Home Alone

When I was a little girl, my brother and I would spend endless hours reading and discussing encyclopedias. Warm summer afternoons spent in a stuffy upstairs room, minds abuzz with all the wonders of the world. Those were happy hours, whiled away with my eldest brother, a year younger than myself.

I think of them now because I just had a similarly delightful experience.

At yoga class two weeks ago I mentioned that I once worked as a computer support person at several universities. One of the women in my class approached me to ask if I knew anything about Macs. Indeed I do. She then inquired if would be interested in exchanging skills, my computer expertise for her massage expertise. It sounded good to me, so I gave her my phone number and forgot about it.

At yoga class last week she asked me if I received her phone call. I hadn’t, and we figured out that the number she had for me was incorrect. She asked me ’round on Friday last to help her with her email, which she needed to setup on a newer Mac computer that had been given to her. I gladly accepted the invitation.

When I arrived at her place on Saturday we had a pleasant chat, then settled into resolving her computer issues. I installed software, setup the firewall (yikes, no firewall!), and configured an account for her on the computer, with all the programs and logins she regularly uses. We also resolved login issues that had been plaguing her. I enjoyed it. For me it is comparable to knitting, it keeps my mind busy as knitting keeps one’s hands busy; it is very relaxing.

She has a wonderful light filled studio, where I had a totally relaxing head and neck massage.

Then we started chatting about our various interests, and proceeded to the living room where she produced a great store of reference books. We spent hours pouring over the books, and chatting about the contents. Then a friend of hers arrived, took off her coat and boots, and joined us. The three of us spent a few more hours pouring over the books, chatting, and laughing; there was a lot of laughing. I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

It has been many, many winters since I have had such an experience, more than eleven years. My winters have been spent in total isolation, but for the occasional presence of the ever-busy Attila. How very pleasant the company of others can be! Today, thinking about Friday’s visit, I fell into pleasant memories, of time spent with my brother, and encyclopedias. Knowledge for its own sake is such an adventure, such a joy.

When I looked out the window at 6:00 a.m. this morning, it was snowing. It snowed all day, and it is snowing still. I planned on getting out there with my snow shovel after breakfast, but once again the neighbour across the street got to our driveway first with his snowblower. I don’t know where to begin to thank him for such kindness and consideration, really I don’t!

It was snowing hard at the country house today. Attila plans to stay home, and so will leave the snow shovelling until tomorrow night, rather than do the job twice. The snowblower is well used this winter.

The surgeon’s office called, and an appointment is scheduled at his clinic for next week. I checked the parking situation online, and was dismayed to find that Tank is too high for the parking garage clearances. The garage parking is inexpensive, has no time limitations, and is perfect for visiting day patients. I can not park there, and this is a big problem. Alternative parking is further away, and has a two hour limit, which I doubt would work for a visit to a clinic. I have never visited a doctor and only spent two hours in the building! Wait times are long, and people are advised to bring food with them to snack on while they wait.

Feeling a bit panicky, I sent a message to Terra outlining the issue and asking if she was free on the morning of my appointment. Terra assured me that something could be arranged, not to worry. So I will just have to have faith!

Diesel and I are having a quiet Saturday. I have been taking advantage of the few days of free access at ancestry.uk, and have managed to view and make copies of many documents related to my ancestors in England.

Diesel is feeling more relaxed now, after his stressful day yesterday. I was gone for the day, working on the computer and visiting with the woman from my yoga class. Diesel was home alone. When I got back he was nowhere to be seen. After a little while he appeared, and was extremely clingy. He was unsettled. I realized then that he has lived his whole life with other cats in the house, and then there were dogs as well. He had never been “home alone” before, and it was a new and scary experience for him. I made a point of sitting where he could sleep on my lap for the rest of the evening. Today he seems to have recovered his laid back, casual demeanour. I think he will find his next “home alone” experience less stressful, because he has concrete experience that there will be a good outcome.

Worldly Distractions


Little House in the City:
A mixed bag of snow, ice pellets, and freezing drizzle for Southern Ontario this weekend.
-10°C (14F)
Date: 4:00 PM EST Saturday 7 February 2015
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 101.7 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 8 km
Temperature: -10.3°C
Dewpoint: -13.6°C
Humidity: 77%
Wind: NE 21 gust 32 km/h
Wind Chill: -18 (-0.4F)

Country House:
Over Central and Eastern Ontario, snow today, tonight, and Sunday.
-8°C (17.6F)
Date: 4:17 PM EST Saturday 7 February 2015
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 101.4 kPa
Visibility: 2 km
Temperature: -7.6°C
Dewpoint: -9.1°C
Humidity: 89%
Wind: NNE 5 km/h
Wind Chill: -10 (14F)


“A bore is a man who deprives you of solitude without providing you with company.”
Gian Vincenzo Gravina
1664 – 1718

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I am lucky not to have any bores in my family. The dogs are lovely and when Paul comes in to actually be with me, it’s always well appreciated. We have our own corners of the house and are in those corners most times when we are both home which, for me is all the time, and in the winter for him is most of the time.

Except when he outside shoveling, which has turned into a full-time job this year!

Your massage sounds heavenly!


It’s great to read about your pleasant visit with like-minded women. I think your little house in the city was a good choice as there seem to be some very helpful and agreeable folks there.

I’m glad that Diesel “survived” his home-alone experience. I’m sure it won’t be long before he not only adapts to the occasional bit of time by himself but scolds you if he thinks you’ve been out too long.

Maggie Turner

Wendy, I am reminded of the real estate addage: location, location, location. 🙂

We are into an “invasion of the body snatchers” scenario here at the little house in the city. Diesel has decided that my lap is the ONLY place to get a good days nap, or naps. My laptop has become his rival! 🙂

TopsyTurvy (Teri)

You’ve reminded me of my childhood in Seattle. One of my favorite things to do when I was maybe 8 to 11 was to sit down in ‘the back room’ behind my bedroom and read the encyclopedias there. One was Encyclopedia Britannica, but I can’t remember what the other one was. I’d sit there reading while playing records on my record player. And since we’d store leftover Christmas cookies in the cooler back room, I’d often get to munch on my favorite date-filled cookies. ;D

We’ve actually completely missed this set of snow, so far – thank goodness! But looks like we’re going to have some really cold weather mid-next week, and we won’t be missing that.

TopsyTurvy (Teri)

My family’s date-filled cookies have a sour cream sugar cookie type of exterior. I’ve made them a number of times myself. It’s a nice memory from when my great aunts and great grandmother (French Canadian Metis) would come to visit at Christmastime.

Lol with you having your thermostat for cold weather. Not to mention, you have a warm, purring lap blanket!

TopsyTurvy (Teri)

Oh. Forgot to say we woke up this morning to everthing being ice-coated from freezing drizzle.