Wednesday, January 23, 2013



Its the middle of January and the thermometer read -24C at 8.30 this morning.  The bright sunshine is mocking me.  But its more than that.  I feel a bit like the Wile E. Coyote trapped in never-ending wheelspin while the Roadrunner gets further and further out of reach.

My life seems so fragmented; part time work breaks up the day and the week and there are always uncertainties about all the people I care about lurking in the back of my brain, waiting to take chunks out of my peace of mind.  Right now, both sons are crestfallen over winter work that promised ridiculously high levels of recompense, but which has now fallen through in a hail of lawsuits.  (None of them touching us, thank goodness).  The furnace is getting old, and I hope it lasts through this cold snap.  My dad is having an operation soon. Nick is taking off for a month the week after.

 Of course, some of my trials are self-inflicted:  there is no earthly reason I need to have a stack of books by my bed which is THIS high.

  I could leave those Christmas lights on the back porch until a warmer day.  (But, really, I can't because they and the box they came out of  are both mocking me every time I pass by. Ditto cobwebs, but housework is a whole other story).

To stay sane, (and avoid housework, frankly) I've created a pie graph, virtual until now, of things I want to include in my everyday life.

 But so far, it doesn't reflect reality.  Suzy Homemaker I am not, apparently. And now that I look at that chart I see a gaping maw where housework is supposed to be.  Hmmm....

My day to day life is actually more like this.

I think I need another Camino, but this may be, like Sudoku, (see above) just another means of escape.  A worthy object of focus is really what is required. Like the next Camino,  perhaps?  Single point focus seems to be out of the question.  But Sudoku?  I ought to be ashamed of myself.    Maybe there is an online support group for addicts...on Facebook?

BTW, the most amazing thing I've seen today?  Me getting on my boots and extra layers to take down those Christmas lights.  I'm going.  Now....Really, I am.

Monday, January 7, 2013


More like a punch in the gut, really....

I've been in the basement during the last couple of days, working my way through the many rubbermaid boxes in which 'important' things have been stored.  I've been pitching, consolidating, and filling garbage bags with donations.  I've managed to empty five of those big containers, so now we can store the camping gear better!

As I was going through a collection of postcards I used to value, I came across this charming image of a Pyreneean family of the nineteenth century. After I got over being charmed, I thought "Why the heck did I collect this?"  I turned it over to discover that it was from a highschool friend of mine; probably from her honeymoon.

She'd sent it from somewhere in France after a "bad trip" to Spain, where her husband got food poisoning in San Sebastian, and they were harassed by the police.  They'd decided to boycott Spain and head to France, where she was enthusiastic about the prospect of seeing Carcassonne and spending some time on the beaches of the Med.  It made me smile to hear that long-ago voice; she was always the adventurous one.  While the rest of us had our noses to the grindstone, she took off to the Galapagos and other exotic locales.  Life was always more exciting when she was around.  We had twin crushes on a pair of guys we met at an Interschool Student Council Meeting and didn't eat for nine days,just  mooning around until we got over it. (She lost weight, I didn't.). When she married her highschool sweetheart, she did the "Rock Lobster" dance, lying on the ground with her feet in the air in her full-on pouffy white wedding dress, having just the best time.

Full of fun, athletic,  and up for anything, my friend lived intensely.  I remember her being both enchanted and disquieted in equal measure when during one of our  philosophical conversations( the kind only seventeen year olds can have) I pointed out how close the blade of the jawbone was to the skin.  We both had a frisson of mortality at that.

We lost touch in the 90's, but I thought I'd look her up when I went up north to my grandmother's funeral a few years ago.  I found her address in the phone book; she lived near my cousin, so I mentioned that I was thinking  of going to see her.  My cousin looked at me oddly and tried to find the kindest way to tell me that my friend was dead of breast cancer.    I'd been doing pretty well up to that point.  Grandma was 94, and alone now that her life partner of  63 years had died.  It was natural that she would die one day.    But my friend should not be dead. She should be here watching her three athletic brainy beautiful children grow to adulthood.

I  am sad that I won't ever be able to share my experience of San Sebastian with her, or try to change her mind about Spain, thirty years later.  I'll never get to ask her just exactly what that run-in with the police was about.  And I'll never again get to share her invigorating energy.

I miss you, Marji.


A crisp clear -12C for the day's dogwalk.  My legs in jeans were getting numb, but my downclad top half was sweating.  A strange sensation!  I loved the blue shadows on the snow.

Saturday, January 5, 2013


When I saw this sky, I thought, "oh oh!".  It took another twenty four hours for the storm to arrive, but I guess the portent holds.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


I seem to have recovered just in time to sample a little of the feeling of the season.  My New Year's Eve was quiet.  I spent the run up to midnight playing with the ISO settings on the camera, trying to capture the magical feel of the Christmas tree without a flash.