Posts Tagged ‘Snow Patrol’

Don’t let your life pass you by……

The alarm blared in my face! It was 5am and freezing outside! I dragged myself up as I knew that I was joining the ranks of the city commuters that morning. I stretched and looked out across the garden towards the stream. It looked cold and I could make out the odd snow flake floating across the elm trees. They stood stark and bare. There was the odd bud of green forming on their grey boughs. Soon they would be rustling with their gowns of green. Oh happy day!

I sipped my tea and felt the warmth…..I need to wake up.

As ‘Lady of the house’ there is a lot to take care of when you live with a household of men. Not only are their shirts big but so are their appetites! So the loaf of bread is sliced and the lunches begin. Oh what to put on them to make them appetizing? I am running out of ideas…… then I remembered the tasty leftover chicken from last night. Wax paper rustles and that is one job jobbed. Josh had been salivating the whole time while all the tasty aromas wafted past him. This reminded me that the next activity was to feed the dog. That was an easy one…..same delicious pellets each time. Well, he did not seem to mind them. They were devoured in a few seconds flat. Then just to add insult to injury, it was garbage day. This required a carting out of various containers down to the bottom of the driveway. Think ‘very cold’ when you imagine this! Canadians are conscious of their environment and the landfills. We therefore need to have different containers for each of the types of refuse that we recycle. Thick boots and my warm coat were pulled from the mud room. I fell over the boxes and plastic troughs as I made my way out of the garage. It took four trips and there was a bit of grumbling under my breath as I completed this activity.

There were a few sittings at the breakfast table as each bleary- eyed male faced the array of cereal boxes, fruit juice cartons and yoghurt that was assembled on the table. Not much is said at this meal and I have learnt to keep my words to a minimum. I chew a bit of toast and drink a quick cup of coffee.  It is time to go.

I am always excited when I head into the city on the train as it is not a usual occurrence for me. I love to people watch but I am one of the few that do. The commuters are in automatic mode. Most sit with their faces glued to their daily newspaper. The one hand is often held in the ‘Canadian salute.’ The said hand grasps a paper cup filled with coffee. Although I am beginning to understand the merit of a cup of coffee in these harsh winters! I take in the smart business suits, elegant accessories and stern faces. It must be hard to do this every day!

20100626 GTS Go Train

Then I remember an email I received with a link to a young man who has an incredible voice. I pull out my phone and begin to listen to the music again. It is a classical piece and the young man has a pure and rich voice. I savour the sounds but become aware that my fellow passengers do not feel the same. Just then, a grumpy man jumps from his seat and informs me that I need to use earphones. Well, I don’t have any of those with me! So sadly I put my phone away and grab my newspaper. I was later told that the lower level of the train was the silent section. What? No talking or music or anything!

I sit with my head buried in my paper like everyone else. I have been severely reprimanded and feel like a naughty child. We learn our lessons here in Canada as a newbie….what is accepted and what is not. But next time I am going to ‘ride em high’ on the top level of the train and I will play my music and talk! I might even put my feet up on the seat!

I am slowly learning 'the ropes.'

I am slowly learning ‘the ropes.’


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Josh has his own walkway!

Josh has his own walkway!

Get out as much as possible! Ha! Ha!

Get out as much as possible! Ha! Ha!










All that I am, all that I ever was……..

It has been a grey week where the sun has not showed its face from behind the clouds at all! I begin to understand the meaning of ‘winter in Canada’ as we fight to stay warm. We heed the advice of ‘getting outside as much as we can.’  Even then we go for days with this grey hue all around us. Then you just need to add some rain to the mix! To be cold is one thing, but to be wet and cold is a whole new ball game! I comfort myself indoors with my emails from friends and family back in South Africa as they recount their sun- filled picnics and barbeques. Oh happy days! My stash of ‘Ouma rusks’ are a constant source of pleasure as I am confined indoors.

Just know that these things will not change for us at all……

So one gets on with the process of acceptance of how things are. It is cold……..dam cold! The ingenuity kicks in and we develop coping strategies. Fortunately for us, our concerned Canadian neighbours have taken us under their wing. They fill us in with many tips for surviving a cold winter. They range from the right boots to wear on black ice to safety tips for ‘blonde drivers’ in white -out conditions. I dread the day when I have to put these into practice! But for the most part, we have thought up some of our own too. A domestic pet is quite a challenge, as you have to cope with their ablutions when they are cooped up all day. If you have a pup you can teach them to ring a bell that hangs at the front door. They knock it with their snout and then you respond accordingly. Unfortunately we tried that with our Josh but as the saying goes…..you can’t teach an old dog new tricks! So we had to think of other ways to meet his daily needs. The problem was that this fussy little canine preferred to relieve himself on grass. Oh my hat! I ask you? Where do you find a patch of grass when there is a foot of snow outside? The snow shovel came out and we cleared him a little patch near the side of the house. He is now happy to oblige on his spot of Canada Green.

If I lay here, would you lie with me and forget the world?

Depression is the real scary part of winter. The television and radio carry adverts and hints on how to cope with this dreary time. We have much to keep us entertained indoors from interesting reads, challenging puzzles and home theatre. Josh, our Jack Russell, is not partial to the confinement of winter.  He jumps deep into his basket and rearranges his blanket over his head. This is his fleeting form of hibernation. I must add that this state of being is quickly interrupted with the ring of the doorbell. We have had to think of ways to ‘entertain’ him. (I never thought that my day would consist of dreaming of ways to improve my dog’s psychological wellbeing!)We now dig a pathway through the snow on the deck so that he can still see his nemesis, our resident squirrel. His relentless occupation of getting his teeth into Mr. Squirrel keeps him entertained and his spirits up.

Show me a garden that is bursting into life…….

So I page through my gardening manuals and read up on plants that can withstand these freezing temperatures. I dream up ideas and designs for my garden here in Canada. We planted a whole heap of spring bulbs. They are resting under the snow in my front garden. Soon they will be triggered into a burst of new life. I will see their bright colours in the sun!

Venturing out with friends...a trip to the city.

Venturing out with friends…a trip to the city.

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