Friday, January 20, 2012

Past Deadline: Weird Lady with the Cane

Hello, Winter! You came back!

I am glad to see you, mostly because now I feel as if I have the right to actually complain about the weather. I mean, it’s a Canadian thing, right? I’m not going to complain about it, though, at least not in the traditional way.

We were fairly spoiled in November and December. It was downright balmy for that time of year, with no ice or snow. As I went about my outdoor business without wearing long johns and only donning thin gloves and having to decide whether to bother wearing my hat, it just didn’t feel right. After all, I like my hat. It covers up my crazy, difficult hair so I don’t frighten as many people.

“Balmy” around here at that time of year is still cool, so when it rained we got wet and cold.  Yech. We had a heck of a lot more rain than snow before Christmas. Snow, at least, brightens the place up and brushes easily off of coats.

I say, if it’s going to be cold, we might as well have snow. It is Canada, after all. The kids don’t like playing outside in cold rain, but they will go out in the snow – and I don’t even have to use the crowbar to pry them away from the screens as much!

So, Winter, you gave us the white Christmas (it was a close one), then it all went away. Then everything froze. Then last week happened, when you pummelled us with reminders of your wrath: freezing rain, snow, windchill, frostbite advisories.

Hurray! Ahem.
You even arranged for bus cancellations, which typically means nothing in my world. We’re “townies.” We live in town and walk to school, so my kids go whether there is rain or snow or hail or sleet or whatever. Call me the postal service – I am devoted to getting them to school. Besides, snow days can be fun.

That all said, however, I noticed something this season that promises to be a bit problematic. It was particularly noticeable on the snow day when walking was tricky. It’s not Winter’s fault, though. It’s my own shoddy equipment.

You may have heard about what I affectionately call “My Stupid Foot”? (It sometimes goes by other names, but this is a family newspaper.) Recap: My right foot developed tendonitis in the Summer and Fall, brought on by the fact it has, after 40 long years of holding me up using second-rate construction materials, collapsed.

“Severe biomechanical failure,” I have been told.

Things have improved thanks to physiotherapy and orthotics, but I have discovered that my foot no longer does well in winter. The uneven ground and occasional slippery spots lead to sudden jerky movements and pangs in the foot, and bad words in the mouth. Not the typical foot and mouth disease.

It’s as if I need snow tires for my flippin’ feet.

I’m telling you, turning 40 has been Just Awesome™ so far.

I say this because of some other appendages that have been making noise lately – my fingers. With the onset of the cold weather, and I’m not even talking about the really cold stuff we had on the weekend, my fingers have been complaining. I am wracking my brain trying to remember if, at some point last year, I may have frostbitten my fingers, but since poor memory seems to be a worsening problem, I have come up empty. If even the slightest bit of cold penetrates my mitts, my fingertips start to holler, and as they warm up later they burn and tingle and ache. Fun!

I won’t blame that on Winter either, though.

Besides, I can accommodate these afflictions. I will make sure my mitts are cold-proof at all times and I will secure my wobbly stupid foot. Maybe I’ll even snag myself a fancy cane with some sort of gargoyle for a handle.

I’m thinking that if I let enough of my crazy hair peek out from under my hat I could become known as “That Weird Lady with The Cane Who Swears a Lot.” Maybe I’ll scatter rose petals behind me everywhere I go.

There, see? The bright side!

Published in The Perth Courier, Jan. 19/12 

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