Barely snowed. Indeed.
Ten fingers aren't enough to count how many mornings I've been awakened before 5 a.m. Jolted awake by an unholy racket - the prosaic banging of the snow plough on asphalt, the metallic scratch of blade against bumps in the concrete, the grating sound of an engine revving up the steep slope - all right outside the bedroom window. And it's not like you could wake and then slumber off peacefully once the noise is identified as a non-threatening nuisance. Because, unfortunately, driving up once or twice just won't cut it. The process has to be repeated at least four times. At the end of which I'm so pissed off and wide-awake there's no point staying in bed.
I swear to God, if I'd known the mayor's phone number I'd have rung him today at 5:04 a.m.
The plowing doesn't even make any sense. Because the ground is so stupidly uneven on the slope - a lane that's closed to traffic anyhow - they can't really get all the snow off. So it freezes over in patches and there's been any number of times that I've thought - while trying not to fall on my ass - that ice skates might well be the only sensible mode of transport downhill. I am no expert on snow, but I do think that it would be much easier to just stomp through the actual thing, at least one would find something of a foothold, but no - it seems absolutely necessary to wake up the entire neighborhood at an ungodly hour. Just because.
It's been a stupid week.
We looked after Miss Sprite & Miss Cuddle last weekend. It was good fun. We spent hours on a playground; went to an animal park where we fed deer, wild sheep, ponies, boars, mini pigs, ibexes, hares and martens; played house; dressed up as princesses and fairies; cooked, tidied up, cooked some more, fed, changed, cleaned up, and the list goes on and on and on. No rest for the wicked.
|see image in the center for further reference concerning |
levels of exhaustion - even kitty was totally knackered -
and yes, we cheated a bit and the girls got to watch
Totally rewarding and absolutely exhausting.
I also have a major case of the winter blues. I'm through with it. I long for spring. For warmth, sunshine and flowers. And there's still a good two months to go. It's worse than I ever remember it being and I've finally realized that I miss my 2-hour-commute to Basel. I'm guessing it's the Jurassic mountains between our valley and Basel that make all the difference, protecting the Rhine border town from our bone-crushing fog. It's always sunny there. You'd get on the train here, looking at a grey and depressing landscape, enter the tunnel and then emerge into blinding sunshine on the other side. Sure, I had to work and I wasn't particularly happy, but I didn't feel like fleeing south before February even started.
So this week found me re-arranging furniture, taking down decorative curtains, and moving around plants just to get a little more light into the apartment. Rather pointless exercises considering that there plainly is no light outside that I could possibly draw inside.
I'm running out of coping strategies.
|ah yes, thank you Holland!|
I've drunk so many cups of Masala Chai that my innards probably resemble a Christmas fair lined out in cinnamon, cardamom and ginger. I bought a bunch of tulips - the brightest and most colorful I could find, hoping to cheer myself up. It worked for no longer than a day or so. I'm constantly blasting Salsa music through the apartment. I draw baths using my snuggle-bubble-bath. I drape myself in brightly colored scarves. And yet, I'm holding on to sanity by only the barest thread.
Though I really shouldn't complain. I've had a lovely social week, if you will.
Tuesday a childhood friend phoned me up. We haven't seen each other for a couple of years (ever since he delivered the painting I bought from him - 3 years ago or so?) and I've been meaning to get in touch for ages. We spent two hours on the phone - two full hours! And I don't like talking on the phone at all. It was a comfortable and cozy chat ranging from our current well-being to work, from our take on artistic expression to society's challenges - everything and anything under the sun was fair game for a spirited discussion. And he's agreed to let me write an artist-portrait of him on this blog. Something for all of us to look forward to. Though it might be a while till I actually get around to writing and posting it.
|detail - painting by !mre|
The same day I phoned my pregnant friend. She is getting the baby's room ready, has been painting the walls in a bright color, and keeping herself busy selecting a maternity clinic for the birth. She's excited and happy. It was a pleasure to listen to her, to share in her joy.
An hour later my mate D dropped by and regaled me with tales of her and her boyfriend's recent trip to Thailand. She's been crossed in love more times than I care to count and to see her this happy, serene and content in this new relationship made me feel all warm and fuzzy.
And then, the same day, as we were getting ready for bed dear husband delivered a non-sequitur that got all those butterflies - relaxedly sleepy after 13 years of marriage - wildly tumbling around my tummy. Telling me, out of the blue, how much he looks forward to coming home to me after work every day. Awww man.
Then finally yesterday my Sweets chatted me up. All bubbly excitement telling me that she just managed to win an auction. Which is nice, right? Nicer still, she'd just bought my birthday present in an auction and she was so stoked on having got me the ultimate present that she couldn't quite keep herself from sharing. I tried to keep the suspense alive by reducing the sharing to hints only, but I found out anyway. Oh well, I know the feeling when you just know you got someone a perfect gift. The urge to skip around, disclose and giggle is so overpowering - sharing is the only option. It's an early 20th century edition of Sense and Sensibility. Old and shabby and just right down my alley. And the money goes to charity no less. She totally nailed it. No wonder she couldn't hold it inside. Now I am the one giddily excited. Can't wait to unwrap this beautiful and unbelievably thoughtful present.
So, yeah, maybe I am trapped in an endless winter.
Trying to fight off the ever-threatening SAD syndrome.
Tired all week from minding two kids for all of 48 hours (how DO mothers do it?).
On an inspirational and motivational low.
Sleep deprived and cranky.
But I'm also indecently lucky in my friends.
I am loved and I get to love them all back.
I guess I'd best spend my time counting my blessings.
That should ward off the cold even if nothing else can.