Sunday, 18 October 2020

My Right Hand

I’ve spent most of the day staring at my right hand.


It is the same hand that I had yesterday, the day before that and the day before that, going back decades. It has aged with me, developing too many wrinkles from use, there are a lot of small scars the cause of which have been lost in the mists of time. One from a dog bite and probably one or two from working with wood and more than likely the rest are from something stupid that I did and don’t wish to remember even if I could.


The knuckle on my index finger is a little over sized and has a slight crack in the middle going lengthwise as opposed to the more common width wise. I broke it when I was fourteen or so and threw a punch at my brother, he blocked it with his elbow. I lost the fight and my finger hurt like hell. I knew that it wasn’t broken because I could move it even though it hurt when I did. A few days or weeks later my parents had the doctor do an x-ray and sure enough it was broken…lengthwise. It doesn’t even help me by hurting when the weather is about to change, all it does is remind me of a lost fight.


I have a series of scars running down my thumb and terminating on my wrist where the hand meets the wrist in a jagged scar. It happened about thirty or thirty-five years ago around this time of year. Maybe it was closer to Christmas because I was making some kind of decoration. I was ripping a two by four that was on saw horses and rather than stop the saw when I came to the sawhorse I just switched hands and lifted the two by four with my right hand. The saw blade caught and kicked back down my thumb and ending up in my wrist. There was screaming and Louise loaded me in the car and raced to the doctors after telling the kids (under ten) to go to the neighbours. We had just moved in and didn’t know the neighbours but they were and probably still are good people. I passed out a few times in the car on the way and when we got to the clinic I passed out while the nurse walked me to the back room. If you show up to the clinic with a blood soaked towel wrapped around your arm, you jump to the head of the line.


Dr. Hudy stitched me up and there was some doubt if I would regain full use of my hand. The positive was that I got a couple of months off of work (with pay) because a mailman without the use of one hand is even more useless than a two handed mailman. Lucky for me we had just bought an Atari game console with Space Invaders and Millipede. I attribute getting full use of my hand back to playing hours and hours of video games using the joy stick. I got pretty good at Space Invaders too.


I have a little rheumatism in my middle finger, possibly from overuse when driving on Deerfoot Trail. I use it to educate the mass of poor drivers in the city but unfortunately I have had little to no effect over the years. I also tend to pick at my nails which I wish I didn’t, but I am a work in progress and I suspect that will be something I need to work on in my next life.


My right hand tells the story of my life I guess and probably the other parts of my body have their own stories to tell but that will wait for another day. The reason I have been staring at my right hand today is because of the weather. It was -8⁰C and felt like -18⁰C and there were a few brave flakes of snow drifting down. I was looking at my hand because we are looking forward to five months of winter ahead of us. That is one month for each finger.

I know which finger I should show old man winter!

Saturday, 17 October 2020

A Great Winter Vacation

Well, lucky me! We had our first sort of major snowfall last night, in four months time I will laugh at calling this a major snowfall, but I don’t live four months in the future, I live in the now. In the now the temperature feels cold, there is ice under the four centimetres snow that we received and I had to shovel and spread sand on the ice. This wouldn’t normally bother me except that it is forecast to stay cold for the foreseeable future. It is too early to settle into winter.


I had to help a woman up that fell in a parking lot outside of the market today. My initial impulse was to rush to her aid which is laudable. When I started to help her I couldn’t help but think she might not appreciate the help due to the threat of getting Covid 19 from a perfect stranger. Well, I’m not perfect but I am strange. While we were struggling to get her off of the wet ice I worried that I might fall and then they would have to get a crane truck in to lift me vertical. That was too much thinking for just a few seconds. I will be pretty pissed if I get sick.


I tend to dread the coming of winter even while I look forward to it. The first snowfall means that it can’t be very long before we start to look forward to the Christmas season. Of course since winter seems to have come along a trifle early this year it is signaling the imminence of Halloween. I wasn’t sure if Halloween would happen this year, but I have been assured that it will. Alberta’s top doctor says Halloween is a go and if you ask any kid if we should cancel Candy Day they just give you a look that says things that little kids shouldn’t say. I thought that maybe the door to door collection of candy might pose a threat but I guess some things are worth dying for.


I put away most of the out door stuff a couple of days ago, but I still need to organize the shed bringing winter things forward and moving the summer things to the back. I won’t be needing flower pots for a few months and those garden tools can take a nap until April. I do have to put the lawnmower away, I should drain the oil and gas but there is a better than even chance that won’t happen unless the snow melts and it warms up to seasonal temperatures. It will all get done, I just have to acclimatize myself to a new reality.


There is zero chance of a trip to a tropical paradise this year even if I win a lottery or my uncle Scrooge McDuck dies and leaves me a vault of money for me to swim in. I just can’t trust our American cousins to show wisdom in their Covid 19 precautions. Maybe I will take a virtual trip to Hawaii. I can turn the heat up in the house and stand in a couple of inches of water in the tub pretending I am walking along the beach. I will get Louise to waft a dead fish under my nose every now and then to add a little realism. I can maybe make a shave ice and pretend that my breakfast comes from the Kihei Cafe and lunch from Nalu’s. At sunset I will sit on a lawn chair in the front window and if I squint my eyes and use my imagination I should be able to see a whale just on the horizon just before the rare green flash happens.


Should be a great winter vacation…