Tag Archives: Winter

Pandemic Diary: 5 Nov 2021

It’s a beautiful sunny but chilly November day here—a big 43°F. My body hasn’t acclimated yet, so I’m reluctant to go outside and be cold. I reached the age sometime in the last year or two where I don’t want to be cold. I’ve always loved winter and snow and ice on the trees, but these days the thought of layering up and going out into frigid temperatures just doesn’t appeal to me. Hopefully after my body chills down from summer heat, I’ll be less resistant to it.

One of the good things about being vaccinated is having the freedom to go grocery shopping at the store. But getting used to ordering online and having them delivered makes going to the store seem like an effort. Many things that were done for us during the lockdown now feel like an effort. But I’m committed to not ordering deliveries when we can buy it on foot, so to speak. My little part in saving the environment.

It’s a winter thing


IMG_4513Now that winter is just about here again (Russian cold front rolling in tomorrow), I’m back in the writing mood. The other seasons are outdoor seasons, and all the sunshine banishes the depression that tends to open the veil between me and poetry. So here I am again, for the literal and figurative dark time.

The past few days I’ve found myself thinking, “So what difference does it make if I see a complete solar eclipse (for example)? I’m just going to die at some point, so what’s the point of seeing things?” And then I immediately think, “Well, yes, I’m going to die someday, so the point of seeing things is to make life matter. Asking what’s the point just proves the point, really.”

Daylight Savings time ends; Di’s brain asks, “What’s the point of things?” Lots of meds this winter to try to stave off that question and keep seeing what matters. But apparently the meds won’t keep the dark away completely. I was hopeful that upping my dose would do the trick, but I guess the darkness can’t be tricked. So I’ll just have to keep telling it No when it says there’s no point. Yes there is. Yes.


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sparrow at rest

sparrow alone in snow.jpg

My husband and I have been looking at possible places to move to, now that he’s retired. As far as I’m concerned, we could live somewhere in the middle of nowhere and spend all our time gardening and reading and walking outdoors in the silence.

I’m a solitary bird by nature. I like to have my mate with me, but otherwise it’s much easier for me to be alone. Out in the peopled world, I quickly reach sensory overload. Everything starts to hurt. People talking, buses and trucks, dishes clanking in a restaurant, supposed “background” music that becomes very foreground for me. So many lights everywhere—have you ever noticed the number of colored lights? Traffic signals, shop signs, cars’ rear headlights, theater marquees. They’re everywhere! And flashing!

A place beyond all that is the only place where I can rest. Unfortunately, as my husband has pointed out, my physical health is getting increasingly problematic. Myofascial pain syndrome, degenerative disc disease, and fibromyalgia, not to mention my old friends depression and anxiety, are chronic conditions that have been added to the sum of me. It’s who I am now.

I thought I was beginning to accept my new limitations. But when I fell in love with a little house on a huge, wide-open space on the top of a mountain in the middle of the Catskills, my husband yanked me back down to the real world where I need to have ready access to medical facilities, and neighbors to help out if he’s not there.

Realistically, it would be dangerous for me to live in the middle of nowhere now. It frightens my husband to even think about it. It’s really hard for me to give up my lifelong expectation of retiring to a secluded place. It’s what I’ve always wanted. It’s what I’ve always pictured when I thought about this stage in my life. It’s who I’ve always been. I hurts to not be that anymore.

Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go. (John 21:18 NIV)