The Terrible, Terrible Mistake

Attila called this morning in a panic and announced that he had made a terrible, terrible mistake. When he got home from work he talked and talked and talked, bottom line is that he thinks he had a mid-life meltdown. So, as far as I can tell we are back on the path together, but will need some time to heal from this very big, terrible, terrible mistake. Very big, very terrible, terrible.

My friends and loved ones have been interacting with me over the last two days, and I cannot say how much this has meant to me in my time of great distress. I feel so loved, so connected to you, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Love Maggie

New Day

I awoke thinking about Attila, and how his night in Tank went. He called shortly after I arose, and was as cheerful as ever. He said that he was warm enough, tried various configurations in positioning, finally settling on curling up on the back seat, and feels that it was a good night’s sleep, but that there are a few kinks to work out still. My relief was instant, hearing his voice, hearing about his night, what he would have for breakfast. All is well with my camping husband in the North.

There are so many things to do here at Mist Cottage, that it is hard to stay focused on just one! It is best to sit and think before beginning the day.

This morning, I sat in my easy chair, listening to classical piano music on my computer, watching the screen display my collection of art images, and I was struck with awe. Life is such a gift, the good, the bad, the boring, the exciting… all of it, except perhaps chronic pain, is a gift.

And love, what a gift that is. It isn’t always easy, it isn’t always happy, but it is the silver line that I have followed all my life.

It began for me with my Mother, who is fully human, a glorious person who gave much more than she ever got. She brought me into this world, she was my first home, she was my first love, we shared a body during my most vulnerable time, and when it was time, she gave me up to the world, and established my life in it. And through difficult circumstances she always did her very best to see me, and my siblings, right. It took me many years to come to terms with the circumstances of my youth, but through those years my love, admiration, and appreciation for my Mother never wavered. You are as beautiful to me now Mom, as you were when I first gazed up from your arms, into your beautiful face.

What my mother began became the theme of my entire life. I have loved such wonderful people. I adored my Grandparents, their lives, and their home, were the eye of the storm of my childhood. I love my brothers and sisters with a love and bond so deep that it is beyond words. We shared so much, saw each other at our worst, at our best, and we survived, each in our own way. I love my children as I love myself, find joy in their triumphs, pain in their suffering, and find myself staring at them in wonder, marvelling at their beauty in my eyes. I love my grandchildren with such joyful abandon, such joy as I did not know existed before I met them. I love my friends, the stars in my heaven, no two alike, all uniquely and marvellously their very own selves. They are life forces that run close to my sliver line. My first deep romantic love, for a singer/songwriter, came to me as a window opens on a sunny day, bringing warm breezes, bright colours, heavenly scents, and a view of the world that shone bright, and still does; he was my starting place, reflecting back to me parts of myself that had remained hidden until I met him. He passed away in 1996. And now, the heavens have granted me Attila. From the start, when we were “friends”, I knew that I wanted him in my life, and could not imagine a universe without him in it. We recognized one another, in the midst of the chaos that is the world, that was our lives.

When Reenie wrote in her very last blog entry “Love”, it touched my very soul. Reenie knew about the silver line, she lived unwaveringly along her own silver line.

Tipping my coffee mug, and saying to those who are following their own silver lines, “to love”!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

Attila’s “Camp” in the North
6°C
Date: 6:00 AM EDT Monday 14 September 2015
Condition: Clear
Pressure: 101.5 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 5.5°C
Dewpoint: 5.5°C
Humidity: 100%
Wind: calm

Mist Cottage
13°C
Date: 6:00 AM EDT Monday 14 September 2015
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.1 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 13.2°C
Dewpoint: 11.6°C
Humidity: 90%
Wind: WNW 21 gust 32 km/h

Quote

“Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness.”
Bertrand Russell
1872 – 1970

[I feel it is important to love as boldly and broadly as possible. We need to weave our star blankets strong, make them warm, wrap as many people into them as possible. Maggie]

The Visit

Attila just drove off, heading north. He drove down on Friday night, and stayed two whole nights! We celebrated my birthday yesterday. It wasn’t my birthday yesterday, but we won’t be together on my birthday this year, so yesterday was my virtual birthday. We had a lovely, quiet day, sharing a pizza and a movie. The movie was very good, What We Did On Our Holiday, with a star studded cast including Billy Connolly.

Attila also did a few little projects while he was here. He installed a shelf in the bathroom, on which I will place an air cleaner. We don’t have a vented fan, and in such a small house we want to be able to contain and control odours in the bathroom. The electronic air cleaner works very well. After installing the shelf Attila tried to plug in the air cleaner, a two pronged plug. Well, the NEW and not-so-clever design of child proof electrical outlets are also ADULT PROOF! We, neither of us, could manage to plug the appliance into the wall socket. It is a ridiculously designed safety feature that has a “shutter” to prevent children from sticking things into the outlet. The thing is, the one we purchased, an expensive item, prevents anyone from inserting a two pronged plug into the wall. Attila had to turn off the power, remove the specialized plug, and install an old one that we had. Finally, after over an hour of work, we could plug the air cleaner into the wall.

Another project Attila tackled was cutting a piece of outdoor carpeting to fit the front deck, which was quite slippery with the snow and ice on the painted wood. The carpet works very well, to provide solid footing for walking to and from the front door. Now I need to figure out something for the steps, they are still slippery.

Then it was time for Attila to gather up his belongings and pack the car for his trip home. It is easy to go from the me to the we, but saying goodbye, and going through the transition from the we to the me, is always hard. I will see Attila again in three weeks, which is an improvement, as we hadn’t seen each other for almost a month when he arrived Friday.

After Attila left I spent a good deal of time on the financial statements, and sorting through the mail. I take care of our paperwork, all of it but for the taxes; Attila takes care of the tax returns. The paperwork arrives at the country house, and Attila brought it down for me on Friday.

I have also taken on a pro-bono job redesigning a web site for the church that a close friend of mine belongs to. They do a lot of community work, so I want to support their efforts. They use their money for those less fortunate, so the payment I would have received will go towards their charities. It is an interesting project, and it is the kind of thing that I do as “volunteer” work, and it is how I contribute to the larger community. I think it is just as important as stuffing envelopes, or cleaning, or selling raffle tickets, or any of the traditional ways that volunteers are put to use.

I have discovered my own confusion. The local hospital has booked me for both physiotherapy, and an appointment with a surgeon, in the nearby city hospitals. I guess I wasn’t supposed to find my own physiotherapist. I will be attending the appointments arranged for me at the hospitals, and will not return to the physiotherapist that I have already visited. I deliberately did not make a future appointment at my first visit, and told them that I was waiting for the results of my hospital assessment. No harm done.

Now I have a familiar place for future physiotherapy if it is needed close to home.

The exercises have helped to reduce the pain, and increase my mobility. I still cannot go for a walk, but I can get around the house without experiencing pain in my knee.

After a lovely weekend, it is time to return to my quiet daily routines, which carry me through the days until I see Attila once again.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

Country House
-18°C
Date: 7:00 AM EST Sunday 25 January 2015
Condition: Mainly Clear
Pressure: 101.2 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -17.5°C
Dewpoint: -19.6°C
Humidity: 84%
Wind: NNW 15 km/h
Wind Chill: -26

Little House in the City
-14°C
Date: 7:00 AM EST Sunday 25 January 2015
Condition: Clear
Pressure: 100.9 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: -13.5°C
Dewpoint: -19.1°C
Humidity: 63%
Wind: NNW 26 km/h
Wind Chill: -23

Quote

“My parents taught me how to listen to everybody before I made up my own mind. When you listen, you learn. You absorb like a sponge-and your life becomes so much better than when you are just trying to be listened to all the time.”
Steven Spielberg

the new year

Attila and I celebrated New Years Eve with a long, cozy FaceTime chat. When we rang off at 10 p.m. we were both headed for our pillows. We greeted each other first thing the next morning, the next year, and chatted over coffee, before signing off and getting down to little odd jobs around our respective places of residence. We spoke several times during the day, and ended our first day of the New Year with another long and cozy chat.

On New Years Eve and New Years Day I chatted with Harriet, who has time off work right now. My Mom wrote to say she was enjoying walking with her friends, playing cards, and just generally having a great time. Terra stopped by for a brief chat after her session at the nearby gym, Lares side of the family provides a lot of drama in their lives. They don’t need “reality” TV!

Yesterday my “big adventure” was a trip to the laundromat. I gathered up the dirty laundry into a pillow case, donned my coat, carried it out to Tank, and drove to the nearby laundromat. Once there I carried in my laundry, and realized, just after entering through the door, that I had not brought the laundry soap! So, back out to Tank I went, drove home, grabbed the laundry soap, and then drove back to the laundromat.

After washing the laundry, I decided to dry it a bit before taking it home. The dryers were stacked. I loaded my laundry into the lower dryer, put the quarter in and hit the start button. The empty dryer above sprang into action, drying nothing at all. I had a closer look at the panels. BIG arrows indicated where to put your change for the upper and the lower dryer. In a new environment auto-pilot does not work well! I got out my change purse and set the lower dryer in action.

The clothes were damp when I loaded them into the pillow case to take them home. I had decided to hang them to dry at home, since the humidity in the house is now at 33%, which is quite low. I draped socks and underwear, t-shirts and trousers, all over the chairs in the living room and dining room. It looked pretty chaotic, but this would only be a temporary situation.

I decided to make a large macaroni and cheese casserole, to eat intermittently with my chili, for my supper. I use dry macaroni, and make a white sauce with cheese when I make macaroni and cheese. The kitchen is small, so as I was finishing there were dirty dishes everywhere, cheese grater, pots and pans, wooden spoons. More chaos!

That was when Terra arrived. Since I had to clear a chair for her to sit on, I apologized for the chaos.

She said, “Mom, if I had to follow a tunnel through piles of newspapers and boxes, then I would be worried about you. You have seen my house at times, stop worrying!”

One of the things I love about Terra is that she says exactly what she thinks. There are no guessing games with Terra! Most of the time this is refreshing, occasionally it can be disconcerting, and I wouldn’t have her any other way!

I have managed to go for my walk every day for over a week now, and I feel much better for it. It is worth repeating the advice to wear two pairs of socks, and firmly secure the laces on boots, as this has made all the difference in the world. My blister is almost healed and I do not feel it at all when I am walking.

I do notice that the knee I injured last summer bothers me a bit on my walks. When I sense that it is tired I slow my pace, and then quicken it slowly. I notice the other people out walking always pass me by, as they walk much more quickly than I do. But you know, I am just grateful to be out there walking!

Colder weather is on the way next week, according to the weather people.

As Attila says, “At is January!”

This morning it was -10C and windy, so there was a significant wind chill factor. My parka was made for days like this! I bought this parka in 1993, so it is 21 years old. It has been my only winter coat for that long, I have no other. It is a GoreTex parka, made for inclement weather, made in Canada. It cost the moon when I bought it, but when you consider this parka is in almost new condition after 21 years of constant use, it was very inexpensive over the long term. The benefits are outstanding. I bought a men’s size large, there was method in my madness. The parka has a thin lining, that will keep me warm if I am active in temperatures as low as -15C. Because it fits bigs, I can layer under it, so that at -35C, with a Cowichan sweater underneath, the parka will keep me warm for hours, and if I am active, indefinitely. It is windproof, so I do not loose body heat to high winds. It is waterproof, so I can walk in winter rain and remain comfortable and dry.

I have been so happy with my GoreTex parka that I bought GoreTex winter boots, that lace up. My feet are always warm and dry, even when it is -35C, even in winter rain.

There is some efficacy in the saying that there is no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-10°C
Date: 8:00 AM EST Saturday 3 January 2015
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 103.2 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: -10.2°C
Dewpoint: -14.3°C
Humidity: 72%
Wind: NE 12 km/h
Wind Chill: -16

Quote

“My pipe is out, my glass is dry;
My fire is almost ashes too;
But once again, before you go,
And I prepare to meet the New:
Old Year! a parting word that’s true,
For we’ve been comrades, you and I —
I thank God for each day of you;
There! bless you now! Old Year, good-bye!”

Robert Service, The Passing of the Year