When you least expect it, 9 inches is a lot to deal with. There you are, happily minding your own business and then, out of nowhere, you are confronted with something bigger than you'd prefer to handle. Having 9 inches thrust upon you uninvited; having 9 inches pushed down upon you fast and furious is troublesome at the very least.
I guess it's been problematic for the winter sports enthusiasts here on the tundra. They have been feeling inadequate and their situation left a lot to be desired. I've heard it said that even with their Alpine Olympian prowess they lamented their shortcomings and felt cheated by the lack of endowment. Apparently they all wish they had 9 inches. Even the equipment that is supposed to enlarge and increase the number of inches fell short of expectations.
Yet I have discovered that, even with the proper tool in hand, plowing 9 inches is a challenge. When you're cold and frigid to begin with, having to take on a whole lot of 9 inches is a daunting task and it leaves you exhausted. It doesn't satisfy or give you a sense of accomplishment because you know it'll have to be done again at some point and you dread the inevitability. The deeper it goes the more it hurts to contend with. You try different positions, adjusting yourself to make it less of a chore and easier on your body. When at last you've brought the Herculean task to it's conclusion you feel relieved but know that the aches and pains have just begun. Maybe not today, but definitely by tomorrow morning. You pray that you won't have to endure another assault anytime soon. Yes indeed, 9 inches is truly a lot to be endowed with.
What?......Oh for pete's sake, chin up to the curb, people! I'm talking SNOW here!
Thursday, March 17th--Celtic Appreciation Day*--was the first of a four-day preview/reminder of Spring here on the tundra. Clear blue skies, bright sunshine, and temperatures at least 10 degrees above freezing. I had recovered sufficiently to be allowed to venture out into the great white realms of Nature.
I am not fond of snowmobiles. I understand that for many people here behind the backwoods they are necessary for getting around and provide an outlet for relieving cabin fever. You can only put together so many 5000 piece jelly bean jigsaw puzzles before you go polar. My dislike of these snow tanks derives from the noise they make. At all hours. I referred to them earlier as Jihadist bees bent on the destruction of serenity. They also remind me of a buzz saw trying to cut through a pine knot or the bellowing of a constipated moose in intestinal distress. That being said, and I hope it was illuminating to my Southern Gentle Readers, there is one thing I appreciate about snow mobiles. They leave marvelous trails in their wake. Put a well-fed rider or two in four or five layers of thermal clothing atop 500 pounds of machinery and the snow beneath them is compressed into a firmly packed pathway across and into places one would rarely have the opportunity to wander.
My cross country skis are always waxed this time of year so I can check the sap buckets. Having waited patiently for the mercury to climb to my allowed venturing-out limit, I cast off my peacock cloak of brightly coloured daydreams. I grabbed the pet-carrier that looks like a mesh duffel bag, stuffed Jezebel the Russian Blue fur-child of my heart into it and strapped on the skis. Cat-filled carrier slung over my shoulder, we set off. Once clear of the immediate area around the house I found trails going in every direction. Across acres of hay fields, over frozen streams, and into great walls of trees. It felt as though I was standing at the hub of a wagon wheel with spokes of opportunity enticing me from all sides. Every now and then I would come across a place where the snow had melted and there was honest-to-goodness terra firma exposed. I would set the carrier down and let Jezebel out to sniff and scratch the musky wetness. She would be the one to reassure the other three at home that all was not lost and that the earth was still out there somewhere beneath their feet.
After several hours and miles of exploration we returned to warm fireside, hot soup, and comfy chairs. I was exhausted and exhilarated all at the same time. So, I grudgingly express my appreciation to those intrepid snow jockeys. I only hope they get as much out of their mechanical meanderings as I did out on my wooden magic carpet runners.
Wandering into the Maine woods is a risky enterprise at any time of year. But, following a snowmobile trail guarantees that at some point you will end up in someone's back yard or driveway. Dehydration isn't a concern when there are a million acres of snow around you. Wildlife is really the only threat one needs to be mindful of. A lone articulate human and an indulged feline are very tempting to the carnivorous denizens of the forest. I came across the tracks of many such inhabitants who were using the trails for transportation as well. I never saw them but I was sure they were seeing me. With just the ski poles for defense it would have looked like a really bad Marlin Perkins samurai movie.
*--Lest I forget, my Gentle Readers of longer standing will recall my attitude and sentiments regarding the Welsh-born so-called patron saint of Ireland. I utterly refuse to acknowledge the feast day of someone who inflicted such an insidious religious plague on the perfectly good culture of Hibernia.
Mother Nature, being the teasing, seductive vixen she is, drew the shades down on our little Spring preview. Heavy white shades of fluffy wetness. It hangs from the eaves like Battenburg lace set with crystals when the sun peeks through her veil. Time to grab the shovel and redecorate the driveway.
It was my sincere and earnest intention to return to the Blogosphere yesterday. However, the unpredicted and thus unexpected ice storm that began early yesterday strategically brought down a few trees here and there resulting in my internet services being brought to a crunching halt. Gracious, the lengths One will go to in order to prevent my blogging.
All in all, it might not have been an inconsiderate postponement. I mean, really, what could I blather on about other than the riveting details of my bed-confining illness? **YAWN** In a nutshell then...I contracted double pneumonia which led to endocarditis. But wait...there's more! I was also bestowed with shingles on the fifth day of feeling like death over easy. I've always been something of an over achiever. After swallowing a scuttle's worth of anti-you-name-it medications and potions I am upright and as mobile as necessity dictates.
Things I came to terms with and/or discovered during the process:
I really need to paint the ceiling.
Cats are an ideal source of heat and conversation.
The Queen Mother is not as helpless as she pretends.
With no distractions, you CAN actually gauge dust accumulation.
Snowmobiles sound like swarms of Jihadist bees bent on the destruction of serenity.
People are way too interested in the the thickness of pillows, thread counts, and the positioning of blankets.
Jello makes a great cat toy.
Toast not smothered in fats, jams, or gravy does not constitute nutrition no matter how many cute shapes you cut them into.
Oh I could go on.....and will....in future transmissions.
In the meantime I want to make it abundantly clear that I have kept up with all of My Gentle Readers and fellow Bloggers. You have been a prolific bunch and I truly appreciate it. I was unable to leave comments since rising up any more than a 30 degree angle sent me into tail spins. My cousin got hold of some i-thingy that enabled her to read the posts to me. These were shared with attending medical personnel and visitors--who were impressed with the diversity and international flavour of my acquaintances. I don't take any of y'all for granted but it was nice to have how special you all are brought home to me. June and OldFool were particular favourites and I expect your following will increase after this. June's toe situation has launched all kinds of anecdotes/treatment theories. Thank you, Red, for keeping it pertinent and relative. Maine Homestead kept me full and satisfied while eating that damned dry toast. Lady Hawthorne and Desideratum fanned the flames of creative inspiration for projects. Y'all have really been a blessing....maybe all this technology voodoo ain't so bad after all.