Saturday, April 12, 2014

Cabin Fever

Caretaker’s Log, Wednesday, April 9, 2014

I light a fire more out of habit than need. It’s 29.8 degrees when I check after coming downstairs. It’s only 8:15. I have a feeling it’s going to be a hot day.

The plus side to the warm weather is that I won’t have to chop so much wood. The other plus side is that I can strip off layers and sit in the sun and get a vitamin D fix.

Sometimes I doubt the isolation. I look up expecting to see someone emerging from the trees, coming down the hill, walking over the fields. I’m always glad when no one does.

Despite the sunscreen I’d put on my face my cheeks feel burned. Maybe it’s wind chap. The spring wind is in full force. 

I talk with my sister and with my mom.

Caretaker’s Log, Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Wild Hydro’s automatic shift from float to bulk doesn’t happen. I have to enable the timer. This deviation from its programming happened to another caretaker so it’s not completely unexpected. I’ll just have to keep an eye on things to make sure they happen when they’re supposed to.

The bulk charge lasts for two hours so while I wait, I click into the skis and head out. The snow conditions are not optimal so I cancel my third lesson and have a practice run instead. Downhill will have to wait until the snow isn’t quite so slick and icy. I fall twice. My first fall is hard enough to raise an egg sized lump on my knee. I’ll ice the injury made on ice later. My second fall is more graceful.

The bulk charge changes back to float and all is well in the hydro-electric world for the moment.

I make another batch of granola.

I feel restless so I buckle on the snowshoes and start out toward the eastside fence. Several steps in, I sink hip deep into snow--with the snowshoes on. I just want to cross the fence, shortcut through the east field and go up toward the north mountain. So I press on. Only to sink again and again. I reconsider my path choice. I backtrack and then go the long way through the property’s front gate and around. I make it halfway across the field. It’s not fun. Besides, the snowshoes are made out of plastic (and for a larger shoe size than mine) and I have to stop every ten steps or so to readjust the clips around my boots. After twenty minutes of this I call it quits. Then I sit-fume on the log by the sauna and watch the duck pair fly from place to place. They call out to each other as they go. They seem content to be together.

I’ll have to change my attitude and stop fighting spring. I think of Rocky Balboa training in the snow of Russia for his fight against Drago. Well, all this struggle will be one way to work on leg strength. With that in mind I wade through the snow to rescue a plastic chair that’s become unburied and might end up in the river with the help of the melting snow and the rising winds.

Still annoyed and needing to let out some energy I go chop wood.

Back at the Lodge, I download some audiobooks from my library and almost use up the daily amount of internet data allowance.

Today I definitely felt a twinge of cabin fever exacerbated by the snowshoe failure. The nights and days are flipping by fast.

Caretaker’s Log, Friday, April 11, 2014

I wake up an hour later than usual. I feel a bit drained even with the extra sleep.

I figure if I’m going to get my exercise in today I’d better get out early to beat the melting snow. I leave right after checking that the Wild Hydro system is doing its thing. It is. I try the snowshoes, but ditch them just five minutes in. I need to rig them so they’ll stay on. But it doesn’t matter, the ground is hard enough to walk on with just my boots. I hike all the way up to the snowmachine road just beyond the Kinky Creek Dam. I hike for an hour and a half. 

I see a blue-winged bird flit by. The bluebird of happiness?

Almost all the ice around the incinerator shed has melted. I might be able to shut the door this afternoon. I chip away part of the remaining ice block to help the process.

After my walk I feel much better. It’s warm enough to take my coat off and roll my sleeves up over my shoulders. I put sunscreen on my face. The cat comes to rub around my legs while I listen to the wind in the trees. Bored with my inattention she goes to lean up against a shovel and blink contentedly at me. 

The snow has almost completely melted off the western sides of the roofs.

Flies are buzzing around ferociously—like fighter planes. With intent. They’re really having a spring time orgy. I try not to pay them any mind.

I eat the last head of kale for dinner. No more fresh greens.

I find gluten-free pancake mix in the backroom pantry.

I go out for the evening check. It’s hard not knowing the lay of the land. I don’t yet know where the rivers and creeks run. The trees’ shadows are purple against the snow in the early evening light.

As I check the snow depth for the daily weather report, I hear wolves howling from somewhere over on the northern mountain. The incinerator door can finally be shut. Maybe I am resigning myself to spring. Learning to work around it. Learning to work with it. I head around the Lodge stepping hip deep into snow. My rain boots gather ice between the lips and my legs. I swim out of the snow and find a new, more solid footing. On some steps, whole blocks, sections, bergs of snow shift under my weight like an elevator bumping down a floor. It makes me feel ponderous.

There are markers, faucets, fences, trees, rushes, rivers being revealed out from under the snow. Soggy, wet, and long unwarmed.

I left the fire out all day.

There go the ducks again.

1 comment:

  1. Transition. Edges of time space and temperature.