One True Thing

I am living in my marital home with a man, with whom I am not in a marital relationship.

There, the one true thing I know about my new life.

Three days ago I thought I was living in a family, myself and my loving husband Attila. Attila lived up to his name, slaying our relationship with one sentence, “I should move out.” He didn’t though, this second utterance of December, of the same sentence, was followed by the suggestion that he stay in the home, provide me with the necessities of life, and carry out his life as a single person, with no intention of maintaining a marital relationship with me. Our family of two is no more.

My universe this morning, at 4:46 a.m., the very first day of 2018, is unrecognizable to me. The only thing I am sure of is the first statement above, and the blanket around my shoulders on this frigid and frosty morning.

After not having slept since last Friday night, last night, Sunday night, New Year’s Eve, my body finally collapsed into an exhausted slumber. Feeling physically ill, I lay down my head at 8:46 p.m. last night, and awoke this morning around 4:00 a.m. Lying awake the above statement formed in my head, it was the only thought that I could rely on, the only true thing I know about my life at the moment.

The blanket has become the one true thing in my physical world. It is the blanket I completed this fall, crocheted while safe in a world I thought I knew and understood. As Attila dismantled our life, the loss and shock chilled me to the bone, so I sought the blanket and huddled under it all of Saturday night, that long all-night conversation that altered the universe. I have had the blanket wrapped around me off and on ever since, slept under it last night, and am wearing it around my shoulders this morning. It is thick and warm and reminds me that I can create warm beautiful things, with my own hands. It reminds that one stitch at a time, warmth and shelter can be created, over time, stitch by stitch. I need to keep in touch with that knowledge now, more than ever before in my life. It reminds me of the title of this journal, Page By Page. So here I am, entering the New Year as a senior citizen, who faces creating a new life on a tiny government pension, stitch by stitch, and page by page. God help me.

So begins 2018. What this year will bring I do not know.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

EXTREME COLD WARNING IN EFFECT
-30°C
Date: 4:00 AM EST Monday 1 January 2018
Condition: Not observed
Pressure: 103.1 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: -29.7°C
Dew point: -32.6°C
Humidity: 76%
Wind: WNW 6 km/h
Wind Chill: -36

Quote

“The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you can do that, and live that way, you are really a wise man.”
Euripides
484 BC – 406 BC

Vegetable Soup

Good news arrived in my inbox this morning. A few years ago I was invited to participate in an international working group to develop a set of standards in health care. We were all volunteers, lending our time to a very worthwhile endeavour. It was interesting, and it was challenging. I am co-author, with the rest of the team, of an article that has just been accepted for publication in an academic journal. This will probably be my very last academic publication, and it is one that I was very glad to have been involved with.

Here it is, December 11th, and there is virtually no snow! We are very glad of this! We know there is over a foot of snow on the ground where we used to live, at the country house. We are both very happy to be here at Mist Cottage, where the weather seems almost tropical by comparison to our former home in the bush.

I started the second crochet blanket last week, before our travels. This allowed me to work on the blanket as we travelled in the car. What a difference it makes to the whole experience, for me and for Attila. My eyes are busy with my project, I don’t notice the traffic on the highway, the transport trucks that weave out of their lanes as we pass them, the distracted drivers who also veer onto the shoulder and into the other lanes, as the drivers talk on their cell phones, smoke cigarettes, or struggle with junk food packaging. I don’t see it, when I am so delightfully occupied with my crochet hook. I don’t see it, so I don’t react to it. Attila does see it, and he navigates us through the fray with diligence.

Attila and I have very different driving styles. I tend to react with more immediacy to things I perceive on the road, and Attila has a more “wait and see” approach. Both are very effective, and very different. This means that when there is something going on in the traffic, while Attila is watching and waiting to see, I am reacting, subtly reacting. Attila, attuned to my presence, is aware of my reaction, no matter how subtle it is, and this distracts him from his own way of dealing with the developing situation, which is not desirable. What I don’t see, I don’t react to, so reading, and more recently crocheting, are important activities for me to involve myself in when we are travelling.

I made a Vegetable Soup today, intending it for my midday meals. It simmered in a heavy bottomed stock pot all day, and by the time Attila arrived home the mouthwatering aroma filled the house. So we had the soup for dinner, with plenty left over for small meals for the rest of the week.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-6°C
Date: 7:00 PM EST Monday 11 December 2017
Condition: Not observed
Pressure: 101.4 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -5.9°C
Dew point: -11.7°C
Humidity: 63%
Wind: ENE 9 km/h
Wind Chill: -10

Quote

“Ultimately, we all have to decide for ourselves what constitutes failure, but the world is quite eager to give you a set of criteria if you let it.”
J. K. Rowling

Sittin’ On The Back Porch

I am sitting on the back porch to write this entry, at least the beginning of it. It is 10:41 a.m., and the heat is beginning to close in. I’ve washed and just hung to dry a load of laundry, which has been sitting messily on the floor for over a week. It was time to deal with it. A quickening breeze is making the air more comfortable, but soon, I can tell, the heat and humidity will increase beyond my ability to physically compensate for it, and I will be driven indoors, where the heat pump keeps the temperature at 23C, and below 55% humidity. But for now, for the first time since Sunday, it is now Wednesday, I am out of doors.

Our back porch is lovely in the morning. In the afternoon the sun shines into the porch and it becomes uncomfortably hot, in the summer it becomes unbearably hot. In my dreams we renovate the porch to extend the roof so that much of the porch will remain shaded in the afternoons, making it a viable space in which to spend time all day long.

Even thought the heat wave carries on, the leaves are turning on the trees, and beginning to fall. They rustle, a familiar autumn sound.

We have lost our third family of neighbours in the house next door. When we first bought Mist Cottage, a family with three children lived there. As soon as we painted the exterior of our house, and it looked acceptable, they put their house on the market, and moved to a larger house in town. The people who bought it were an unmarried couple, he much older than she, who eventually married, and eventually stopped making their mortgage payments, renting the house out. The family that rented the house, a couple with two small sons and a brother in the basement, managed to buy it as the bank was foreclosing, and struggled to keep up with the expenses and maintenance. They chopped down every tree on their property, except the very tall one that required a professional to remove it. They gutted part of the house to “renovate”, and did not make progress after tearing things apart. The couple with their children disappeared in the spring, saying that they were going to spend the summer in a large trailer they had purchased at a seasonal camp site, leaving the brother in the basement and a tenant on the main floor of the house. Apparently this did not work out all that well, the tenant has moved out, all the furniture has been moved out, and the brother and father have been working on the house, and moving things out at intervals. It now sits empty. We wonder who will be there next, and hope for the best.

Our garden continues to provide us with fresh green beans and tomatoes, and the occasional zucchini. The few squash that have grown are sizeable, and it seems the mild weather will hold long enough for most of them to mature, so that they can be harvested. Sadly, the scarlet runner beans are no longer putting out blooms, so that as we harvest the beans as the come of size, there are no more coming behind them.

The day is sunny, but rain is predicted this afternoon, which the gardens will be glad of. Attila has been watering them every day, using bath water, which he carried out in a large five gallon bucket. It hasn’t rained since we arrived home from our cold, wet vacation.

My days are passing quickly at the moment. The genealogy book that I stopped working on last spring is in need of careful thought. Yesterday was spent editing references. They are a real mess, after 22 years of making entries. Over those 22 years technology has required many changes. At first, all my records were paper, and a lot of the information I acquired was garnered from painstakingly reading microfiches at libraries. The database computer software I used was relatively rudimentary, and has undergone a myriad of updates and improvements. Each time the software changed, so did the way I could enter my sources, and my researched information. There are still restrictions in the software, for instance the source field will accept only 225 characters, not nearly enough! I spend a lot of time butchering the source material so that it conforms to the 225 character restriction. Conventions changed as well, evolved you could say. My sources needed serious editing to make them consistent. Although they will never be totally consistent, they are within acceptable limits now.

My crochet project, a blanket/afghan, is so relaxing. The colours are soothing, the yarn soft and yielding to the touch. The stitch I am using is very plain, the Suzette Stitch, and very easy. Because the stitch is dense, the blanket is thick, and will be very warm. I am thinking of doing another in washable wool, wool blankets are so lovely and warm.

I have begun my book by Sigrid Undset, Kristin Lavransdatter. The introduction was disappointing, it described the plot too carefully, revealing details that I would rather discover myself as I moved through the book. Having begun the first chapter, I encountered Norwegian words that my mind pronounced, or tried to, and decided to find an online service to provide pronunciations of the names of the main characters and places. I will eventually be able to pronounce these words correctly, but for now I must refer to the audio example every time. auditory learning is not my strong point. Which is interesting because Luna, my eldest, find auditory learning extremely easy. Everyone is so different!

Sound! From my seat on the back porch I can hear, the songs of cicadas, a cement truck, the backup warning beeps of a large truck at a distant construction site, stationary saws at the house under construction a few doors away, the neighbour raking leaves, a bird chirping, a train whistle, two neighbours chatting over the hedge between their yards. We do not live in a quiet place, but the neighbourhood itself is relatively quiet.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

24C
Date: 10:00 AM EDT Wednesday 27 September 2017
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.1 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 23.8°C
Dew point: 22.4°C
Humidity: 92%
Wind: S 20 km/h
Humidex: 33
Visibility: 13 km

Today
Increasing cloudiness late this morning. 40 percent chance of showers. Wind southwest 20 km/h becoming northwest 20 gusting to 40 this afternoon. High 28 with temperature falling to 24 this afternoon. Humidex 36. UV index 5 or moderate.
Tonight
A few clouds. Wind northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light late this evening. Low 10.

Quote

“Time does not change us. It just unfolds us.”
Max Frisch
1911 – 1991