The current surge in the pandemic has rekindled my propensity to spend time online. I have succumbed to reengaging with my Pinterest account. A new low for me. I was clean for about two years. Now I’m back scrolling through the best decorating, cooking, and fashion ideas ever to be discovered. And haircuts for women over 60. Last week I watched a u-tube video on how to cut hair. I then sat on a wooden stool in the sunlight of our kitchen while my husband, who hadn’t watched the video, cut my hair. I’ve decided to rock the curly, messy look for a while.
As I lift my head to take a break from the screen I can see colossal cotton balls of snow clinging to the spruce trees sprouting from the drifts in the side garden. The field below is virginal white, dotted with diamonds as the sunshine catches the top layer of compressed snowflakes. Our cylindrical bird feeder is host to a pair of yellow finches who decided to stay for the winter and several black-capped chickadees, chatting back and forth. The snow below is dotted black with the sunflower seed shells.
My head drops back down to my laptop. I am fantasizing, planning, and filling shopping carts in the upper right corner of my screen. Mandated to stay home I have a new level of scrutiny as I wander within my nest. My once treasured collection of rocks, a gathering of unique morsels from the north shore of Cape Breton, Gros Morne park, and the Jungfrau peak in Switzerland, now seem unremarkable and unnecessary.
The tan paint, thoughtfully selected twelve years ago, now looks flat and brown. Our bedroom, only two years ago painted the greige of the day is too grey–sometimes almost green. I suddenly have no tolerance for the idiosyncrasies of our home.
Mike the painter is called in. He arrives, mask on, with a large thermos of coffee. He is thankful for the work as he explains that his truck had engine troubles over the holidays. The rusted dark green pickup, parked somewhat lopsided, with one wheel on a large snowbank still doesn’t look well to me. He is with us for two weeks. Listening to his Christian radio station on Spotify as he meticulously covers our past colour whims.
Now we have paperwhite walls. And the headboard against them looks faded and old. The rug from India, another treasure, doesn’t capture the mood I am hoping for. Too big, not enough colour. Thankfully the black bedroom furniture gains the approval of my critical eye. However, we do need a bench across the foot of the bed.
Head back down, laptop open. I don’t need to move when I hit “buy now”. I know my credit number, expiry date, and security code by heart. Our shipping address auto-fills as soon as I enter my name. I sense a wave of excitement as “guaranteed two-day delivery” flashes across the flat screen.
My husband has also discovered the ease and adrenalin rush of online shopping. He spent many days in his grey and white bucket chair in the kitchen researching and comparison shopping for a snowblower. He opted not to pay for shipping. Always keen on a road trip, we traveled 50 km for the curbside pickup. Four young men escorted the huge box on a dolly from the warehouse, through slush and ice, to our truck. We invited friends over for the unveiling. Really what we required was their help to get down from the bed of the truck and out of the mammoth box housing it.
There’s nothing like a bright red internal combustion engine, with a menacing rotary blade, and an adjustable spout that displaces snow 40 feet in the air to humble and awe city-now-country folks. Clearly geared for the neophyte, the instruction booklet began with a large yellow triangle of caution: do not operate in bare feet.
These are my days. Thankfully dotted with spin classes, xcountry skiing, and snowshoeing. The home rejuvenation projects, oodles of snow to be blown aside, and detailed critique of every inch of our home, keep me engaged in the present moment. Really, that’s all there is.
At least, that is my experience.