Thursday Tidbits

Posted on August 6, 2020 under Thursday Tidbits with no comments yet


Free! Free at last.


Self-isolation: Round 2

Have you ever had dreams about becoming really good at something, maybe even an expert? Gardening, sewing, music, sports, an artist? The list is endless. We’re not talking about perfection here but merely striving for excellence. Perfectionists are not much fun to be around in my experience.

For the second time in 4 months, I am doing the self-isolation thing, having left the comfortable confines of my pandemic pound inducing apartment to my other home away from home in Northern Quebec. I arrived here last weekend and have settled into another routine in order to fulfill my 14-day isolation obligation.

So far, I have managed quite nicely. I’m doing a lot of reading. I am completing a 1000-piece puzzle that I started last March but had to abandon in mid -stream when Covid forced us to leave the community rather abruptly. I have done a bit of baking but am trying to scale back on my sugar consumption. I plan to start doing the P90X workouts soon. I had my cable and internet reconnected. Unfortunately, my internet signal is not strong enough to stream Netflix and Crave so I’ll probably cancel these services. I am taking part in daily online orientation sessions with my school board. I feel like a grizzled veteran after my 5- month stint this past winter. I have also taken this opportunity to start writing my 7th book which will chronicle events of my life in the north. Similar to my previous confinement (it wasn’t a pregnancy!), I plan to write 1,000 words a day for the month of August.

This where the similarities end.

Back home, I live at the end of a dead-end street. It is uncommonly quiet most of the time. Many university students live in the neighborhood and a handful of times each year, things can get a wee bit crazy. Stands of very large trees encircle our buildings providing a natural sound barrier. You get the picture. It’s very peaceful.

Pretty well everyone in our village up north gets around on 4 wheelers in the summer and skidoos in the winter. When you’re buried under snow and ice and it’s -50, most people go outside only when necessary. I have discovered that summer has a much different vibe. New York is known as the city that never sleeps. Move aside, Big Apple – I have a worthy opponent for this title. In the land of the midnight sun, people are out and about seemingly around the clock. Because of my location, only a handful of yards from the tundra, on a road that might be considered a circumferential highway, I see and hear a lot of traffic. Without the buffer of winter’s deep silence, the 4-wheelers are quite loud. I’m being polite. One other observation (not a criticism) but there doesn’t appear to be any speed limits as far as I can tell. When you’re in isolation 24 hours a day, you notice these types of things. At my age, everything seems to go too fast… especially time.

Like many school jurisdictions, summer is a time for renovations and construction. Our board has embarked on several ambitious projects this summer. Some of it is Covid related, some due to an increase in student population (portable classrooms) and regularly scheduled maintenance to Board owned properties, including my apartment building, an aging four-plex. This has resulted in an influx of construction workers. It is a perfect time of the year to get this work done with endless hours of sunlight. Unless of course, these workers are doing a major renovation to YOUR building while you are self-isolating.

The work crew arrived bright and early on Monday (7:00 a.m.). I’m an early riser so that wasn’t an issue. Scaffolding was erected outside my bedroom window and the work commenced. At first, I was charmed by the incessant pounding of hammers and the whir of saws… for the first few hours. When you can’t leave your apartment, the noise has a way of compounding. Actually, it’s exponential. These guys mean business and other than a few short breaks for meals, they work 14 hours a day… 14.5 last evening but who’s counting! For some reason, probably my imagination, the hammering and sawing seem to be getting louder by the day. Having wielded a jackhammer during a summer job in my youth, I am familiar with the sound and the vibration it causes. I swear to god that they were jackhammering the exterior wall of my building, as ridiculous as this may sound. One summer, I worked in a sawmill in Victoria. The sound of massive saws ripping into large Douglas fir trees is a sound I’ve never forgotten. Working close to these saws, I had to wear high grade ear protection. I don’t know if they were trying to cut my building in half yesterday, but the howl of the saws brought back pleasant memories! I wanted badly to go to bed at 9:30 p.m. but one keen worker was still pounding away inches from my bed as the staging was right outside my window. He was close enough to hear me breathe if he had stopped hammering.

I don’t want to be a pessimist, but something tells me that this may not be my last self-isolation. The question of Christmas was brought up at one of our orientation sessions. Will we be allowed to leave the community while the pandemic persists? A definitive answer was not forthcoming which was hardly surprising.

So, I’ve been mulling this over. Self-isolation gives you ample opportunity to think about imponderables. If I fly home for Christmas, I may have to spend the holidays in quarantine. Ho! Ho! Ho!. Upon my return to the north, I would have to self-isolate again. Ditto for spring break and the end of the school year.

I have tried to achieve excellence in everything I do.

I don’t seek to become an expert in self-isolation… unless it’s on a quiet island somewhere in the South Pacific.

Have a great weekend.

P.S. As you read this, I will be walking out on the tundra (pictured above). We have the blessings of the community to go for solitary walks on the land. I might pack a lunch and walk for 14 hours!

Enjoy this? Visit the rest of my website to enjoy more of my work or buy my books!
Highland Hearing Clinic

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