number, hoping we’d hear it ringing, but 12″ of heavy, wet snow tends to muffle noise apparently. Finally, after several very worrisome minutes in which I envisioned a trip to the Verizon store and a many-hundreds-of-dollars unexpected expense, Tara announced, “I found it!”


Sure enough, my phone was buried beneath the snow, but again, I’d left a clear trail. Kicking aside the snow, she was able to find it.

{Insert huge sigh of relief.}

I’d say surely winter is over now, especially since it’s spring, but given the crazy weather we’ve had this month–the past six months, really–I’m not willing to place any money on that bet.

55 thoughts on “French fries and free checking.

  1. Those pictures say it all. For Team MarTar, this Winter provided quite the snowy welcome to Wisconsin. Glad you didn’t have to wait for all that snow to melt to find the phone. It would be easy enough to say it can’t possibly snow more there next year than it did this one…but honestly, who the hell knows anymore. We had a snowless Winter. Weather be crazy.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The last I saw the weather service said the city actually got 0.3 inches of snow this year, but we didn’t see that “storm” in the suburbs. When that 3/10ths happened, it was the first snow the city of Philadelphia had in 325 days between last year and this one. The last known year without any measurable snow at all in Philly was fifty years ago!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. “A walk around our property” – what a grand and fitting thing to say! As dramatic as this winter has been, omg I can hardly wait to see your spring. Please keep up the property promenading.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That is some beautiful snow, and property covered in said snow as well. Has any of it melted or is it frozen solid? That would not be beautiful at all- merely dangerous.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Some of it has melted…even on Saturday, the sun came out by afternoon and it hit 40 degrees. Once the plows came through, roads were fine. Still quite a bit piled up though.


  4. Absolute beautiful! I love big snowstorms like that. We usually get about 80 inches every winter, this year I don’t think we’ve seen 20. Very disappointing.
    As for losing your phone I think I would have had a heart attack. My life is on mine!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Losing your cell phone in the snow is indeed something to panic over. Then there was the time my husband lost the snowblower ignition key in the snow and had to just go buy a new snowblower! The key was eventually found in the summer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, no. That really puts things in perspective! Ours can be started by pulling on it lawn mower-style if the key is misplaced. Did you end up selling the old snow blower after finding the key?


      1. It was ages ago. I think we just kept the two until one eventually died. I just remember him searching and searching, with no luck. Glad your phone was big enough to find, but that’s still scary!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow – a snow phone. Yipes! Glad the credit union had favorable interest rates even if they don’t come with a side of fries. I love how well suited you and Tara are – it’s heartwarming!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Glad you were able to find your phone. After the husband donated his to the ocean a few summers ago, I know the pain of that unexpected bill.
    Ewww, that snow. I’m FINALLY seeing grass throughout most of my backyard (the front is a different story). It’s brown and matted, but I’ve positively identified it as real grass, so I’m happy.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha…you’re not wrong. I told Tara I’ve always wanted a riding mower and will fight her for the right to cut the grass now! Oddly, she doesn’t view it with the same excitement as me…


  8. “drive-through shenanigans” More information needed, please. And for the record, I’m sure a lot of your readers totally dig your humor. Also, asking for fries is something I would think to do, but there’s only a 50% chance I would actually do. Did the bank person laugh, smile uncomfortably, play along, or what?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, it was something different at the drive-through every time. I’d talk in a funny accent or order something ridiculous. Anything to mortify her. (It worked.)

      The bank person took it all in stride and never missed a beat. That’s the best kind of person to play around with! Were you reading me when I stole the tater tot off a diner’s plate when walking by on the sidewalk?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No! You stole someone’s TOT? How dare you? Haha!

        I’m glad the bank person took it stride. That’s fun. I’m sure it was a bright spot in her day too, so doing stuff like you do is good for humanity. Unless they’re a sourpuss, in which case, meh, you tried.

        And why be mortified by something when you’ll never see the person again? Pish. Live a little, ladies.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Your photos of snow are amazing, both your photographic skillz and the amount of snow. Considering you didn’t get any fries with your checking account, I hope the beauty of your early spring makes up for it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I suppose all that freshly fallen majesty makes up for the lack of banking fries. But barely!

      Here’s a shock: it’s Thursday, and while it was plenty cold this morning – 19F when I woke up – it is NOT snowing!

      Well, not yet anyway…

      Liked by 1 person

  10. That is an insane amount of snow! Thank goodness for Tara’s sleuth skills and finding your phone. 😉
    I think all banks should give out french fries are they are more necessary than extra coffee during the day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Coffee’s a dime a dozen. I take my car in for an oil change and I can get a cup. But French fries would really set a business apart, you know? Great way to earn loyal customers. I hope they implement my idea soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. My phone stays inside because it is plugged into this little box on the baseboard of the wall in my bedroom and another wire goes to an electrical outlet. I can commensurate with the panic you experienced over losing your phone. I have lost my mind dozens of times and sometimes for weeks at a time. The late 60’s and early 70’s, well , my mind stayed lost for years. Now it’s a matter of my keys, my wallet and the TV remote and the $450 I’ve hidden somewhere in the house.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Beautiful photos! We’re having weird weather here in the south too. Several days this past week were in the upper 80s; today and tomorrow will be in the 50s. At least we get to use the wood-burning stove a few more times!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s