Here’s what’s been on my mind this week, my friends. In no particular order. Just as it flows from my brain to my fingertips.
For many reasons my mind has been back home these days. Mum is in hospital. She has been in, and out, and back in since the beginning of April. Released the first time the day before Good Friday. Sent home with Covid, we presume. To develop symptoms almost immediately and be readmitted after only two days. At which point she tested positive. And so did my sister. My poor sister. She’s been very sick.
And my poor Mum. At ninety-five was it possible that she could defeat Covid? We prepared for the worst. She was unresponsive. Then she rallied. Got a bit better. And a bit better still. That lasted until today. Today things have gone in the other direction. And now, we’re in a holding pattern. Waiting. And I’m wondering if and when when I should go. The first of May when I have a flight booked already and plan to be in Fredericton for two weeks while my sister is away? Or now?
Meanwhile, the St. John River back home is rising. Covering some roads. And submerging the islands in the middle of the river where the farmers grow hay and potatoes. Spring flooding, situation normal at home in April.
The Rideau River at our place is high as well. The current is strong. And so is the wind. There are even waves today. But no flooding as far as I know. Just the whipping wind and the uncharacteristic sounds of waves hitting our waterfront. Spring flooding always makes me homesick. Nostalgic. And conflicted. Wishing for things to be done and undone at the same time.
#3 Also Here
On Sunday last week, Hubby and I spent the morning rehabilitating the gravesite of his parents and grandparents. He did the heavy work, and I raked leaves, handed him tools, fetched and carried. And kept him company. The sun shone and we sipped coffee from our thermal cups when we’d finished, admiring our handiwork. A job well done, I think. And a Sunday morning well spent. I know I posted about this on Instagram, but what I said bears repeating. I never knew Hubby’s grandparents. Or even his father who died very young at age fifty. But his mother I did know. She was a wonderful mother-in-law. Funny, and talented, and energetic. She and I got along like a house on fire from the beginning. And I loved her.
I’d never met anyone of my parent’s generation who was like Milly. She was a ball of energy. Always game for trying new things. In her retirement she learned to golf and ski, she travelled, went out to dinner with friends, and took up oil painting. She eschewed housework if there was something more fun to do. And I think she provided for me a prototype of how to be retired. She became quite a good painter over the years. And she loved it. I remember she once told me that after dinner some evenings, she’d retreat to the small upstairs bedroom that she used as a studio and become so immersed in her painting that when she finally became conscious of the time it might be two or three in the morning.
From the beginning of our relationship, Hubby and I had dinner at her house once a week. We might see her at other times, but that one night a week had been Hubby’s habit for years, and I was invited from the moment we started dating. There were no vibes with Milly. One did not have to tiptoe around her, reading her silences, or her sighs. One evening at dinner early in our relationship she and Hubby barked at each other about something, I can’t remember what. And I ducked my head and and thought, “Oh, no.” I thought they were arguing, and I guess they were. But two minutes later Milly laughed, said that Hubby was probably right, and the meal continued. Those few moments were a revelation to me. And in retrospect, they taught me a lot. Mostly about how to have an adult relationship with one’s parent.
#4 Still Here
On Tuesday this week I donned a spring outfit, see below, and went shopping. When I emerged from the bedroom, ready to go, I gave Hubby a detailed list of the provenance of each item I was wearing. Newish, navy COS merino-wool turtleneck, a perfect weight for spring, by the way. White and black Vejas sneakers from 2022. Navy plaid Burberry scarf bought in 2018. Kate Spade two-tone bag, purchased in 2014. Paige denim jacket from 2013. Max Mara light-wool trousers, circa 2002, almost last century, in fact. Hubby was rapt as I spoke. I mean, maybe it was the baseball game he watched with one eye as I talked, but I don’t think so.
On Wednesday, spring left us again, just as I was planning what to wear to meet a friend for dinner in the village. It was seriously cold outside. So I was forced to don winter apparel… again. Ankle boots, wool socks, my Everlane cashmere crew-neck sweater, my heavy black cargo pants, and my Uniqlo down jacket. I balked at wearing a wool scarf and instead wore the silk neckerchief you can see below. You can also tell by my expression that I was seriously pissed at spring.
On Thursday, I tried to walk. I waited until mid-afternoon, hoping that the temperatures would rise and the wind die down. Even wearing my woollen toque, I lasted five minutes! I retreated to the basement and climbed on the exercise bike in a fit of pique.
Yesterday I joined three other friends for lunch at the home of a fourth friend. We had a great afternoon. Lunch was terrific. But I wore the same thing I had worn to dinner on Wednesday evening. Sigh. I feared I might still be wearing those woollen socks and ankle boots in June. But by late afternoon when we emerged from our friend’s house it was warm, almost hot. That felt very good indeed.
#5 And Home Again
So. I’ve been writing all afternoon about clothes and spring flooding, interspersed with bouts of doing the laundry. But my mind is still at home. I’m waiting to hear from my sister when she gets home from the hospital. And, you know, I find I have little else to say. So, I guess I’m going to end this post right here.
Besides, that’s enough about me. Let’s not talk about me anymore. Okay?
I’d much rather hear what all of you have been doing. How spring is maybe pissing you off too. Or not. Maybe you’re basking in warm spring sunshine as I write this. Perhaps spring flooding is happening where you are. If so, I hope it’s of the nostalgic kind, and not the devastating kind.
Spring, like families, can be complex, don’t you think?