22 December 2013

Beautiful and Scary

We are in the midst of an ice storm here in Burlington, as is much of the surrounding Greater Toronto Area spreading right out towards the eastern provinces.  Pictured above is my cherished Korean Lilac which has me steadily wearing a path to the front door for checking on it.  I should probably be more concerned about the English Oak that stands taller than the house and is close enough to do some damage should it fall.

Male pride and testosterone made sure my husband left the house for work this morning despite warnings from the constabulary to stay off of the roads.  Heaven forbid another colleague snort that his commute was twice as far but he still made it in.  I like to tease that as long as my husband's insurance policy is paid up he can do what he likes but wouldn't that be an awful set of parting words should the worse happen?

Putting the kettle on and settling onto the sofa with my electric blanket I thought about the atmospheric day ahead.  There was something reassuring about being housebound during a time of year when rushing about is the order of the day.  Then a few beeps and flickers happened all at once and The Heiress and I stood staring at each other with only the sound of freezing rain and birds chirping at the feeder in the background.  I'm not sure whether it was more ridiculous or frightening that my first thought was to grab the laptop and settle in.  No electricity...no wifi....no laptop; ugh.  My next truly frightening thought was that my electric blanket (so lovely for melting into while blissfully reading in a lazy stupor) was to remain stone cold.  I will adapt, I will adapt, I will, I will....

Thank heavens I've gone to bed over the past four nights watching episodes of Tudor Monastery Farm on my iPod.  Creating a roaring blaze in the fireplace is usually a task my husband claims as his own but thanks to Ruth Goodman and her flint I was more than educated.  Ever resourceful, I poured some tea into my second-best teapot and placed it inside the mouth of the fireplace, cuddled up to the grill full of fiery logs.  Then a phone call was placed to my elderly neighbours inviting them over should they feel the chill but their son was on his way to collect them.

With the ottoman pulled up close to the heat of the fire I read the last few pages of Jambusters by Julie Summers about the Women's Institute and began an Elizabeth Bowen book.  The thought that Armageddon couldn't be far behind a day without a hot pot of tea, hot buttered toast, and a useless electric blanket made me realize how ridiculous it is to eke out my favourite author's books.  Funnily enough, the thought of my laundry day turning into a big dud didn't worry me in the slightest!

Just when I was feeling like a comrade-in-arms with those ladies from the WI during World War II, ready to haul water and prepare dinner in a haybox, the stove beeped, the lamp came on and my electric blanket's red light shone like a beacon.  The Heiress called while out on a walk.  A woman down the street is on the verge of tears as a tree from her front lawn is blocking the road and all around is the sound of sirens, most likely rushing to car accidents.  Today is both beautiful and scary.


  1. Did you see Dovegreyreader's post (or maybe it was Cornflower's?) about spending an evening without electric light? It sounds so lovely until you have to! I'm glad you're safe, and presumably your husband is too and you are not planning which books to buy with the payout. :) We had a moderate snowstorm last weekend that had us cancelling a daytrip for some holiday festivities and a big part of me didn't mind, not at all. Also, happy holidays and thanks for reminding me about Jambusters. I know our college library has it so I'm not TOO envious of Tudor Monastery Farm. :)

  2. So happy to hear that you are staying warm and safe, Darlene. That is some scary weather you are having out there.

  3. Your weather makes ours seem very insignificant, Darlene. Hope you're all safe, sound and warm!

  4. It's beautiful and scary here too, but is out case it's rain, wind, and waves crashing in. We can see then hitting the sea wall and rising up already, ith hight tide still two hours away. Wonderful to watch from inside, but not so good when you have to go out. It sounds like you're coping beautifully: Elizabeth Bowen and the WI sound like wonderful company, and very, very you.

  5. Right there with you, Darlene. Yes, beautiful and scary. My scary tree (I'm in east end Toronto) is my oak, many branches of which are now lying, ice laden, in my front yard, have crashed onto the roof before sliding to the ground. No power yet, but for Sunday I was able to heat water in the fireplace and fill the hot water bottles to tuck inside my down sleeping bag. Perhaps even better than an electric blanket, though much more work. (Right now I'm taking refuge with my boyfriend, who never lost his power.)