Today was "lay on the couch watch movie" day with daughter. It's she and me now, sort of a more sane gilmore girl kinda combo. Weird. OK, not weird, but different. We were once part of a cohesive family unit of five members. That was in the last chapter in this ongoing book of my life. Now we are two separate units. This is important because it explains a subtle change in my behavior that I noticed today. A change I don't necessarily like.

It was lay on the couch watch movie day because I am still recovering from flu, that whole body not quite so strong phase. It was a cold and windy day... seriously it was. High winds were whipping the trees, branches falling. I was waiting for the power to go out once again as it tends to do when branches meet electric lines in New England. Let's say it wouldn't have been unexpected.

Also important note, this isn't our house. We are housesitting for a friend. Housesitting a house that is on a main road, a house that has been robbed at least once in broad daylight no less (these thieves had no fear apparently). Whispers of perhaps twice. It has a fancy schmancy alarm system of which I am well versed.

The house is also located at the foot of a well known hiking trail. I had looked out the window early that morning, felt my body protest most vehemently at the thought that was beginning to form, and announced to daughter that perhaps tomorrow instead would be the better day to try this hike.

Later in the afternoon there is a knock on the front door. I am instantly wary. No one comes "knocking" on the front door, there are no neighbors. Peering out the window I see two teenage boys, roughly around 17 or 18, hands tucked into jean pockets,wearing a t-shirt with only a flannel shirt over that, shivering, with very embarrassed looks on their faces.

"Excuse me Ma'am? We're sorry to disturb you but can we come in to borrow your phone to call the police? We were going to hike and then realized we locked our keys IN the car."

OK, here is where the shift has come in. Old me would have without a thought, sized up these boys as harmless, opened the door and dragged them in out of the cold, gave them the phone and made hot chocolate to boot. Teenage son of course would have been around as well, quite possible husband also around doing something. New me says...woah...wait a sec...There is daughter and there is me, a weakened me no less. These boys are both bigger than me. These boys are most likely harmless and exactly what they say, but it IS known about town that the family is away, WHAT IF?

"I'll bring you the phone, wait just a minute ok?" and close the door, locking it behind me. I return with the phone, a phone book, paper and a pen and wait behind a locked door as they call for help. This very wary me feels like a foreigner in my body. Who IS this person? The boys are standing there trying to pretend they are not cold. They give me the phone back, thank me and start to walk away. If it were my son, I would not want him turned away cold like this...Old me starts prodding new in the ribs.

"No wait"

They turn.

"It wasn't very smart of you to go hiking on a day like this dressed like that you know. Let me get you some blankets to keep you warm while you wait."

"Not necessary, we're not cold" says one.

"You, Sir, are freezing your asses off" I smiled "I am making you take some blankets, you can return them after your problem is resolved"

They thank me with sheepish smiles as they wrap the quilts about them and walk up the road. Kids these days. Think they are invincible and impervious to weather.

Ask me if my eye was on them the whole hour they waited and I will tell you yes. I watched them out the front window, wrapped in quilts by the side of their car. Making sure that they were still all right. After the locksmith came, I no longer watched. They drove up the driveway shortly after to return the blankets as promised.

"Hey, thanks a lot for these. And if you ever breakdown in our neck of the woods, we'll be happy to get you blankets too. And have a good life! Thanks!"

"Just help out someone else that needs it next time you have an opportunity to. OK?"

"Sure thing" the boy grins.

Old me whispers you should have made them the hot chocolate too.