Snow Storm!

Well! We are having a white Christmas this year!

It was storming when Attila left for work, predawn, on this first day of winter. Here is it noon, and a thick veil of snow continues to fall from the sky. The cold will keep this snow close for the season holiday.

I ventured out briefly this morning. The newspaper had been delivered as usual, thrown onto the driveway from a moving vehicle. It was fast disappearing as the snow accumulated. So I bundled up, and out I went, shovel in hand. Clearing a path before me to the end of the drive, where the newspaper was snatched up and shaken vigorously to remove the snow. The snow plow will go by later today, but before Attila arrives home. It will leave a huge snow bank across the end of the driveway, blocking Attila’s access. Between the arrival of the snow plow, and the arrival of Attila, I will be out there again with my shovel!

On these snowy days I don’t need to work out on my elliptical machine.

Writing on Facebook is ephemeral. Every so often I delete everything in my timeline, a big job. In contrast, this online journal is on my own server, and will exist archived on CDs and hard drives, which may or may not survive. If they do survive, and if I have any descendants, what I write might be read at some distant time in the future. If not, what does it matter. The universe hears me, my words, my small, almost invisible contributions, become a part of the collective consciousness, in one way or another. There is so much of the way of things that are not seen, not perceived, not understood. Human ignorance does not dictate reality, it exists without us, and our short lives swirl in the chaos and patterns that are formed.

This morning I have written a few things on Facebook that I might like to revisit, so I am recording them here for myself. My relationship with the written word is intense. In my reality the words I write create a bond with the universe, what I write matters. It matters not to a particular person, or cause. It matters to the universe, just as every grain of sand on the beach is a part of the beach, its movement involved in some greater process beyond its understanding. In writing I hitch my wagon to chaos, time, and the value of existence.

So dear diary, here are a few of the things I’ve been writing about this morning. Some additional sentences are included.

An article by David Grossman fascinated me this morning, as it articulated some of the reasons I write an online journal.

This was my comment on the article:
“An inspiring lecture. My favourite passages are:
library: “…a place whose essence is the story of the individual, unique human being, and “the world” as a brutal, belligerent, identity-erasing reality.”

“When Donald Trump speaks—or Tweets—I feel subjected to the harmful radiation of an uninhibited cynic who is fully aware of his mission: to turn human beings not only into a mass, but into a mob.”

“Anyone who has spent their life writing stories knows: underneath each human tale, another one lies hidden. Sometimes it contradicts the visible layer, while at other times it completes and enriches it. This is true of individual stories, and national stories. We all know people who, over the years, have become trapped inside their own private narrative—their “official” story.”

And here is the core of my interest in this article:

“You could say that I “massage” it back into a story about human beings.”

“every time a whole, multi-layered character enters our lives, we rediscover how every one of us contains so many possibilities of existence, most of which we cannot even describe, yet they exist inside us as silent longings, and sometimes burdens, soul-shadows, until we encounter a book that animates them and gives them a name.”

I think that the larger picture has become so manipulated and corrupted that the human level ceases to predominate.
The despair I see around me lives there, in the larger picture.
This is why I write a personal journal, and deal only with the personal, which exists in the context of the heartless, hopeless “larger picture”. As my bio says,
“That is what others thought of me. Here you will find what I think of myself.”
A different approach than David Grossman’s, touching few lives by comparison, but the lives that do connect with mine in this way are so very valuable.”

***********************************************

Toronto 1968 1968: “Winter made a comeback in Toronto yesterday with a 12-inch snowfall, and motorists and pedestrians slogged their way homeward along slush-clogged Bay St., arriving late, cold and damp at homes darkened by a power failure.” Photo by Bob Olsen. – Courtesy of Toronto Public Library & the Toronto Star Archives.

This was taken the year before I arrived in downtown Toronto to attend Ryerson Polytechnical Institute. Having lived on a tender fruit farm my whole life, Toronto was overwhelming. With little money, I rented a couch to sleep on in someone’s living room, in an apartment in St. James Town. The accommodation was found by calling a telephone number torn from the bottom of an ad on a bulletin board at Ryerson. Marsha, who rented me her couch, was a model, whose husband was studying architecture in Portland, Oregon, I only met him once when he was home for a few days.
I bought a 10 lb. bag of dry rice, a bottle of olive oil, stole ketchup and mustard from the cafeteria at Ryerson, for flavouring, drank only water, and survived. I knew no one.
Toronto was magic to me from the very first day.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-11°C
Date: 8:00 AM EST Friday 22 December 2017
Condition: Light Snow – not true it is snowing heavily.
Pressure: 102.4 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -10.7°C
Dew point: -13.0°C
Humidity: 83%
Wind: NE 25 gust 35 km/h
Wind Chill: -20
Visibility: 1 km

Quote

“Tact is the ability to describe others as they see themselves.”
Abraham Lincoln
1809 – 1865

To save anyone else the trouble, I describe how I see myself, myself, here. Works for me. I love reading diaries, journals, blogs or whatever people call what they write about their own lives.

Recovery Mode

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!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-19°C
Date: 5:00 AM EST Tuesday 19 January 2016
Condition: Not observed
Pressure: 101.8 kPa
Tendency: rising
Temperature: -18.8°C
Dewpoint: -21.5°C
Humidity: 79%
Wind: W 20 km/h
Wind Chill: -29

Quote

“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.”
Friedrich Nietzsche
1844 – 1900