As goes life, 2015 is proving to be another year of challenges and concerns. I was going to share a little with you months ago; however, the way things have been going I am so very late starting it. It’s amazing to me how quickly we are almost half way through 2015! Perhaps you won’t mind indulging me anyway?
It seems there is always one grief or stress to deal with, hardly is one behind us then another is on the horizon, besides the ongoing ones. A cousin of my mum passed away during the winter; however, because of the tremendous amount of snow we were getting, and the storms that seemed never-ending for awhile, the funeral service was not held until May when family could get together again. Of course, the next day Dad didn’t remember anything about it.
In January our daughter in Alberta asked for our advice. She’d decided it was time to move home and had a job offer here in NS! After six years of being away it was a major life change for her, an exciting one for all of us. Once the plan was settled I got busy on this end of the country. Online shopping can be fun when looking for good secondhand furniture on Kijiji. After I found an apartment that way, located a few minutes from her new job, we also were able to get a washer, a dryer, and a table and chairs set for her. Our main concern, though, was that she was determined to drive home, about 3000 miles or about 5000 kilometers – in her jeep, with all her belongings – including her two adult cats. Alone. In the dead of winter. um… NO! We bought a ticket for my husband who flew out to Alberta the first of February to drive home with her. That was the beginning of a crazy week.
After arriving there and getting a good night’s sleep, the next day he and she packed her belongings into a U-haul rental trailer – so full he said they couldn’t have wedged in a box of kleenex. They drove farther north to briefly visit her friend from NS who has lived out there longer than she, then started their long journey home. Since the plan was to take turns – one sleeping when needing to while the other was driving and then switching roles – and with the cats in their enclosure taking up the back seat, there was only room to sleep sitting up in the front passenger seat … as comfortably as could be arranged.
Remember, this was in the worst of our unpredictable Canadian winter. Coming across the middle of the country they experienced frigid minus-degree temperatures and bitterly cold winds in which no one should be out in the elements in miles/kilometers of nothing but dangerous weather. Nevertheless, they passed a hitchhiker daring to do just that! The jeep was crammed so full they had no room for an extra passenger, so when they stopped at a little diner they told a police officer. The officer picked up the hitchhiker to find a place for him to stay the night; otherwise, that person very possibly would have succumbed to the elements.
It was my week at home (instead of at my dad’s), so I was trying to keep the house and myself warm. The challenge for me was our outdoor wood furnace which I had never loaded or maintained because my husband always took care of it. I just didn’t want to. Usually, most of the wood my husband lifts into it is very heavy, way beyond what I can lift. It’s actually whole tree trunks cut into three-foot lengths or so, much of it not even split as it’s not necessary because it burns well as it is. It was only split if it was not possible for him to lift whole. Fortunately, last winter’s stash of wood had more small-sized sticks available than usual, many of a size I could handle without injury – if I were careful in how I lifted, didn’t slip in the very deep snow, and could propel the wood into the furnace to properly load it for efficient airflow.
Now, the wood my husband can load in is so big the furnace has to be reloaded only twice a day, morning and evening. The wood I could manage was much smaller, therefore it had to be replenished much more often as it burned quicker. Let me tell you, I got more exercise than I wanted!
Unfortunately, soon after my husband and daughter started their journey eastward, here in NS we were hit with a wild blizzard that dumped a few feet of snow on us. When that settled I found, because of how the ‘white stuff’ had drifted, I could still make my way through a path in the snow to keep the furnace stoked. Then, hardly had a way been cleared in this province when we were hit with a snowstorm. A huge one. With loads more snow. By the time that one ended I had so much snow I couldn’t get out my back door so had to battle my way out the front and around the house to the now buried path to the furnace. Did I say buried? There was no longer a path beside the truck which was half buried. (see top right photo below) I have never spent so much effort and energy repeatedly struggling through such deep snow, bitter cold, and biting wind – quite an experience for little me. It had to be done. I couldn’t let the fire die out, but the snow was so high and dense I couldn’t struggle through it anymore. I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it but I was determined not to ask for help for as long as I could hold out.
That’s when my dear father-in-law came to my rescue. That morning he arrived on his tractor equipped with snowplow and blower, after I’d been shovelling in an attempt to clear snow off my deck so I could open the door and also begin a new path to the furnace. If you look at the above photos, the bottom right one, my path was along the front of the deck railing on the right, across what was our lawn and up a rise.The snow was very heavy and packed solid, so by that time I was so depleted of energy I’d given up for awhile and gone inside to warm up and gain some energy back. I told my dad-in-law I would finish the deck, just had to stop awhile because I was so exhausted, but I would do it. He insisted on doing it for me. Bless his heart. I knew he was not feeling well, either, but he still insisted despite my objections. He got it done much quicker than I could have, for sure. I certainly appreciate him, he’s a good man.
As for the travellers …
My husband and daughter stayed in a hotel one night – a place that allowed her cats – because it was a long stretch of nothing they were on, getting on for dark, with no idea what they might encounter since it was blustery and very, very cold. I’m sure they slept better that night; the rest of the time they slept on route.
In less than five days they made it home and I was so excited to get my arms around them! I’d prayed much for their safe travels. Interestingly, they missed all the storms since it began storming in Alberta after they left so the bad weather heading east was always behind them, and the worst happened in Nova Scotia before they arrived. :) Granted, there was a lot of snow clearing for my beloved to undertake once he got back, and he felt sorry I’d been stuck with so much to handle while he was away, but I survived! :) (And now he knows I can load that darn furnace if the wood is small enough. ah well.)
In this photo (left), with more snow coming down, I was leaning on a snowbank under which was our lawn swinging-chairs set. Somewhere.
I am happy to say there is NO SNOW now. :) How I do love Spring and Summer!
The last thing I’ll say for now is this …
My dad – who will be 90 in a few days – is getting worse (wretched Alzheimer’s, and weak heart) but is still spunky and usually cheerful; and another dear family member has been recently diagnosed with Mesothelioma (incurable cancer) with not much time left with us. Some days life’s stresses feel so heavy on me, but then I remember the Lord is my Strength and the Song and Light in my heart. If God is for me, who can be against me?
I wish you each a sweet song in your heart.
What has been going on in your life? How do you cope? What joys do you have to share with us?
Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!