Well, that was interesting… good times, bad times, good lessons

winter frost tree downThis is the story of my last three days. Snowstorm. Trees down. Wires down. Not much going on, other than winter. Storms. Electricity out. No heat, no running water, no television, not much connection with the rest of the world.

Living on battery power, using the mobile phone to contact the rest of the world. Staying close to the fireplace, keeping the fire going all night long, finding different ways to get meals and keep occupied. Waiting for the power to be restored. Hearing one thing, then another, then another.

Waiting, just waiting. Watching the snow fall. Moving it off the driveway. Off the roof. Off the back deck and stairs. Lots of snow. Half a meter’s worth. 18″ worth. Heavy, thick, packed snow.

And now I feel it. In my back, my legs, my arms, my shoulders. Bruises all over my legs, where I slammed against the snowblower. Cold. It was cold. And the all-over ache that comes after hours and hours of being tensed against the cold. Countless trips up and down the stairs to get more wood for the fire.

All in all, it wasn’t terrible, being out of power for two days. Longer than that, and it would have been a problem. We would have gone to a hotel, because my spouse can’t afford to get sick, and they’re more susceptible to cold than I am. We came this close to going to a hotel, then decided against it — the place we called said there were a lot of families checking in, because they lost power, too. And having a lot of kids running and screaming (’cause that’s what kids do, when they’re cooped up, let’s face it)… well, that wasn’t the most restful option.

Better to stay in our own space and try our best to stay warm and dry. Wait it out. Gather around the fire. Rest. Wrap ourselves in blankets and relax. Wait it out. Just wait.

And we did. Power was restored 3 hours sooner than they said it would be, and that was fine. In the bargain, I scored some major points at work for continuing on through with my work, despite having no electricity or heat or running water. I managed to logon to my work by connecting through my phone and then sitting in my running car to keep the power going to it, so I could complete some must-do tasks.

And now I have a reputation for being that much more of a can-do person, with total commitment to getting the job done. So, something useful came of it. Which is fine.

So it goes. I handled this storm considerably better than I handled others in the past. I kept my cool. I kept focused. I wasn’t a total jerk to my spouse. And I came out of it ahead of the game. I’m wiped out and would love to sleep for 12 hours, but I’m also keenly aware of how much good it did me to really move. And not spend all my time in front of a computer, like I’ve been doing for the last however many years.

It was good to have the enforced break. Away from the constant hum of machines, away from the low-level buzz of non-stop electricity. Listening to the wind. Getting out in the snow. Just living a very basic life, and being profoundly grateful for everything I have.

Now it’s time to go get some supper. The refrigerator isn’t smelling all that great. It stayed cold, but not cold enough. So, off I go to replenish it. And get something really good for dinner tonight. Something filling, substantial… and hot.

Just as it should be.

Onward.

I don’t think winter is ever going to end

But I’m actually fine with it. I know, it sounds bizarre – this should be over. We should all get a break from the cold, the snow/rain/wintry mix, and be able to get on with our lives.

And yet, this is our life. All of it. The seasons. The weather. The delays. The difficulties.

It’s just how it is, sometimes.

I’m fine with it.

Because I’ve come to expect it. By now, I’ve become a bit acclimated to these weather extremes… the teasers of warmer weather, followed by arctic blasts. And it’s to the point now where rather than resist and revile it, I’m actually enjoying myself as I clean the slop out of my garage and pull my coat closer around me as I go from the house to the car.

I’ve written before about how familiar it feels, when we have to all slow down, and how dealing with my own issues has helped me to learn to deal with limitations that drive other people nuts. And 2 weeks later, I still feel the same way (which isn’t necessarily a given). It’s true. I do feel like I’m better equipped to deal with setbacks, disappointments, and general thwarting of my intentions, than a lot of “normal” folks who just assume their faculties are never going to fail them — at least, not yet, anyway. Not till they get “old”.

For me, I never quite know when my faculties are going to come through, and when they’re going to fail me. My energy levels yo-yo all over the place, leaving me feeling energized one minute and exhausted the next. My balance can turn out just plain wrong at any given point, leaving me staggering around for something to hold onto. And I’m never quite certain how tolerant I’m going to be of light and sound and touch.

I just roll with it. I don’t have many other options.

Speaking of being wiped out, I just had a wave of weariness hit me. I keep mistyping the words, so I think it’s time to stop. I’m making chicken stew this evening. My spouse is out of town, and I’m on my own. So, it’s stew on the stove, and maybe a little nap to get my strength up enough to eat.

Later.