Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Alive and Kickin'

I am dreadfully behind in everything. I have a stack of half read books next to my bed and a slew of half written blogs that I have never bothered to complete. I guess that is where my brain is right now. Half full.
Today is St. Patrick's Day. Normal people just think it is no big deal. That is, unless you live in the surrounding suburbs of a North East city of the USA. Since last Saturday a school bus pulls up daily to the pubs across the street from my shop. A sea of green attired drunks pour out and take part of a bar crawl known as the Erin Express. Today will be no exception. It amazes me how many people I know from my home town will take vacation days today and tomorrow to partake in this event. I don't have a speck o' Irish in me so I guess that's why this Canadian just doesn't get it.
I am even behind in my training with Veritas. The weather has been erratic and rainy. I feel the next onslaught of depression looming over me. I need sun and warmth to get it's ass over here before I fall back in to a funk.
The one really positive thing going on is that I finally found a miracle drug for my allergies. Singulair. I had no idea how shitty I was feeling until I started this medication a few days ago. I now suspect that is why my head is always so fuzzy. It was filled half way with histamine. It is also why I have been getting cold after cold this winter. My poor lungs just can't take it without some help. It goes against my grain to rely on the meds but I have to concede to the fact that my profession is filled with toxic fumes. My lungs are in sad shape from years of hair dressing.
No real point to my ramblings today. Just wanted my e-mailers to know that yes, I am alive and I am doing fine. The horses are fine, the cats are fine, the rabbits are always fine. (hmmmm, why do I suffer from allergies???) I am finally breathing~for real. Life is good.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Silent Snow

I decided it was the perfect opportunity for a covert operation. Snow. A lot of snow.
We got dumped with a nor'easter. By 7 am we were in a lull. I was supposed to have an appointment with my neurologist this morning but the cancellation came while I was clearing the 4 inches of snow off my car. This was a dry, powdery snow. The forecast was predicting the second half of the storm to hit my area by 9am.I had at least two hours to out on the road before the predicted white-out conditions would hit.
It's been coming for awhile. I usually am forced to wait until the weather breaks in the spring to perform this dreaded task. Washing the horses blanket liners. After months of being encased in their waterproofed coverings, the inside liners get incredibly stinky and full of hair. The spring shedding out of hair actually starts in mid February. Every time I remove Syd and Romeo's liner a small foal-sized clump of hair seems to come with the liner.
I checked my watch and looked up at the sky. The sun was peeking through the clouds and the decision was made. I drove through empty roads to the barn. Being a Monday in March it seems every school had a snow day. It was obvious many were not going to work today. I love snow. Especially the kind that coats the trees. Driving the empty winding road to the barn made me feel exhilarated. It was as if the world stood still and only the birds and myself were out and about.
I ran in to the barn and stripped Sydney and Romeo of the offending liners. I put on their lighter sheets knowing that they would be in for the day due to the high winds that were predicted later that morning.I loaded the liners in to the back of my car and began my trek to the laundromat. Half way there I had to roll down my window because the heat of the car made the smell of wet horse that much more pungent. I pulled up to the laundromat and made sure the coast was clear. Thanking the snow gods for making the roads a state of emergency which seemed to keep the place empty. I loaded each liner in to it's own washer. I set the washer to heavy duty wash, said a prayer and sat back to watch for any disasters. It's been awhile since I have killed an industrial washer but one never knows. It's not so much the weight of the blankets it's the hair in them that can kill a machine. I confess there are at least two laundromats in Pottstown that I am banned from. I think they even have a poster at the door with my face on it. "Wanted: Serial Washer Killer!"
I forgot my book. I sat and watched the snow start back up again. It was falling in huge flakes that were drifting down so slow it reminded me of the fake snow in the Nutcracker at The Academy of Music. As I watched for any shaking or smoke coming from either machine, my mind started to wander. I thought back to snows of the past. Why it always seems so peaceful on the inside but causes so much chaos in our outside daily lives. I thought of the Conrad Aiken story Silent Snow,Secret Snow. Watching the snow start to swirl outside the window reminded me of so many other times I sat looking out a window, wondering how to find peace with the reality I have chosen. I feel I am happy but I sometimes wonder if the outside person looks in and thinks how sad my choices in life have been. Am I the young Paul? Descending in to madness with no clue as to what the real world is?
The liners made it through both the washer and dryer without too much shaking. I ran the washers through a clean cycle to wash out any hair that might be left. I drove back out to the barn and the wind had begun to kick up in full force. By the time I got to my aunt's the snow was falling sideways. As I put the newly washed liners on each horse I was overwhelmed by the peacefulness in the barn. The wind was slamming against the sides of the barn yet here we were, safe and enveloped in warmth. Syd reached around as I strapped her liner on. She took a long whiff of the clean cloth. It was still warm from the dryer. She let out a heavy sigh and nudged me before she went back to eating her hay.
I decided right at that moment that I like the secret snow in my head. It sure beats the reality that has been trying to blind me these past couple years.
I trudged up to my aunt's house and she ushered me in with a cup of hot chocolate. Apple wiggled her doggy greeting to me and we curled up next to the wood stove and snuggled. I watched the white snow swirl around the window and allowed myself one more thought of madness. I really love the snow.