Spring Flooding & Other Miscellany.

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.

#1 Home

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?

Road closures near Mum’s back in April 2018

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.

Sugar Island is under water, April 2018.

#2 Here

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.

Lilies on our waterfront.

#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.

And daffodils in our garden.

#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.

My “irate with spring” face

#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?

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48 thoughts on “Spring Flooding & Other Miscellany.”

  1. Here in Seattle, we are waiting for Spring. Yesterday was the coldest ever recorded for this time of year. 37. I have hanging baskets all planted sitting in my mini greenhouse. I looked at a photo from four years ago and my gardens were flush with blooms. This coming week has a day projected to be 79! Go figure. I enjoy your posts and like you, like the challenge of mixing old and new items from the closet.

  2. Spring here is sporadic – warm and sunny days followed by cold and wet. Undramatic, however. Sounds like a difficult and unsettling time for you and your dear ones. Wishing you strength and compassion. And some damned sunshine.

  3. My thoughts are with you and your family,Sue!
    It was nice to hear about your MIL,what a wonderful woman! I was not so lucky…
    Spring here is one step forward,two backward….
    Love,Dottoressa

  4. Your post today has more than a touch of melancholy about it , understandably . Many of us here will have been in the same situation & know how hard it is . I’m glad you have your sisters to share the worry .
    Our soft spring warmth lasted just a few days before the temperatures dropped again , rain headed our way & chilly east winds began to blow . I bought myself a new rain hat last time I was in Scotland , an oilskin bucket hat in a sensible dark green . I like it because it doesn’t squash my hair & is quite flattering ( well at least it doesn’t make me look gormless ) so , to cheer myself up I sent for a couple more – one in non sensible yellow , the other in a very pale blue . I don’t care if it rains now – bring it on ! This is the site , see the lovely colours -https://vanessabullick.co.uk/collections/hats
    I’ll be wondering how you & your mum are getting on

    1. Even Florida has had crazy fluctuations of temperature, but here we mostly need rain, PLEASE!
      I’d love a post about hats that don’t squash your hair. My fine hair is so picky.
      Love your posts, and look forward to every one. Prayers for you and your sister and mum.

  5. Thinking of you during this sad, suspended in time, period. I say, get on the plane. Maybe an extended stay is required for you, and your family.

  6. Spring here has been glorious, except for a storm that blew in on Friday and lasted several hours longer than it should have. That’s life on the Atlantic coast, the winds can make things somewhat unpredictable. But we’re back to upper teens and breezy, which is as things should be.

    But I’m off to England later this week, which is having what is winter weather here in Portugal. I’m loathe to bring out my winter sweaters, so I’ve sorted through to find sweaters that don’t look so “wintery” and scarves that are warm, but lighter both in weight and visually.

    As for flooding, I follow an historic pictures page on FB, one that covers the town in Minnesota where my parents grew up and where my family landed in the 1800s. (It’s been a boon for my genealogical research). This week, the St. Croix River is flooding once again, and it took me back to being a small child and my parents following the reports via the daily Stillwater Gazette, which they had mailed to them in San Diego. It’s much easier now!

    Sue, I’m sorry to hear about your mum’s travails. Beaming all good wishes to both of you.

  7. Go. Go now. It’s only one week until you were planning to go anyway and your sister is sick too. Stay three weeks instead of two. Don’t wait and regret what you were doing instead of being there.

  8. I was just thinking about your Mum yesterday, Sue, and wondering how she was doing.I feel I’ve got to know her through the years we’ve been friends and co-bloggers. From what you’ve written about her, she’s a remarkable woman (sounds as if your MIL was as well) and I hope she either recovers from this bout of Covid or is guided to a gentle end. And I hope you know that whenever you go to visit, you may not be able to control being there at the end, but that you’ve been there in so many ways for a lifetime. I expect she knows that as well.
    xo,
    f
    (As for what I’m doing? Well, this weekend, besides resting my ankle, I’ve been hobbling to hospital, pharmacy, etc., massacring the Italian language trying to get some relief from what I suspect is UTI. And not sure whether it’s good news or bad that it’s 20 degrees today while I’m stuck inside. But there are wonderful church bells (I might have appreciated the 8 a.m. prolonged version this morning more than the many who partied until 3 or 4 just below our hotel window last night!)

  9. Kathy Stephenson

    I live in Texas, so I love spring and fall, like the winter and loathe summertime. I know if I lived in Canada I’d feel very different! My winter sweaters have been put away for a while now, and I usually just grab a cardigan when I go out, and that’s because restaurants and shops are already blasting the a/c! We did have a strange front come through last night, so it will probably be in the 50’s today. Brrr!
    I hope your mother recovers soon. I know it must be scary to worry about her from afar. You might feel better if you were by her side. Hoping for he best for you and your family.

  10. Your worries about your mother touch home, it’s not an easy time when our parents become elderly. My mother is less than six months of way of turning 100, she has been telling everyone she knows she’s going to make it to 100 but the last year and a half half have been one health blow after another. And although she has eight children, I am the only daughter who lives close, so I carry a different burden. Last week I was scolded by a coworker when I made the comment that my mom might be the death of me. She missed her mother who has been gone for awhile, and she was telling me I should be ashamed of myself. I don’t believe I’ll ever talk to her about my mother again – she obviously doesn’t understand how difficult it can be to be the caretaker of someone who you truly love. I hope I can learn something from this experience because one day if I am lucky enough to live long, my children, who both live in different states, will have to deal with their elderly mother. I’m trying to be as prepared and as positive as I can be about that eventuality. Oh, if we get only live long and healthy and die suddenly. A long slow decline is difficult. Keeping you and your sister in my prayers.

    1. Nancy, I am so sorry about your co-worker’s comment. It is hard to understand that lack of empathy. Sending love and support.

    2. I cared for my mother for many years through a long slow decline – you coworker was so wrong to make that comment. Sending best wishes to you.

  11. I’ve recently returned to supply-teaching — I mask, even if I’m the only one doing so — and have spent a few days recently in a couple of kindergarten classes. One of the classes I was in spends a good chunk of every afternoon outdoors. The students come to school prepared for whatever the weather might be, but I did not — not fully, anyway! It was just slightly above freezing and raining, and out we went. I arrived home at the end of the day feeling like a block of ice and did not fully thaw out for the rest of the evening.

    We’ve had the same kind of temperature swings that you have. Not long before my block-of-ice day, it was pure pleasure to be outdoors!

    I hope you will feel buoyed by the support of your readers in the days ahead. My 93-year-old mother is a big part of my life, and I often think of you and your mum.

  12. Hi Sue,
    I can understand you and your family are going through a very difficult time and my thoughts are with you. Went through similar circumstances a few years ago.
    Weather here in the northern suburbs of Chicago has been crazy. Last week we had summer, this week we have winter.
    We’re anxiously waiting for May 1st when we can start planting our veggie garden, so that’s been on my mind lately. This is only our second year at growing veggies and we’re expanding this year. Didn’t realize how much I didn’t know.

    1. You just reminded me of our gardening years in Milwaukee. We would drive to Pittsburgh and go with my wonderful in-laws to purchase vegetable and flower plants at a favorite nursery. We learned the hard way to wait until Memorial Day to plant!

  13. It was so interesting reading about the St. John River and Sugar Island and how the farmers plant on the islands when the water level goes down. It’s so much more interesting and sort old nostalgic to read about how other places work around the weather than thinking about our hesitant spring here in Ontario.
    I was sad to read about both your Mom and Sister being so sick and I could feel how worried you are. I don’t know if you will think I’m cold hearted when I mention that having 2 much loved family members sick with Covid is a reminder of how contagious and potentially deadly this virus is and although you ache to be there with them, your heart is there. What if you got sick and then as a result hubby too. I’m sorry to have said that but I think when loved ones are sick and we’re so worried about them we sometimes can’t think straight. Of course whatever you do will be the right thing for you and yours. Hoping for the best for all of you and for a wonderful long awaited spring for everyone.

  14. Sorry to hear about your family! Covid is really scary. It’s such an unknown for everyone.
    Well there is not spring here in Northern Wisconsin!!! We still have snow on the ground and right now it is still snowing!! We are seriously considering moving to a warmer place where there is a spring. We have had snow on the ground for 6 months. I could go on and on!!
    Love your daffodils! I probably won’t see mine until June!!
    Have a good week! Hope there is good news about your
    mom.

  15. Oh Sue, very sorry to hear about your mom and your sister. I hope they recover quickly. There was some evidence that the very very elderly do a little bit better with COVID than do the very elderly, for various potential reasons, so I hope your mom rallies again soon.

    I’m not a fan of the oscillating temperatures, but I’m happy as long as the snow is gone (for footwear). I’ve had the minor issue of having to cross the picket lines in the current strike, plus managing others who have to cross, among the difficulties of the hybrid work environment.

    I enjoyed hearing about your mother-in-law. Reminded me of my maternal grandmother, who tried everything, and my paternal grandmother who was a painter. A great way to age.

  16. The weather here too is definitely not the Spring we usually get! Hope this is not a new climate change pattern…it’s bound to get better!
    Sorry to read about your mom’s health, Covid is making the rounds again here too. Such a worry and it’s probably more difficult for you being far away.
    Take care Sue,

    Leslie

  17. Hi Sue, So sorry to hear how unwell your mum and sister are. Strangely, I was thinking about your mum yesterday and wondering if I’d somehow missed an update, as I hadn’t heard about her recently. I was thinking about emailing you …
    I’d also say go as soon as you can, if it’s possible. I’m sure you’re wishing you were there or at least closer.
    Covid’s so awful and it seems impossible to predict how it will affect people even if they’re vaccinated.
    So lovely to hear about your mother in law. She sounds a wonderful person and how great ( for Stu too ) that you got along so well and loved her. I had a lovely mother in law too. She was Irish and quite quirky but always so loving and welcoming.
    We’ve had the occasional sunny few hours but generally chilly and wet at times. I’m still wearing boots and scarves … with a lighter coat than my full length puffa, occasionally.
    Take care Sue … thinking about you.
    Rosie xx

  18. Thinking of you, your Mom and sister. It is so hard to have loved ones ill. Sending prayers and love. Thank you for posting during this hard time. I never had to go through having a parent slowly decline, as both my parents died suddenly. It must be so very hard. ❤️

    Here in Nebraska we have had some hot weather only to get plunged back into winter weather the last few days. It is hard to know how to dress. I seem to be whipping sweaters on and off and trying to figure out why I am so hot or cold….😉

  19. Dear Sue, Thank you again for most wonderful post. Hoping and praying you get good news about your Mom and Sister. Not being right there and not knowing when to jump on the plane can be nothing but hard, so Thank you again for your post. Sympathize with you about the weather. Today is my oldest granddaughters birthday…I bought bubbles and balloons and a spring dress. We have snow, so no outdoor play and I will be wearing my usual outfit of jeans, pullover sweater and cardi. Happy Spring to all.

  20. Sue, go now! You will never regret it. Go while she may still be able to know you are there. Texas has had a “cold” spring for us. Today, end of April, 54 for the high temp. Prayers for your mum and your family.

  21. Go to your mum now. A week or even a few days makes a big difference in an elderly person’s life. That she has relapsed tells you how hard this is on her body. You may regret it if you aren’t there. Talk to her and tell her everything or anything you want, just be there so she can hear your voice. Even when it seems like she isn’t responding. She can still hear your voice.

  22. Thoughts are with you Sue. I completely understand your comment “ Wishing for things to be done and undone at the same time.” I went through a similar experience with my 93 yr old Mother. Should I stay or go to her side 500 miles away? Waiting for my brothers to send the signal. I hope your Mom rallies so you can be with her and I pray your sister recovers quickly. My very fit, healthy fully vaccinated 66 yr old brother was seriously ill with Covid in February. As much as mask restrictions are being dropped Covid is still among us. As one doctor said it’s no longer in waves but it’s still out there. Clearly it’s still in love with the 60 yr old and up group. Healing thoughts to all.

  23. Dear Sue, you brought me back to when my Mum, her name was Milly too, had a very short time to live. She had brain tumour. The time she spent her last days was for me tge most precious time spent with her. She spent her last month in a nursing home near my home in Ireland. I was able to visit her every day. I used to ask her ‘what would you like me to bring in for your supper, Mum’? Well, she had a list as long as your arm…sausages were her favourite and she loved my home made soup. I painted her nails,gave her a face treatment and massaged her feet. Even on her Death bed, she never lost her glamorous side and indeed her sense of humour. These little gestures that I was able to give Mum showed her how much I loved her. I continually told her how much I Loved her and whispered in her ear that ‘There is no need to be fearful as Jesus will be at The Door of Heaven to meet her’ along with my Father’. Yes, this was a very special time for both of us, I carry tge memory for ever in my heart. So Sue, I encourage you to go and spend some time with your Mum, you won’t regret it. I am Praying for your Mum and your Sister and also Praying that what ever decision you make, you will find Peace.

  24. I think this has been the coldest, slowest spring that I can remember. Most of the snow is finally gone and there are tiny shoots coming up in the flower bed below my kitchen window, but it’s all happening so slowly and so much later than usual. We’ve been getting out walking most days, but there’s a cold wind blowing today, so I think we’ll just hunker down inside.

    So sorry to hear that your mother is doing poorly. Having lived in a different province than my parents during the last years of their lives, I fully understand the dilemma that you’re facing. When to go was always a big question and there never seemed to be a right answer. All I can say is go with your gut feeling and trust that you will know when the time is right.

  25. My very first thought was “Go now. You will not regret it.” Maybe your mom needs to hear your voice and maybe your sister needs to have your mom hear your voice. Just my opinion, but please go now.

  26. Wow…you have your hands full. Taking care of a parent is difficult especially when you can’t be nearby. Hugs. The weather in the central part of Illinois is having a temper tantrum. Last week it was warm and sunny with high temps in the 80s (F). Last night I had to cover my plants because of the chance of frost. I just uncovered them only to learn there’s another chance tonight. Oh well. Back to reading.

  27. So sorry to hear about your Mum and sister. I think you should go now as if anything happened between now and next week you would regret it. An extra week with you could mean the world to your mother and help your sister.
    We are the opposite weatherwise. It is supposed to be autumn and I am trying to swap out my summer clothes but we keep having warm, muggy days and I have to go and dig out something cooler to put on. Today is overcast and windy but not cold. The storage boxes are sitting on the floor in my bedroom until I can be sure autumn or winter are actually here. We’ve had some terrible weather recently with storms and even a tornado, which have caused so much damage that will take years to repair. Some poor folk have lost everything.

  28. Thinking of you and your dear Mum and family – not easy days at all.

    Sending you all best wishes,

  29. Sending best wishes to your mum and all your family, Sue. It’s hard when a parent is ill and you’re not close by.
    Autumn rains here, not excessive but frequent and heavy enough to be annoying, but it’s not too chilly yet. And if it’s sunny in the middle of the day, it’s pretty nice. I attended the funeral of a very dear friend last Friday (the rain held off) in a part of town where I grew up but don’t get too very often. It was lovely to visit places that my friend and I had enjoyed when we were teenagers and young women. Very sad and nostalgic.

  30. Very sorry to hear about your mum and sister, Sue. What a worrying time for you, particularly trying to decide what to do and when.
    Thinking of you. x

  31. Go now. Don’t wait. You will never regret being there too early instead of too late. You worked hard throughout your life so you could be flexible enough to do the important things later. This is one of them.

  32. I’m so sorry to hear your mum is doing poorly. My thoughts are with you and your family.
    Spring has been fickle here in southern Ontario. We had summer temperatures 2 weeks ago, then winterish weather last week and now 8 degrees and rain for most of this week. April showers and all that…

  33. Hoping that you are OK, Sue…thinking of you and your family. This is tough stuff…So many of us have been in your shoes. Hoping for a good outcome to a difficult situation.

    Miriam in Barry’s Bay

  34. It’s a beautiful autumn day here on Anzac Day in Queanbeyan near Canberra. Locally this day usually marks the beginning of frosts and winter cold to come, so gardeners start to winter proof vulnerable plants, and of course harvest their bounty.
    What a hard time for you and your family, I send my warmest good wishes to you.
    Sue

  35. Ann in Shropshire

    I would say GO! too. My dad developed aspirated pneumonia in July 2020 and was admitted to hospital on the Wednesday. He died on the Saturday and my sister and I weren’t allowed to visit at all because of Covid. So he died alone. Although I believe he was sedated during all of that time and therefore wouldn’t have known what was going on, we really should have been there with him in his last hours. That’s what makes us human. So, go, do everything you can to let her know you’re with her. Being there will help you too, in time to come.

  36. So sorry to hear of your mom’s health issues – it’s so hard to know what is best in these situations, eh? Your sister, too, what a difficult time for her, I know from experience.

    As far as spring goes, last week the highs were in the 80s almost every day, sunny and dry. This week highs in the 60s and one day of nice soaking rain, so the trees and flowers are very happy and so am I.

    Warm regards,

    Ceci

  37. Sue, I am thinking about your mum and your sister, both sick with COVID, and my advice would be to go at once. Don’t wait until next week. You and your mum have such a loving relationship. Be with her now.
    Here in southern Alberta Spring is here at last. The world is greening up and the birds have begun nesting. Listening to them sing is elating. It’s still too cool for gardening, but that wonderful time is coming soon. In the meantime, walking is far more pleasant – and safer – than it was two weeks ago. I’m looking forward to spending far more time outdoors.

  38. Sue,
    Thinking of you, your Mum and sister.
    Maybe a silly comment but …
    Sending inner strength, positive thoughts and huge hugs. Robin
    🌷🌷🌷

  39. Love your posts they are so down to earth. Praying for strength for your Mom and your family in these difficult times.

  40. What a hard time you have been having. So sorry to hear about your mom and your sister … this ugly virus just won’t go away. Here in northern Ohio we’ve been on roller coaster … a week ago it was 80 and Monday it snowed. On a side note, I am currently reading “Think of Me” and truly cannot put it down. What beautiful writing. Thank you so much for this recommendation.

  41. Hi Sue,
    I’m playing catch up with your blog and I saw on Instagram that you were taking daffodils to your Mom in the hospital, so I know that you are at home now. I hope that your Mom is doing better and your sister too.

    Our New England spring sounds like the spring that you have described. We had a couple of record-breaking hot days, but it has mostly been very cool. April wasn’t rainy until the end of the month and May is starting out with rain. I gardened yesterday and it was a muddy job. I expect that it will continue to be so.

    I did my closet switch from winter to spring clothes, so spring temperatures need to arrive soon.

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