Friday, October 16, 2009

Fill 'er up . . .

Last weekend, I made a bold choice to put away all work on Friday and not get it out again 'til Monday night. My marking was caught up, and with the long weekend chomping one of my teaching days away, the only classes I had were scheduled for writing an in-class essay (midterm exam). So I was able to relax with family, and, after they left, just veg with Pater -- besides working my way through two weekend papers, I read a whole mystery novel (one of Jeffrey Deaver's) from Friday to Monday!
And this past teaching week was as easy as I'd anticipated -- only three days and the in-class time had me doing some research reading while the students worked hard writing, a nice switch, I'd say.
But all good things come to an end, and that will be the last free weekend for weeks and weeks. All those essays I enjoyed sitting through the writing of? They've come home with me. Pages and pages of first-year arguments, not even word-processed but at least the handwriting's in ink (I warn them about the crankiness factor that happens alongside eyestrain, but they complain about the commitment factor an ink pen demands. Mind you, they complain about not being allowed to word-process their exams as well -- hand-writing is way too physically demanding for the young, did you know?)

So I'll be drawing deep from that reservoir I stocked last weekend -- the calm and relaxation and good happy feelings.
And to offer up a decent analogy, the weather is staging a pathetic fallacy -- these are the pictures of last weekend's reservoir-filling weather, a visual representation of how good it helped me feel. But Wednesday, the fall rains began here in earnest. I had already decided that I'd finally walk to work that day. Having managed to walk twice a week last year, this term I haven't done that once, so I didn't want to renege. Boots and an umbrella, not so bad.
Thursday morning, though, it really poured, and the bike ride to the ferry spattered my back with mud thrown up by our dirt roads (they look so charming in the summer, and few of us want them paved, but all fall and winter, we deal with mud). You can't carry an umbrella successfully on a bike, you know? And I'm not fussy about those one-size-fits-all hooded rubbery green or yellow things, so I vainly (did you see Duchesse on vanity?) pedal through the rain counting on my beret or fedora to shield me, using one hand to hold said fedora on if there's a gust of wind. . . When I get back at night, the bike seat is wet, and the ride through heavy rain on a mud road is made even more appealing by the dark . . . It can be a long, long winter.
And did I mention the marking?
So I'm glad I know the power of reservoirs. I'm patting myself on the back for getting rested up last weekend. For having had a steam and massage at the spa the week before. For treating myself to coffee-and-a-brioche at Mon Petit Chou on my way to work the other morning.
Even for cultivating this garden which gives me such pleasure, which I draw from again and again.
What's getting you through the dark days? Have you squirrelled some pleasures away to savour as the nights grow longer? Do tell. . .


  1. In California the seasonal change is so much less dramatic. In a way it's more dangerous. One neglects to fortify against the rains, the pull of winter to sleep.

  2. I have a handful of new of autumn and winter clothes I bought last Jan-Feb. Now is time to wear them. Could have worn last late winter but decided to wait and am glad I did. And, ta-da 30+ jars of newly made pasta sauce!

  3. A friend living in Kits house swapped last week with a couple from Napa Valley. The couple here fell in love with Vancouver, who could blame them after last week. Those are the ones this city tricks.
    Were they here this week who knows if the love would have survived.
    I put on my ugly rubber boots walk the dog and remember flip flops of the summer!

  4. It is not the dark that annoys me, it is the temperature, as it drops near 0 C or below that. I have already twice managed to get my feet cold this fall, in + degrees. I have no idea how I will survive the coming winter. When it gets dark, it really gets dark. We have no street lights here and the ones on our yard need to be fixed. I actually need a torch with me from my car to the house or the other way around. I try to do all my outdoor work during daylight and once I´m inside, I´m in. I wish to go early to bed with my magazines, laptop and books and am usually allowed a generous 8 hours sleep.

  5. LPC: Interesting comment -- even though the weather is milder, winter still poses danger, doesn't it, even just the danger of succumbing to somnolence.
    Duchesse: Ta-da! indeed! nothing like canning for storing up harvest goodness against the winter's drear!
    Anon: Yes, Vancouver's a rainy Trickster indeed. Pity the poor sod who might move here on the strength of last month's weather and then find herself confronting November, December, January, February, March, and April full of rain!
    Metscan: I admit that I can tolerate dark and grey quite well after a lifetime in this climate, but deep winter cold I have a hard time with. Two or three weeks, okay, but November through March would do me in. Does your bed have fluffy pillows and warm down comforters? You have my permission to spend the winter there!


I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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