Monday Morning Musings

Posted on January 18, 2021 under Monday Morning Musings with 2 comments


Oh, Lord, for a hot tub…


“My body’s aching and my time is at hand,

And I won’t make it any other way.”

Fire and Rain. James Taylor

When one is completely baffled for a conversation starter, he/she can always fall back on the weather and health.

So, I’ll start with the weather. I’m not about to trot out my bathing suit any time soon but the weather in the north is unseasonably warm. We are in the heart of winter up here and we have only had a handful of days when the temperature has been in the -30s. Normally, days of -30, -40 and -50 are the norm for January but so far this month most days have been in the -20 range with the odd day in the teens. Let me be clear. Those of you in the south must think that -20 is brutally cold but I can assure you that the same temperature in Montreal or Halifax feels markedly different. I have found that the cold in the Maritimes can go straight through you even when properly dressed. The problem in so many places is that the temperature whipsaws and one is never sure what to wear. Up here, it is winter. Most days are sunny and cold. If you’re dressed properly (a given) you rarely feel cold.

If you have any doubts about global warming, just ask the Inuit hunters. Freeze ups are later and shorter, affecting the hunting season.

I received a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle for Christmas. Under normal circumstances, I can finish a big puzzle in a reasonable amount of time. This Christmas was not normal. I couldn’t go back home to Nova Scotia so with fewer distractions and a vacation spanning three weeks, one would think that I would have made a significant dent in the puzzle. Wrong. I was so busy watching and participating in Inuit outdoor games, working on my next book, going for walks, watching movies and hanging out with colleagues, that there were days on end that I didn’t touch the puzzle. And now that I’m back to school, my output is even lower. At my current pace I will be lucky to finish it by next Christmas. I guess it’s better to be busy than bored.

Do you remember when you were young and strong and fleet of foot? I’m sure you do. The problem for many of us these days is trying to remember what we did yesterday. I can see the nods of agreement. When we were young, we attacked everything with vigour and rarely suffered any consequences.

I was reminded last Friday that I no longer enjoy the vitality of youth. I decided to join our two grade six classes in a game of indoor soccer in the gym. While I was running up and down the floor for nearly 35 minutes, I felt awesome. I never considered myself a superior athlete in my youth, but I loved sports and tried most of them. I could skate endlessly on frozen ponds or play basketball for hours at “the Centre”.

Luckily, this soccer game was the last period of the day and the week. It didn’t take very long for my body to revolt. I have a bad back, a wonky knee, and a weak mind. If I had a strong mind, I would have chosen to sit on the sidelines and not play soccer with children nearly 60 years younger than me. Dripping with sweat, I walked the hundred metres to my house. Good thing it wasn’t -50 or my face would have turned to ice.

I sank into the couch and then all hell broke loose. EVERYTHING hurt. Of course, my knee and back were absolutely killing me. Ditto for my neck, my arms, my toes, my fingers. I swear to god that the hair on my head hurt. At least there were only a few strands of hair! I had a headache and my ears were ringing. My eyes hurt.

I dreamed of the hot tub at our former time share in Florida.

The couch in my apartment might be as old as me. When you sit down, it kind of takes the shape of your body. When you lie down, you simply disappear. Like a five- alarm fire, my body told me that it immediately needed help in the form of painkillers. I’m fortunate that there were no hidden cameras in my apartment to watch the pathetic display that ensued. How does one extricate themselves from a couch when their body refuses to cooperate? I rolled from side to side and tried my hardest to swing my legs over onto the floor. Of course, I hurled expletives at no one in particular. My back and my knee told me to just shut up and get the extra strength medication they needed. I wobbled and teetered and eventually got myself upright. I inched towards the medicine cabinet looking much like the Hunchback of Notre Dame. I took double the recommended dosage and slathered Voltaren all over my body. Being Friday, I silently prayed that none of my colleagues would pop in for a sociable at happy hour. There was nothing happy about this that I could discern.

Note to self. In future, stick to gentler pursuits like knitting, puzzle making, pie making, and writing.

Have a great, pain free week!


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