Thursday, 5 March 2015

Not totally a Rant about the Weather

Many a reader who wanted to read a tale through was not able to do it because of delays on account of the weather. Nothing breaks up an author's progress like having to stop every few pages to fuss-up the weather. Thus it is plain that persistent intrusions of weather are bad for both reader and author.
Mark Twain, The American Claimant

This has been a winter when there has been little to write about except the weather, and that little often modified by weather delays. In fact, it has been the coldest February ever recorded here in eastern Ontario, and January wasn’t much better. So, as Mark Twain points out, persistent intrusions of weather are just plain annoying. In real life, as well as in art, hmm?

Not entirely. Some of us have been having a small competition on Facebook as to whose piles of snow were the highest, whose photographing fingers the coldest, whose woodpile depleting the fastest. Fun. I think everyone I read has had a win in at least one category. I also think enough is enough and if I don’t see at least an icicle within the next few days, I am emigrating. To the equator, or close by.

It has been a short and sobering month, February as well as icy cold. There have been the deaths of a cousin I knew well in our school days, of a good and long time friend and of the husband of a wonderful neighbour, all within the last few weeks, plus the funeral of the father of a fine man with whom I worked for some years. At the beginning of the month JG caught norovirus in his mother’s nursing home and ended up so sick that I called an ambulance to haul him into the Emergency Room to get rehydrated. He was not happy with this, but he is now fine and back to chopping down trees, so I feel justified. Scary call to have to make.

In more quiet hours I have spent a lot of time sorting photographs, both from our Hawaii trip and of the land around here, I have not done the mending (stop laughing!) and I have refilled and rescattered bird feeders and deer food on at least a daily basis. The birds have shown themselves as fluffy balls of appetite and the deer stand  at the edge of the field waiting for the sound of the tops coming off the corn and deer feed containers, surging in toward the feeding station often before I have walked out of sight.

Lately we also have a huge solo male turkey hanging around the feeding station tempting fate. Easter is coming and so is the hunting season for Tom turkeys. This one is safe from me, though. I had a turkey that size to cook at Christmas and it is only just lately,  praise be, that it is finally finished. I hauled the last container of turkey pie makings out of the freezer on the weekend and made two pies, the remnant of one leaving my kitchen with remarkable speed in the hands of my YD, and the other providing a meal for a neighbour and her cat. And the turkey soup was a success at a Hall card party. If I do Christmas next year, it is going to feature a small turkey. A very small turkey. I am too old to be haunted by leftovers.

It is a gorgeous blue-skied day today. I squint when I look out my office window, and if my clothesline were not sagging into the snow piled underneath it, I think I would have hung out the wash. Soon now, quite soon, I will be able to do that, the roads will turn to muddy mush, the birds will start courting and the sap will run. Tomorrow would have been my grandmother’s birthday and should have been the ED’s birthday had she not arrived so very, very late. Would we have called her Irene if she had? It certainly would have been a distinctive name in the ‘60’s.

I note, having had a lot of time to read silly stuff this last chilly while, that my name, Mary, reached it’s top in popularity in the ‘50’s and has dropped away off the bottom of popular names in North America since then. I once worked a summer at a small residential art school where, of the seven of us on staff, three were named Mary. It meant a good response when the cook yelled. And that all of us ended up with double names for that summer. I became Mary Pat, but was able to lose it as soon as the summer was over, thank goodness. I was fifteen that summer and I remember much of it clearly and with nostalgia. Was it also Mark Twain who said, famously, that youth is wasted on the young?

And I think I have just spotted a baby icicle starting to grow. Maybe the snow is shrinking under the clothes line as well.


  1. What an eventful time you have had! Brrrrrrrrrrcold! Happy to read that J is on the mend how frightening. In my class in first year university nursing, there were 7 Barbara

  2. I have always loved the name Mary. Truly, though, it is now quite rare. I only taught a very few in my 30 years, but never even one Nancy.

    Here in NEO, we had the brutal winter, too, many thanks to the generosity of the Canadians for the several Alberta Clippers you sent our way. We have had snow on the ground since Jan. 19, merely adding to it (overmuch) to reach higher than I have seen it in years. Now we are thawing, thank heavens, but it will take a long, long time for the piles to disappear.

    I laughed and laughed about your Infinite Turkey. I had one too. Never again.

  3. It has been a terrible winter for you. We have had no winter to speak of so I'm dreading the summer--water rations and all that.

  4. It has been quite a winter, and it is snowing in CP right now.

    We had a terribly tasteless turkey at Christmas this year. Maybe we should try one for Easter?