The view from our back door this afternoon.
The view from our back door this afternoon.
It’s cold enough to snow.
There’s enough moisture in the air to snow.
The forecast is for snow.
I look out my window and the Winter tree is covered in … raindrops.
I’m sure I have some pictures from the Snows-of-Winter’s-Past (2017, I think) around here somewhere to console myself with …
On Winter Solstice Eve (20th December) I had a meltdown.
It had rained all morning, a deluge, heavy enough to swamp the driveway and footpath in front of our cottage. The gutters overflowed and cascaded a wall of water in front of my eyes as I peered out through the front window, trying to pierce the gloom.
A task I had been putting off, for months really, came back to haunt my vision. I needed to cut a drainage gutter across the driveway to divert the stormwater away from the front yard, and now, yet again, my procrastination was laid bare.
Not to Self: Don’t put off yard/cottage maintenance stuff, because you might have to do it in a deluge.
I decided to wait until the rain at least eased off, and turned away to do other things, when I suddenly started crying, for no apparent (at that moment) reason. Not the sort of crying where your eyes leak a little, no these were deep sobs that felt as though they might crack my ribs on their way out of my body.
I’ve had quite a few crying jags over the past year, (who among us hasn’t?) but this one laid me low.
Incoherent words of grief and rage spewed forth from my mouth and mingled with my tears, and I couldn’t stop.
I quite literally couldn’t stop. Every time I drew a breath in more sobs and roars of pain came back out.
I dragged myself into the bathroom, (the only room in the house without windows) hoping the darkness would help me find some anchor to stem the tide.
Didn’t work. I was going to have to ride this tsunami to its end.
Letting go, is never an easy thing to do for us humans. We’re conditioned from cradle to grave, to strive for control, of everything, over everything. Our bodies, our families/friends, our environment, and we equate taking action, any action, with control. Needless to say, we don’t succeed all that often. A conclusion that is almost always obscured by all that action-ing we’re so busy doing.
Anyway, I stopped actioning and returned to the window and the pouring rain, and fully released the wave.
Nothing lasts forever, (although it was beginning to feel like it) not even rib-cracking emotional meltdowns, and at last I could draw a breath and release it without sobbing.
And then, as though someone turned off a tap, the heavy rain stopped … and it started to snow. Big fat splats of snow that very quickly covered the draining stormwater in a scum of ice, then layers of snow.
Those who know me know that snow is my thing … it lasted through Winter Solstice day, through Christmas and Boxing Day, and only finished melting the day before yesterday.
It was the most perfect timing of any snowfall, ever.
Part 1 – HERE …
Pumpkin pie notwithstanding, the actual visit was … an experience.
Have you ever seen the poster by Gottfried Heinwein, called ‘The Boulevard of Broken Dreams’, wherein he reworked Edward Hopper’s ‘Nighthawks at the Diner’ with Humphrey Bogart, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, and Elvis Presley, instead of the original characters?
I’ve been in and out of hospital, (takes off shoes and socks to count) somewhere in the order of fifteen times in my adult life. All of those visits have been for surgeries to my knee with a few tagged on the end there for my thyroid cancer.
Almost every hospital, (on two continents) had a large entrance or atrium, where there’s usually a coffee shop, a directory, the elevators, a few clusters of faux-comfy chairs, that sort of thing … I’ve always thought of these areas as a sort of ‘boulevard of broken bodies’, because inevitably there would be a smattering of all sorts of body’s, in all sorts of stages of repair and disrepair scattered throughout.
The energy of broken and mending people is hard to be around sometimes. When I think of the thousands of people who have moved through those halls and rooms, all with their fears and pain and terror, it’s almost possible the hear the walls themselves screaming to be released from it all.
This miasma isn’t noticeable to the casual observer, and if loins are suitably girded, one simply feels a sense of relief when one leaves.
My loins were not sufficiently girded. I was already emotionally off-balance. (for reasons mentioned in Part 1)
Throw into the mix, having to wear a mask, (being mid-range-deaf and everyone else is wearing masks too so I can’t lip-read as I usually do and I certainly can’t decode their mufflings without a universal translator) the whole ‘boulevard’ thing, and add an eerie dose of those halls of medicament being damn-near deserted just to top it all off.
I gotta tell you, I was so far out of my skin (read ‘comfort zone) I could’ve been orbiting Jupiter and I wouldn’t’ve been able to tell the difference.
Normally I’m easy-going, but nothing’s ‘normal’ anymore, is it?
By comparison, the CT scan itself was the epitome of horizontalised boringness.
On the way home I blathered on to Mrs Widds about all of the above, and as good listeners (and, hopefully, all spouses) are wont to do, she made supportive noises in all the right places and offered up her wisdoms when I finally ran out of steam.
12 days later, though, and the hospital STILL hasn’t sent its report to my GP. (as of today 22nd October)
On the up side, a cold front is dragging lots of chilly air down from the Arctic this weekend, so we might even see some early snow …. and we all know how I feel about snow!
After torturing me with well over two months of UN-RE-LENT-ING rain, the temperature finally dropped low enough for this to happen …
It’s not much, just a handful of centimeters, but there’s more in the forecast.
Will we, or nil we, the Seasons turn … The Summer Tree takes on new foliage and becomes the Winter Tree …
Prelude is up and running!!! Herewith be it!
When last we hear from our intrepid SNOW!!!™ reporter she had discovered that snow really does form ‘snowflake’ shapes.
Alas, her joy was not to last.
The -20C gusty winds blew most of the fluffy snow away to parts unknown, and our sad SNOW!!!™ reporter was sad …
But, lo and behold, the very next day …
Our SNOW!!!™ reporter and her spouse shoveled the snow off their paths and driveway and then wandered down to the lake to see what had become of it …
Our SNOW!!!™ reporter was last seen ambling up the road, looking for further snowy adventures.
This week was our turn to have our very own arctic outflow. The temperature dropped from +10°C, to -10°C with a windchill of -18°C, in 24 hours. Gusts of wind added their own special flavour to the mix, and we engaged all our ‘lost power’ procedures … topped up the water dispensers, made sure the generator had enough gasoline, got a big pot of soup going in the slow cooker, that sort of thing.
Thankfully none of our measures were needed. (touch wood, because another cold and snow wave is immanent) Like most of North America, our electricity is in dire need of an upgrade, so it’s better to be prepare everything and not need them, than freeze!
Herewith be a bit of snow …
… that got a bit heavier and blew about all over the place. I tracked one poor little snowflake as it tried to get down to the ground at least three times.
By the time night fell the air was full of snow, blown about like dust …
Mrs Widds and I valiantly braved the wild weather to shovel and salt our paths. Although there wasn’t much overall snow, I did my artistic duty and hastily swept a design into the driveway …
In other news, I finally managed to upload a print version Prelude onto KDP and order a proof copy that should arrive on our, chilly, doorstep sometime around the end of the month.
I’d put the whole process with KDP on a par with my Smashwords experience. Not overly complex, but hard work. Once I’d formatted my manuscript for a printed page, rather than a scrolling page (ebook) the rest was fairly straightforward.
So, as soon as I’ve perused the proof copy, all things being equal, it’ll be live on Amazon!
Now back to the snow …
As I was sweeping off the back stoop I came across the most amazing sight. Tiny star-shaped bits of snow. I dashed inside for my camera, (which I occasionally use as a phone) and tried my best to capture the wee things before they blew away.
This is the best shot …
And these lined up like a constellation in the night sky. The Mother (Nature) never wastes a pattern! …
No-one sings about the cold like Annie Lennox …
I is being watching the snow go from this …
… to this
… to this …
… Now, is mah job …
For the newcomers to my blog, (Welcome!) Coco the Community cat adopted us after Widdercat died a few year ago. Actually Coco wanted to adopt us the minute we moved in but Widdercat would have none of it. Two fluffy Grande Dames going at it hammer-and-tongs, fur a-flying, all hissy and spitty, is a sight to behold, but not to be repeated, so Coco was hugged and cuddled when we went for walks, but studiously ignored when we were at home.
After Widdercat , we decided our lives were too transient (and dealing with the home owners association politics as lowly renters too futile) to give another cat a forever home. (we intend to have gazillions of them when we next move to our forever home. It’s been Mrs Widds and my experience that our cat companions have always found us at the right time)
In the absence of fur-fights Coco decided that, as absurd as our decision was, she would respect it and invited herself into our lives for cuddles, pats, and ‘now let me out’ visits.
We’re not the only cat-orphans she’s adopted. The four houses at our end of the driveway are all blessed by her Most High Fluffyness.
So, my finest Winter, to date, (3 months of snow on the ground) is now done and we are back to our usual Spring, Autumn, and Winter, rainforest-y climate – rain.
It seems my ‘chitis likes it here on Widder Island. I’m on my third week of antibiotics and I feel crappy, and if La La Land wins Best Picture, I’ll feel even worse. It wasn’t … terrible … but come on people, if you’re going to have a film about people who sing and dance, hire actors who can sing and dance above a B-movie level.
We return you to our regularly scheduled snow report.
It snowed for five days …
Our front yard looked like this …
… and this …
Neighbours pitched in to clear driveways, and cars, and a way out to the main road …
But, the day before yesterday came the freezing rain …
Ice, everywhere …
Then the inevitable happened. No electricity. Mrs Widds and I were prepared …
I love Winter!