It’s been a while since I photographed my plaster figures. They seem to be miffed at each other. Snow traces delicate spirals through my fields of vision. It doesn’t seem noncommittal so much as full of import – as if there is something in their downward spiral to be decoded if only I knew how.
Finn and I had a long walk before it started. Now he has his bone and I have my laptop and we both have the fire.
A very nice first Monday.
I like blogging to be like food — seasonal. Current. But, something about the extremity of this past winter demands a little documentation. Here are a few windows into the winter of 2015 from this quarter acre suburban lot.
What a time has just passed — intense, unbelievable, white, white, white! The colliding conditions of a record-setting winter and adopting a puppy ‘with issues’ made for a time that was both debilitating and exhilarating. In some ways, the conditions forced simplicity. Can’t go visit friends. Boom. Can’t run errands. Boom. And, the positives were heart-melting and pure — joyful play in the snow with an exuberant creature… warm, snuggles on the couch with a super affectionate dog. Those liquid brown eyes. That wagging tail. A winter wonderland.
In other ways, the collision forced complicated, constant accommodations that were exhausting. Fence maintenance. In and out multiple times a day in the WORST weather. Scrambling to sign up for canine training classes and finding none for weeks on end because they, like so much else, were cancelled. And then there was the snow removal. And more snow removal. And snow removal yet again.* (*repeat three times).
I felt like I’d been dropped into an alternate universe — one I wasn’t sure I wanted to inhabit. The loss of the empty-nest compensations (neat house, control of my time) slapped me in the face, every day. Every hour of every day?Inside, a puppy-proofed living space with its bareness and intermittent piles of chewed destruction seemed unreal. A crate where there was once a dining room table. All sewing supplies stashed four-to-five feet up. Outside, the vast banks of snow made us “strangers in a strange land”.* What happened to the road? The sidewalk? Our fence?!! Could the sky really be delivering yet another foot of snow?!
Writing classes were cancelled because of narrowed streets. K worked from home OFTEN because the T kept shutting down. Social engagements were declined with embarrassed apologies about the slow pace of crate training or road closures. I took to ordering myself groceries online right after I ordered for my sister, whom I did not see for a record three (or was it FOUR?) weeks running. Nothing was business as usual.
I didn’t recognize myself either. I became a person who talks about the weather. . . someone who watches the news and then plans accordingly. To go outside (which was OFTEN, with the dog), I wore two layers of down, leggings under my pants, and kept four pairs of gloves and two pairs of boots at the ready, in various stages of drying. I wore a ‘boarding style’ hat because it hugged the crown and could be pulled low over my forehead.
And… I realized I wasn’t yet a ‘dog person’. Turns out, caring for Jack had been a lot like having a cat. He came to us a sedate two year old, just wanting food and love. So easy!
Finn is a whole other story: 1) he’s a puppy; 2) he’s a working breed; 3) he exhibits leash aggression to other dogs (not people, thank goodness!). In other words, he needs honest-to-goodness training. Can’t really do that WITHOUT becoming a ‘dog person’.
All of this became part of a response to a prompt in last week’s writing class. Maybe I’ll post some of it tomorrow? It’s a full-fledged rant, so we’ll see. They tend to be revealing.
Anyway, rant or no rant, I’m back. Thanks for returning faithful readers! I can’t wait to catch up on your blogs.
Fourteen more inches. Five more coming tomorrow?
Light as a feather — but so much of it!! Had to dig the ‘reverse moat’ again and re-establish our rope-play paths (did I mention Finn jumped the fence the day before yesterday?)
Parts of the fence have virtually disappeared. K installed wire barriers in one spot (where Finn easily and gracefully hopped over). More wire barriers needed on north side. To be effective, my ‘reverse moat’ requires digging on the other side of the fence as well as ours — an awkward maneuver that strains the elbow and arm and makes me feel terribly sorry for myself.
We are all doing the best we can! A section of our pipes have frozen. No water getting to master bath. The ceiling is leaking in the kitchen where it typically does when there is an ice dam. Ominous cracks have appeared along the yellowed section of ceiling. We need to get those ice melting ‘hockey pucks’ ASAP — or stuff cut-off nylons with ice melt, since there probably aren’t any pucks available, anywhere.
Only six people showed up in my husband’s office. Not clear if the T is even running out this far. Worst of all, Finn’s play rope (which gets buried and re-discovered in a series of gleeful digs on his part during the game), disappeared last evening and despite moving what feels like a mountain of snow —
I had no luck finding it this morning. Found it!! Much joyful playing ensued!!
I am piecing up the tiny scraps that come with making the log cabin squares. Not surprisingly, I prefer the teeny compositions. I am intrigued by their scale and the sense of possibilities. Each could stand alone or they could be combined into a cloth that hangs together. How to decide?!!
I took this picture as a way of exploring contrast. There’s the sun rising over Wappoo Creek not far from where Eliza Lucas Pinckney lived from the time she was 15 until she got married at 22. A southern marsh. Warm light. And then there’s a pair of loppers. Pulled out of the garage so that I could take a couple of branches off a big yew out back and have a place to stand that is semi-protected while out with the dog in the backyard. If it’s snowing hard. Or raining.
But now that I have a dentist appt. this afternoon, the loppers have taken on a ghoulish aspect and remind me of my father.
How? you wonder.
My father was a pretty funny guy. Whatever else he was he was still that — funny. A mad punster, quick-witted, he made inventive visual jokes as well. When I was about eight, I had a very loose tooth which we agreed needed to be pulled. He made a series of trips to the garage while I waited nervously in the kitchen. The first time he returned with a huge garden tool — perhaps a pair of loppers like the ones above. With some uttered apology, very serious sounding, he went back out to the garage, returning with a smaller but still horrifying tool — perhaps hand-held hedge trimmers? By then I was on to him, but nevertheless, when he approached my mouth a few return trips later with a small pair of pliers, while still terrified, I was flooded with the idea that the procedure definitely could be worse.
I have to go in to the periodontist shortly and have an implant removed. It failed twice. We are talking about probably a dozen appointments over a period of two and half years and thousands of dollars (even with dental insurance). That’s bad enough, but for each visit, I have had to manage my terror. Some things just don’t get better with time.
On top of that, at the very outset I wanted them to just pull the rotten tooth out and leave it be, but apparently that wasn’t a good idea then but is a perfectly acceptable idea now. I don’t blame anybody, but I sure wish I hadn’t gone through this.
The good news? It was scheduled about an hour ago, so I’ll only have the afternoon to fill with dread. The bad news? I’m out of anxiety meds.
But just think! By the time the dinner dishes are loaded into the dishwasher, this nasty business will be over.
I am wondering if my second Saturn return is starting to show itself.