Sunday 16 January 2022

The Unexpected Sleepover(s)

Remember how I mentioned in my last post that there was another snowstorm coming that night?

When I went to deliver my mother's pills, on impulse I asked if she wanted to spend the night at my house in case the power went off. She said yes.


I didn't actually think she would leave her home, because she's always been very independent and determined to stay alone. I'm not sure it's always been the best decision, especially since her thinking and logic has deteriorated, but it's always been the choice she has made, and I can't force her to leave her house.

But this time I think she must have been a little bit worried herself. 

So we threw some clothes and things in a bag and prepared for a one-night sleepover.

By the next evening, there was another 5 cm of snow in the forecast, it was still windy, we had already lost power once, and so we agreed she should stay another night, as the following day (today) was predicted to be cold but sunny and calm without further snowfall.

Now, my house has stairs to the basement and stairs to the upstairs bedrooms, but there is no handrail at all on one set of stairs and only a partial handrail on the other. This is something I plan on changing at some point but it wasn't going to be soon enough for this visit.

Because of the handrail situation, I thought it would be safest to keep Mom on the main floor in case she lost her bearings in the middle of the night while looking for the bathroom. She was quite happy to bunk on the couch, as she often sleeps on her own couch during the daytime when she naps.

However, I wanted to be close by, especially as I realized when she got here that she was very disoriented and couldn't find her way around the main floor at all. So I alternated between trying to get comfortable on the love seat in the living room with a fifteen pound cat lying on me, and sleeping on the floor, which was not that bad once I realized I needed three foam pads, not one, to lie on. (Side note: the cat had zero interest in being anywhere near me when I was sleeping on the floor with plenty of room for her beside me.)

I didn't get much sleep the first night because I kept listening for my mom to wake up. 

By the second night I was so tired I slept better but was still awake a couple of times to help her navigate the route to the bathroom.

This morning she was getting impatient to be home. Although my wonderful neighbour had cleared most of my lane with his snowblower, I still had to finish digging out my vehicle, shovel out the end of the lane where the snowplow had pushed snow and ice into it, clean the snow off my vehicle, get it warmed up (and one lock thawed out), and hope like anything that my tires weren't frozen in place, because it sure looked like they were. It was -19C, by the way.

When I went out to shovel, Mom was busy finding her jacket and hat and so on. I told her it would take me a while and not to get her outerwear on until I came back inside and told her it was time. She put it all on anyway and sat fully dressed in winter clothing for two hours even when I came inside to rest and told her it was still not time to leave. 

When we got to her house ... eventually ... her wonderful neighbour had cleared her lane but the end was snowed in by the snowplow, so her other wonderful neighbour and I shovelled that out too. 

And when I got home I shovelled the spot where my vehicle had been because the snow had drifted underneath it.

May I just say how completely tired I am of snow, and winter, and living alone, and living with my mother, and how eternally grateful I am for my neighbours, her neighbours, and the fact that there is no significant snow in the immediate forecast. It is, however, supposed to rain.

It's going to take me all week to recover. Not to mention finding my skates so I can navigate the mess that 40 cm of snow followed by rain is going to make. (For those who may not have had this unique experience, rain on snow makes ICE.)

Shall we pass some time with snow funnies? 

We shall.



Regular cat tracks on right; fat cat track on left




Friday 14 January 2022

How It's Going

December was a difficult month. It felt like I was standing on the edge of a cliff, looking at the upcoming weeks until the anniversary of my husband's death, never knowing if or when a gust of emotion would push me over the edge.

But I got through Christmas. Our son spent the day with me, and that was a comfort.

I worked from home the next week while our office was closed, and that was a distraction.

I got through New Year's Eve. There were fireworks all around from 7:30 pm until the wee hours of New Year's Day, but they were far enough away that I could mostly ignore them.

Then I got sick. How do you get sick with anything when you're masking, social distancing, sanitizing, and working from home, and your only close contact had zero symptoms before or since?

So then I went for a Covid test (PCR). After three long days, the results came back negative.

I missed my booster shot because I was sick (and isolating).

In the meantime, I had to ask someone to take Mom's pills to her for a few days. It wasn't convenient for this person, but he has been a long-time family friend, and she likes him and accepted his help, and he stepped into the breach. I am so grateful. And reimbursed him accordingly.

Then we had a huge snowstorm. Many folks lost power but luckily my mother and I were not among those affected.

But my mom's pills had to be delivered ahead of time, because I knew I wouldn't be able to get to her house that day. She was very confused that there was an "extra" pill (the evening one, which I usually hand directly to her and she takes it immediately). She was still confused the next day when I delivered her next set of pills. It reinforced for me that she cannot handle her medications and that I am doing the right thing by visiting her daily to dispense them.

The big snowstorm came on the first anniversary of my husband's death. By that point I was worn out from being sick earlier in the week, happy to be feeling well again, and - in summary - distracted from thoughts of the date, which was not a bad thing.

I got through it all.

We have another big snowstorm coming tonight. I'll get through that too.

Thank you all for your kind words of sympathy and encouragement on my last post.

I feel very lucky to have support and friendship from family and friends. I will continue to get through whatever comes.

Except climate change. That's still a big question mark.


Honestly, the test I had was easy and not the least bit uncomfortable.



I wonder how many "incidents" happened that made this sign necessary.



Our snowstorms look like this, but usually with more snow. And without the "No Swimming" sign.

How to get through the next year ...



I know this is late, but I wish you all a happy 2022. Hang in there, friends.