Having My Head Examined – Part 2

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?

Boulevard of Broken Dreams

Boulevard of Broken Dreams

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)

Teh STAREZ of DOOM

Teh STAREZ of DOOM

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!

SNOW!!!

SNOW!!!

Our road, January 2017 - Oh, how so long ago that seems

Our road, January 2017 – Oh, how so long ago that seems

Finally

After torturing me with well over two months of UN-RE-LENT-ING rain, the temperature finally dropped low enough for this to happen …

Our backyard - the bean pyramid, our newly enclosed patio, and falling snow

Our backyard – the bean pyramid, our newly enclosed patio, and falling snow

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 …

Wet snow drapes the windsock  low

Wet snow drapes the windsock low

Snow And Prelude

Prelude is up and running!!! Herewith be it

-oOo-

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 …

Sad Widder

Even the windsocks were sad

Even the windsocks were sad

But, lo and behold, the very next day …

Happy windsocks

Happy windsocks

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 …

Frozen and covered in snow

Frozen and covered in snow

Our SNOW!!!™ reporter was last seen ambling up the road, looking for further snowy adventures.

Last seen heading north

Last seen heading north

SNOW!!! … Finally!

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 …

A light dusting

A light dusting

… 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.

I ducked out the front door and got this shot in between ginormous gusts of wind

I ducked out the front door and got this shot in between ginormous gusts of wind

By the time night fell  the air was full of snow, blown about like dust …

The white streaks are the slower moving bits of snow

The white streaks are the slower moving bits of snow

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 …

Smiley Face is looking a bit concerned

Smiley Face is looking a bit concerned

-oOo-

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!

-oOo-

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 …

Of all the red deck-chairs on the whole island, this little beauty fell into mine

Of all the red deck-chairs on the whole island, this little beauty fell into mine

And these lined up like a constellation in the night sky. The Mother (Nature) never wastes a pattern! …

Hello there, little stars

Hello there, little stars

-oOo-

No-one sings about the cold like Annie Lennox …

 

 

Communiqué from Coco, the Community Cat

I is being watching the snow go from this …

Snowing again

… to this

One last snow-shower

… to this …

That’s just sad

… Now, is mah job …

… to watch the rain fall

 

***

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.

Let’s Try This Again … Going, Going …

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.

Going …

How the mighty have melted

How the mighty have melted

Going …

Poor rosemary looks like a bunch of frozen twigs

Poor rosemary looks like a bunch of frozen twigs

Midnight …

Midnight last night ... Yep ... that’d be more snow! ( shot from the front door, cos there’s no way I’m going out there)

Midnight last night … Yep … that’d be more snow! ( shot from the front door, cos there’s no way I’m going out there)

The Snows of Widder Island

It snowed for five days …

The second night

The second night

Our front yard looked like this …

30 centimeters of snow dug out three times

30 centimeters of snow dug out three times

… and this …

Poor Rosemary is somewhere underneath all that

Poor Rosemary is somewhere underneath all that

Neighbours pitched in to clear driveways, and cars, and a way out to the main road …

A posse of six women did most of this

A posse of six women did most of this

But, the day before yesterday came the freezing rain …

The sound of cracking branches reverberated across the island

The sound of cracking branches reverberated across the island

Ice, everywhere …

Our driveway marker. The top meter or so anyway

Our driveway marker. The top meter or so anyway

Then the inevitable happened. No electricity. Mrs Widds and I were prepared …

Kerosene heater – with supper in the pot on top – light and warmth

Kerosene heater – with supper in the pot on top – light and warmth

I love Winter!

Snow on the Ground. Going … Going …

We’ve had snow on the ground since early December. It looked something like this …

Our street in the middle of January

Our street in the middle of January

But then along came our usual rainy weather and it all started to melt …

I’m melting

I’m melting

(Looks like Rosemary survived fairly unscathed)

I felt like Winter was disappearing before my very eyes

I’m melting ... I’m melting

I’m melting … I’m melting

But then … at 8am this morning …

I’m melt ... whoopsie!!!

I’m melt … whoopsie!!!

 

SNOW!!!!

Snow-mores!!!!

Snow-mores!!!!

In other related news, I have a chitis in my broncs (bronchitis) and I can’t go out and play. There’s nothing sadder for a grownup who loves snow as much as I do.

Revenge of the Snow Shoveler

Anyone who’s spent a couple of winters with me on this blog knows I go a little squirrely when it snows. This year is no exception.

Day 1 … Keep an eye on our poor rosemary bush

About 20 centimeters deep

About 20 centimeters deep

Day 2 … This is after digging poor Rosemary out twice

Upwards of 40 centimeters

Upwards of 40 centimeters

Day 3 … More snow

This was a few days ago. Now it looks like a skating riink

This was a few days ago. Now it looks like a skating riink

Day 4 … Rhodo snowcones

I don't think they appreciated my glee at their predicament

I don’t think they appreciated my glee at their predicament

 

Finally … Just so you know, I would never do this … really …

Best Laid Plans

Recently I’ve had an influx of new readers and followers on this blog, which is really nice, so I thought a bit of a catch-up/about me post was in order … but first, the weather …

The snow’s all melted except for the sad remnants of the little boy wizard-in-training’s snow fort. (he, of the wondrous wellies from my previous post) The bluejays and robins, and some sort of bird that looks like a cross between a starling and a robin, are still enjoying their baths, except that now they have to be content with puddles, and potholes that appeared in the middle of the road after the snow transmogrified into water.

It’s been raining for nine straight days now. This morning I found myself checking for signs of gill-ness around my neck and ribs, and web-ness between fingers and toes.

Such amounts of one particular sort of weather can sometimes bring on bouts of introspection. (much preferable to bouts of rain induced homicidal mania, or conversely, depression) Satisfied I had not sprouted gills or webbing, I sat at my desk, with cuppa, and stared over the top of my monitor at the garden and frolicking avians, not really seeing either. And reviewed the complex and statistically improbable stepping stones that brought me to this place and this time.

I was born in England, but before I turned two my parents decided to seek their fortune in the colonies. They had three choices, Australia, Canada, or New Zealand. Why they chose Australia I’ll never know. Perhaps it was so spectacularly different from Canada and New Zealand. However, to Australia we went. I wonder how I’d’ve turned out if we’d stayed in England. (or moved to NZ or Canada … another one of those irony things is I’m in Canada anyway)

The next big splitting of the pentiments was having to leave school at fourteen. Working at all sorts of low-skilled labouring jobs. I could’ve stayed doing that, perhaps working my way up from a factory floor into a managerial position. What stories would I have been able to tell of that life, I wonder? But no, I had a yearn to learn, and a short attention span. Everything I tried added to my list of things I didn’t want to do or be.

I thought I might want to be a world class athlete, but motorbike-meets-semi-trailer took care of that ambition.

I thought I might want to be an architect, and talked my way into university as a mature age student. (High school dropout goes to university. I still chuckle at that) I was good at it too. Architecture, not university. Turns out I’m too much of an iconoclast to play the academic game.

In the end architecture clashed with the spiritual path I’d taken to like a duck to water. I was studying architecture and Shamanism at the same time, but ultimately, ‘there could be only one.’

Now we come to a fun bit of this little wander down my memory lane. Finding romance on the interwebz. Let me tell you, there were a thousand ways that could’ve gone wrong, but it didn’t. OK, there were a couple of hiccups, but nothing that didn’t expand my horizons a little. (Moving from one side of the Pacific Ocean to the other qualifies as the ultimate expanded horizon, I think)

Throughout all my adventures, a thread ran through everything I did, became and evolved into. Writing.

If you’ve read my ‘About Me’ page you’ll know about my first foray into storytelling. Nothing much happened after that until my motorcycle accident, where I spent the first year of recovery alternately being tortured by a wonderful physiotherapist and writing the first draft for what ultimately turned out to be my first ever full-length novel that I actually finished, with ‘The End’ at the end, and everything!

So, it seems that I was always destined to be a writer, it just took me a while to get here!

P.S. the rain stopped, as it is wont to do, and then the sun came out, finally!