Unkind

We have at last arrived at the last of the winter, only four weeks of full-blown winter weather to manage! The first of March blew in cold through the night, and then warmed enough to deliver blowing wind and heavy snowfall. Attila spent part of his day shovelling snow off the roofs of the woodshed and the utility shed. This is the first time he has shovelled those roofs, and the snow is deep and high on them. They are being shovelled now in anticipation of warmer weather to come, bringing with it rain, which will weigh heavily as it soaks the snow; the weight could collapse the buildings. So off comes the winter’s snow load today!

To celebrate the first of March Attila prepared a turkey dinner, with all the trimmings. The vegetables are delicious, the last local farm grown squash, green beans, potatoes, and sweet potato.

Considering that I have spent weeks and weeks and weeks living in one room, remaining relatively inactive within the confines of this small space, my health is excellent. Attila noted that I had put on weight over the winter, but happily it is only five pounds, which will melt away when spring releases me from these four walls. My daily standing is helpful, as are the routine breaks I take from the computer and my chair. I am pleased with myself, for hanging on so well, through one of the worst winters on record.

I have finished my apron! Attila has the dining room table back just in time for the turkey dinner!

This morning Attila slept in until 8:00 am, a rare and happy event. Mist however, felt differently about things. She sat in front of the masonry heater, shooting meaningful looks my way. She paced in front of the masonry heater. It wasn’t really cold in the room, ranging from 14C at the perimeter to 19C near the masonry heater. Still, Mist had her mind made up, an immediate firing was required. Thinking to build the fire myself, I opened the masonry heater to a five inch thick bed of hot coals. The ash dump channel is blocked, and the ashes are accumulating in the firebox! I fetched the ash bucket and loaded it full with red hot coals, then put it downstairs by the little wood stove, then thought better of that, put on warm clothing, and carried it outside to sit in a snowbank. By the time I had accomplished all this Attila was up and about.

We decided that it was not practical to try to free the blockage in the ash dump while the heater is fully charged and hot, that will need to be done later in the season, when we can switch to using the little wood stove downstairs to keep us warm, and the masonry heater has cooled a bit. We have a few more nights of cold temperatures, heading down below -25C, and we will need full firings until this cold snap has run its course. Nothing for it now, but to remove the ashes manually every day! More work generated to make this cold, cold winter even more intrusive and challenging than it already is!

Maggie and Alison, good times and good company in the early 1990s.
Alison maggie 1992 web

I posted this photo on Facebook, taken in the early 90s, of myself and a friend Alison, Steve-Paul’s Mom, who was a truly wonderful human being. When on my timeline, an unkind comment was made, which took me by surprise; I am hoping the person who wrote that was trying to be funny. Then the photo was posted on another wall, where an inconsiderate comment was made about me, again this took me by surprise, in fact, the comment may have had malicious intent. My dear friend Steve-Paul responded with a funny quip that was in turn interpreted and responded to in an unkind way. The quip was withdrawn, as I know it was not meant to be unkind, or to invite further unkindness; only the interpretation was unkind, borne of a long-standing, and in my opinion undeserved, grudge against me. It is interesting how some people allow the pettiness in their personalities get the better of their mouths and fingers, allowing pettiness to represent them in public places. Sigh.

What do I think about being publicly disrespected? Well, it is not an easy thing to deal with, sitting alone with my thoughts, for weeks at a time in the bush, I can tell you. But really, I am not sure it would be pleasanter if I had to spend any of my time with the pettiness barons themselves. I am reminded of a passage I learned as a child, and it must have sunk into my unconscious, and influenced me ever since, as I considered it wise at the time: “forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us…” And that is exactly what I will do, forgive the trespass against me, and remember to respect the individual’s weaknesses in future.

As it is, today is sunny and milder, there is a warm fire burning brightly in the hearth, yesterday’s five inches of snow has been shovelled off the cars and driveway, and Attila is here to spend a pleasant day with me. Life is good.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-19°C
Date: 7:00 AM EST Sunday 2 March 2014
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.6 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -18.6°C
Dewpoint: -20.7°C
Humidity: 84%
Wind: NNW 9 km/h
Wind Chill: -25

Quote

“Be master of your petty annoyances and conserve your energies for the big, worthwhile things. It isn’t the mountain ahead that wears you out – it’s the grain of sand in your shoe.”
Robert Service
1874 – 1958

8 comments to Unkind

  • WendyNC

    Maggie, I think the world has in it many sad, silly people, but it’s always unpleasant when they try to relieve themselves at the expense of others.

    On a more pleasant note, it’s it a good thing we have beasts to tell us what needs to be done and when we need to do it. How would we ever manage on our own?

    It’s to get to 68F in my world today–then back to ice tomorrow afternoon. It has indeed been an odd winter.

  • Bex

    If, every time someone made a nasty disrespectful remark online somewhere, we all uttered a collective “Ahhhh, that poor misguided soul, they are so insecure in their own skin that they have to stoop to hurting others to feel good themselves – poor, unfortunate beings!” Because that is what they are… and I suppose they deserve our sympathy in having to live inside those warped and sad minds.

  • It’s not just online either, as Blondi could tell you. There are A-holes everywhere.
    I always expect people to grow up and out of it, and am surprised — no, shocked — when they don’t.

  • Wendy, the term silly works for me!
    Living with beasts has distinct advantages! You are right, how would we ever manage without them! Mist keeps us on the straight and narrow, never letting us stray to far from our mutual purpose, a comfortable life.

  • Bex, I do feel sad for those who feel compelled to share their weaknesses with others. My work is remain true to myself, while being tolerant and respectful of their weakness. For the most part, this entails not giving them enough rope to hang themselves, and always keeping in mind that trust needs to be earned.

  • Blondi, yup, you are right, they are everywhere! I love that that you are still surprised, even shocked, when people fail to mature emotionally… it speaks of such high hopes for the species!

  • Will winter ever let go? I always thought I would like to spend a winter in a remote cabin in British Columbia, but I don’t know that I might go stir-crazy being inside for so long. It’s amazing how well you fare. Facebook? It’s full of goofy people…

  • Tom, I think the White Witch has extended her boundaries beyond Narnia! It feels like one hundred years of winter, right about now. The remote cabin in British Columbia might be pleasanter than our country location; three reasons: there is less now there; the winter is shorter there; and the wealthy wouldn’t be buzzing around you in SUVs, ATVS, snowmobiles and light aircraft. Then there are the gift shops, you wouldn’t have to contend with the gift shops and up marketing. Still, if it is on your bucket list, give it go, it might be great for one winter!

    Facebook! Goofy, what a great descriptor! I am thinking Walt Disney’s Goofy… well, perhaps not so good natured as that!