Peace is descending. Attila is beginning to acclimatize to living here at Mist Cottage. His body is beginning to realize that the cold weather will not demand that he spend most of his waking hours bracing himself to spend almost every waking hour out in the cold. The need to brace himself, to suspend disbelief in his own desire to be warm and comfortable, is no longer necessary for survival. He can enter our home without meeting the wall of need, need for firewood, need for shovelling snow, the need for supplies when we were “weathered in”, my need for company when I had been alone in the bush for weeks on end. All of that is in our past, and this is a fact that is slowly sinking into Attila’s being.
When I was a single Mom I could not afford to be sick. It happened only once, and it scared the living daylights out of me. I had no one to mind the children, so I sent Luna off to school for the day, drove an hour and half through heavy traffic to the University, delivered Terra to the daycare, and spent the day sleeping in a toilet cubicle on campus, with a raging fever. Then I had to drive home and attend to getting the children’s dinner, homework, and bedtime, and at last collapsing to sleep a bit before I started it all over again the next morning. After that I was not sick again! Not until the children left home. Then my body decided it was safe to suffer, and I was sick off and on with colds and flu, for about a year. Then I recovered my balance and I have been good ever since.
Attila is now in the phase where his body has decided it is safe to suffer. He has had a bad cold for about a week and half, and it hasn’t lifted yet. He carries on, going to work, but at home he sleeps a lot, and rests. If he is like me, after a while he will recover his balance and carry on being healthy again.
I acclimatized last winter when I lived alone, here at Mist Cottage. By the end of the winter I knew I was not going to spend another winter virtually alone in the bush. I had bonded with the thermostat in Mist Cottage, there was no going back.
For the moment Attila is resisting leaving the house at all, except to go to work and to purchase food and supplies. He is in deep nesting mode, and may be for some time to come. Eventually the novelty will wear off, and he will begin to look around him and take an interest in the world, but not now.
I am taking advantage of our new environment. Now that my daily walks have been interrupted by the uneven walking surfaces on winter roads, I take myself off to large department stores, or the mall in a nearby city, to walk around for a few hours. It isn’t as consistent, or as pleasant, as my daily walk in our neighbourhood, but it is better than nothing. In addition, Attila and I walk up and down every aisle when we visit the grocery store. Again, not as pleasant as my daily walk, but it all adds up.
I am finding it pleasant to run small errands where we now live. For instance, the Post Office staff at our local Post Office are not interested in gossip, do not make rude or judgemental comments, or ask intrusive personal questions. They are people getting their job done, not interested in social engineering in the least. It is no longer a place to avoid at all costs.
I have run into a few “intrusively friendly” business people where we now live, but they have competition, and if I sense any sort of hierarchical thinking, I go elsewhere with my business. Although I believe in shopping locally, I do not feel the least bit obliged to endure attempts at social control. The small minded shall exist without my company, and without my custom.
Our weekend was quiet and productive. I baked a whole squash, freezing enough for two pies, and two vegetable side dishes. In an attempt to shrink the contents of the freezers, a bag of beef bones were boiled down into three quarts of beef broth, which were frozen for future soups. Frozen tomatoes, three bags of them collected over the last three years, were blanched, peeled, chopped, stewed, and two quarts frozen for future sauces.
We sold our big chest freezer with the country house, so now we have one upright freezer and the small second hand chest freezer, that I bought used several summers ago. The need to reduce the volume of food in the freezers is pressing. Eventually we will probably purchase a large chest freezer, but that is not a priority at this time. Next fall we plan on purchasing another quarter of grass fed beef from Terra’s neighbour, so we will be looking at freezers around that time.
Shovelling snow has turned into a recreational event for me, although Attila has yet to feel that way about it. We go out together with our snow shovels, and within a half an hour the job is done. Attila scoops up the heaviest load, and I concentrate on the picky little bits, like clearing the walkways and the front porch. This is much better than last winter, when I struggled by myself to clear the driveway, did not manage to shovel a pathway to the front door, and entered the house via the shovelled driveway and the garage.
I am on a bit of ramble here, just meandering towards the end of the day.
It was cold last night, but I was snug and warm in our little house, hardly noticing the weather but for the weather reports on the computer. It will be cold again tonight, and I will be glad of soft warm bed!
Date: 5:00 AM EST Tuesday 19 January 2016
Condition: Not observed
Pressure: 101.8 kPa
Wind: W 20 km/h
Wind Chill: -29
“A thinker sees his own actions as experiments and questions–as attempts to find out something. Success and failure are for him answers above all.”
1844 – 1900
So nice to read your post, Maggie. It exudes comfort. I’m so glad. I think more than anything else while ‘seeing’ the slings and arrows that you and Attila would confront I wished for both of you comfort, the chance to settle in to a warm place and enjoy the little things without the need to slay anymore dragons.
I’m sorry to hear that Attila is still unwell. DH and I have both had colds in the last 10 days. We’re both now at the stage where it’s just the tickle in the throat that creates a cough, thank goodness.
I know what you mean about Attila having to acclimatize to this new situation. I went through that the last few years after SD moved out. It actually took well over a year for my body to stop going into emergency mode every time the phone rang or I got an email. Thank goodness I’m finally past that.
We are still getting to the nesting mode. The landlord has finally agreed to let us have the closest parking space after I told him the Dept Human Services requires that wheelchair users have closest spot. I did it very nicely, since a friend advise me of that fact. Then I mentioned that it would be easier to make the ramp if that spot was ours. Within 2 hours, he had spoken to the renter upstairs, car moved. Within 3 hours, he was here with builder to measure out ADA acceptable ramp ! Finally!! Now if we both could get over the colds that never end! Hope Attila feels better soon.
I’m so glad Mist cottage is such a comfortable place to live! May Attila be well soon!
Teri, colds are a misery, Attila is a little bit better every day. Glad to hear that you and DH are feeling better!
I can relate to your experience with children leaving home, it is such a huge change. It took me quite a while as well, to acclimatize to exit emergency mode!
So much settling to do after a move Lee Ann. You used impressive diplomatic skills in getting that parking spot and ramp! I do hope your colds abate and that your move moves along to the point that you are settled comfortably!
Thanks Joan, Attila feels a little better every day. The coughing is persistent and is still awakening him as he sleeps. I have my fingers crossed that I do not catch what he has!
Not meaning to beg the point, Maggie, but I think when your daughters left home it was under better conditions than when SD walked out on us when she was 13. She had convinced herself (and apparently her mother, with whatever stories she was telling) that normal parenting with rules was actually abuse and we spent a good deal of time wondering if we’d find ourselves confronting Children’s Aid or the police, if she felt like pushing things further.
Fortunately, since mom’s BF back then was trying to send her back to us none of that ever happened.
It’s pretty obvious that now, 2 years later, she knows she made a HUGE mistake in both leaving and leaving the way she did but time has moved on and DH and I no longer have to worry about what kind of hate a self-righteous teenager will throw at us.
A sad situation Teri, glad to hear you are acclimatizing to your less dramatic, much happier, life!