“In like a lion, out like a lamb.” That is what I always heard about the month of March.
Poppycock! This saying has proven inaccurate every single year of my life, so my poppycock assertion is wholly anecdotal, based on a small sample size, me, and yet I believe it.
March is to be a cold and wintry month, even the Farmer’s Almanac says so; Long Range Weather Forecast for U.S. & Canada from the Farmers’ Almanac.
This calls for a celebration, to celebrate that we are going to make it through March! The first thing that came to my mind was spring fertility, but at my age, and with my predilection for faithful monogamy, an orgy is out of the question. It does conjure images though, a seniors spring orgy in central Ontario, complete with chaise lounges, belly dancers, and grapes. I will leave that sort of pastime to our government, and the corporations that rule Canada and the world, although the visuals on that are even less appealing. I think Attila and I will stick to watching Netflix and enjoying a turkey dinner with lots of vegetables, and maybe even a few quiet evenings watching the snow melt.
This winter, although it has been the most severe weather we have encountered since moving to the country house, has been the most bearable to date. Only now am I beginning to notice occasional, sudden mood drops, symptoms of cabin fever. This is very late in the season to be experiencing these symptoms, and I am quite pleased by that. I know what these drops in mood are, and spend no time scrambling to resolve the feelings; the cause, the weather, is beyond my control. I keep busy, I try to stay connected with people I care about, and hopefully a change of scene sometime in March will get me through without too much suffering. Everyone around and about in this neck of the woods is well and truly tired of winter! So, it isn’t just me that has to keep putting one foot in front of the other, and is making the best of a difficult situation.
The apron project is proceeding. The hemmer foot arrived on Monday, Attila brought it home from the Post Office when he came home for lunch. I spent the afternoon figuring out how to use it, which, thanks to this YouTube tutorial, How to do a Rolled Hem on Sewing Machine, took very little time. I finished the hemming yesterday, and today I sewed together the shoulder seams and sewed on the cap sleeves. I am not following the pattern instructions anymore, as I abandoned them at the point they instructed the application of expensive bias tape. Each step now, has to be custom designed, so I take my time and ruminate over every “next step”. I hope to finish the apron by the end of the week.
It is the little things that make life bearable I think. Like Attila stopping in at the Post Office, on his way home for lunch, to see if my hemmer foot had arrived. What a kindness, a sweet consideration, to be cherished. When my mood drops these are the things that pop into my head, then I distract myself with a project, in case my mind wanders into unwelcome, climate induced, territory.
This week I have been approached by a glossy magazine feature writer, inquiring about an interview and photos concerning my beloved Grandparent’s General Store. This may or may not pan out, but it has been fun to contemplate. I love thinking about my Grandparents, and sharing fond memories of them with family members. This interview may or may not translate into a story in a glossy magazine; certainly my version would not translate well into the mass media, but I would not be writing the article, so no worries there. Not much of smoke and mirrors, bells and whistles about me or my writing.
As I was thinking about my Grandparents, my mind wandered to the great adventure that my GGG Grandparents undertook as they left Scotland at 8:00 a.m., on a Sunday morning, the weather fine with a fair wind, from the East Quay in Greenock, in July of 1820. The company of passengers were reported to be in fine spirits as they turned towards Canada, the Quebec port, and the future… the future that I am a part of.
I think about the role of Government, and the wealthy and privileged, who formed the structures of power in which my ancestors struggled to survive. I am heartened to read “About the months of April, 1820, a considerable number of individuals and families, formed themselves into societies, for the purpose of petitioning Lord Bathurst and His Majesty’s Ministers, for liberty to emigrate with their families to Upper Canada, and that Government would be graciously pleased to grant them one hundred acres of land, free of any charge, along with aid in money, implements of husbandry, and building materials, to enable them to get over the first years, until they could raise a crop for their support. The petitions of these Societies were presented by Members of Parliament, who knew the distress which existed in Glasgow and the neighbourhood at that time, and were well acquainted with the situation of the petitioners.”
Maggie’s Wee Rant: This is so very different from turning people off the land, to replace their way of life and subsistence farming, with commercial and corporate land uses, including mega-mono-cropping, like rubber plantations, tender fruit plantations, for example. I have been aware for more than forty-five years that plantation farming around the world has transformed healthy communities into labour dependent economies, teeming with poverty, subject to abuses of power, and dominated by commercial and industrial interests for profit. Economic theory sounds so very appealing, this competition and highest and best use line of economic logic. Theory is like a loaded gun, in the hands of the wrong people it can lead to some very unhappy outcomes. The black box of economic theory is greed.
SNOW SQUALL WATCH IN EFFECT
Date: 6:19 AM EST Wednesday 26 February 2014
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 101.1 kPa
Visibility: 15 km
Wind: W 8 km/h
Wind Chill: -25
What’s Coming Our Way:
Wed 26 Feb Chance of flurries 60%
Thu 27 Feb Flurries
Fri 28 Feb Chance of flurries 30%
Sat 1 Mar Chance of flurries 30%
Sun 2 Mar Chance of flurries 30%
Mon 3 Mar Chance of flurries 60%
Tue 4 Mar Sunny
“…there, after I had toiled until I could toil no more, I would have the mortification of being a burden… here it is a fair prospect of independence…”
GGG Grandfather Andrew’s letter home to his sister in Glasgow, dated from Upper Canada, 24 August, 1821.