The Cove Journal
by JoDee Samuelson
The story of our winter so far: bare ground, skiff of snow, wind, rain, plus ten, minus fifteen, wind, rain, snow. Stoves and furnaces putting in long hours, working overtime, greedily gobbling up fuel. Frosty air stealing in all night long under shingles and between floorboards, and barging in through doors that open for a single moment. What a time. The Strait is completely filled in with ice—something we haven’t seen for years—and somehow that feels good, like the welcome visit of a long lost friend.
No matter what the weather we try to spend some of the day outside. Ski conditions haven’t been great, but there’s often been enough snow to scoot along on the edge of fields. And the frozen fields themselves have been perfect for long hikes—although clumpy plowed ground can get tedious.
And is anything better than an outdoor winter picnic? Yesterday we had an impromptu birthday party for our neighbor’s daughter who was home after working as a chef in New Zealand for two years. (Yes, Culinary Institute grads do find work around the world.) This proved once again that the very best conversations happen at the seaside. The food tastes better and amenities can be kept to a minimum (though blankets under the butt are a must). Our friend’s birthday scones—made with cream, not butter—merited lengthy discussion. As did recent dental procedures, the mountains of ice at Cape Traverse, and American politics.
Why are we so blessed? We live in this wonderful place. We have friends, food and firewood. When our garbage bin was blown into the ditch and lost a wheel, all we had to do was fill in a form on-line and presto! a replacement bin magically appeared in our driveway. Sure, sometimes we have to wait in the hospital emergency room longer than we wish, but we do eventually get seen—and we aren’t charged anything.
I’m reading Hilary Clinton’s book How It Happened and it’s almost unbearable to think of the serious problems our American neighbors face. There are 33,000 gun-related deaths a year in the USA, or 90 deaths a day. That’s just crazy. Now there’s the opiod crisis. And the racial tensions that never seem to go away. And wildfires, and mudslides, and hurricanes …
Of course everything’s not perfect in Canada, but at least we don’t have millions of handguns in our houses. And we all have medical coverage and don’t need to worry about losing our homes if we get sick.
So whatever kind of winter we’re having, whether it’s cold one day and warm the next, or snowing or raining, we really have nothing to complain about. Our roads are cleared, our power comes back on, we get a new garbage bins when the old ones break—and The Buzz has come out each month, rain or shine, for twenty-five years. That’s amazing.
I mean, how lucky can we get?