At 7:30 a.m. this morning, I finally decided to crawl out from under the covers and face the storm that had been howling outside my windows all night. I had pretended to sleep for as long as the cats would permit — which, believe me, wasn’t very long. They have no patience or respect for the elderly after 7 a.m. Nick, always more polite, reminds me with gentle but firm nudges of his nose that he is hungry and would I please get up. Rose just whines and whines and whines to a point that I either have to kill her or get up and feed her. Needless to say, it is always the latter.
But today, it was particularly challenging to get out of that bed. The marked drop in temperature from when I went to bed — I always sleep with the window open a bit which Rose has complained about on many occasions, warned me that the winds of temperature change had blown.
My second clue that today was”Truly Not Spring-Like,” was when I looked out the window. I was faced, not with my usual view of the beautiful, big chestnut tree next door, but with No View At All! The windows had become totally coated with ice. I felt like I was sleeping in someone’s bathroom. Well, on the positive side, I didn’t have to worry about anyone seeing me through that window when I got up to close it. If it hadn’t been ice, I could have appreciated the mottled beauty of it all.
But ice meant a treacherous journey for Harriet and me to get to aquafit and, more importantly, to get to the pet store to buy food. I didn’t let on to the cats that there may be a problem in the food department for the next few days since everything is closed down for Good Friday. I didn’t have to say anything, they knew then gave me one of their “You gotta be kidding” looks and pointed to my boots. But when Len, next-door, came up from shovelling the walks, he said, “It’s pretty bad out there. Maybe you shouldn’t chance it.” The cats were ready to slam the door on that bad news. I told them that surely by noon it would all be melted and the birds would be singing and I could go to the pool and they’d get their food.
So, determined not to let the weather keep me inside, at ten to twelve, I put on boots and long coat and all the other paraphernalia of winter that should have been put away by now. I was going to class. I did make the concession of unearthing the cane with spike from the back of the closet to take with me. Why take too many chances, eh? Down I went the 22 steps to the front door, but when I opened it and saw the coat of ice on the porch and the walk next door, Harriet and my saner side, screamed, “No Way Are We Going Out in That! Surely you’re not that stupid?” Disappointed, I climbed back up those 22 steps and faced the afternoon without exercise and cat food.
The cats must have caught on because they starting circling the empty crunchy bowl and then my legs. I was glad I was wearing jeans in case they started to nibble bits and pieces of my body in their search for More Food! Then I had a Great Thought. Just because I was too chicken to face the elements, my good neighbour, Brock, was surely already at work, just blocks from The Pet Store. I begged, as well as I could in an email, to please get the cats their food. He and it will be here at 6 p.m. I told the cats who gave out one more grumble about the lateness of their treats.
So here I was with, now, moderately happy cats and lot more free time to this afternoon. I promised myself I would not waste it away with ridiculous, addictive games but would do something creative. “But, what?”, I thought? I didn’t want to start working on the form to take to the attorney so he could write me a will. That definitely would not be creative and probably would have brought my spirits down even lower. My fingers were hovering over the key to play that game, but instead, righteously, I got up and started pulling out all the tail-ends of vegetables that have been languishing in the fridge far too long. I really haven’t been much in the mood for cooking. Soup making can always bring my spirits up. Chop, chop, chop onions and garlic, and cauliflower, carrots, celery and cabbage and anything else I could find that was still recognizable as a vegetable. I was on a roll. As I searched for all those aging vegetables, I found a couple of avocados and whipped up some guacamole just for the hell of it — and because I couldn’t get out to the shops to buy some dips for my nightly aperitif. Not a shabby way to spend what, hopefully, will be the last storm of winter. Why does it make me very nervous to put those words down on paper? Am I jinxing the weather?
P.S. The weather person said that the storm today came to us complements of Denver. I wrote my brother my no-thanks for sending it to us. He wrote back to say that this wasn’t the storm to watch out for — it’s still on the way.