North Road Cold Snap Blues

Here’s a song I heard on the radio yesterday morning on the drive down to town from the north road. It had some good under-tone. Home-strung, surviving,  and cold. Lyrics aside.

Well in my last post I said, “I’m sure things will get worse before they get better”. I probably couldn’t have foreshadowed my own life better. Things have certainly gotten worse. The biggest issue at the moment is we’re in the middle of a really cold cold-snap. At the cabin the temperature at night hits -38C and has been lingering there for about a week. Struggling to stay warm and all the other issues that come when nothing really wants to work at that temperature. At night I set an alarm to wake up at 1, 3, 5, and 7 unless I have to be up to go to town at 5, then I’m just up. I stoke the stove and start my truck at those times. If I sleep through an alarm I am woken up by just being very cold and miserable. I have moved the cabin around a bit and now my bed is  close to the stove. This way I only have to take one step out of bed to stoke the stove, and I’m sleeping in the warmest part of the cabin (remember the floors not insulated yet).

Also at that temperature there have been times this week where I have been scared to check on my chickens for fear that they would be dead. But no, they are super northern chickens in survival mode. I bring them warm water twice a day and come pick up frozen (exploded) eggs. They have some bad frost bite on their combs and feet and the tops of their wings (shoulders?) are also very frozen. I tried brushing off this frost when I first saw it only to realize that the poor chickens were hurting when I touched them. Weather is supposed to turn on Monday from freezing cold to warmer and snowy.. They will definitely need some healing time. I know I sound like I’m an awful neglecting farmer, but bear in mind I have no power, hardly any time right now, and no cash to spend on solar panels etc.

Also in the cold weather my truck blew it’s water pump, (on that same truck note, I also had a bit of a fender bender with another truck on the north road… sighhhhh) so for a few days this past week I had to get a ride home with a neighbor. It’s been a really hard week and usually the drive home for me is a good way to wind down and relax and think. Well when you’ve had a hard day and your neighbor asks you how your doing and asks questions specific to how your going to live out there on your own, and how are you going to make ends meet, well you break down, and cry. Oh, my poor neighbor. We’ll see if I ever get a ride home from that neighbor again..

A bad picture of the sun rising one morning this past week.

A bad picture of the sun rising one morning this past week.

On the 6th it was my birthday. I turned 23. I worked at the Soup Wallah in the morning and in the afternoon went home to hang out and keep the cabin warm. I don’t know about anyone else, but on your birthday whether you love telling people it is your birthday (not me), or would rather slip under the wire (me) you still have this feeling deep down, the feeling that feels like, “Today… is my BIRTHDAY” and you have this feeling that maybe on your birthday something will happen that will make that day significant and maybe point you in a way that either says, “my life is going in the right direction”, or “what am I doing, what am I doing, what am I.. …….If I’m out in the bush and no one cares, does it make a sound?”. So all day I waited for this significant thing to happen. waitressing at the cafe, it did not happen, at my Mom’s for breakfast, it did not happen,at the cabin hanging out and staying warm, it did not happen. By the end of the day I was a bit disappointed and thinking, well maybe from here on out birthdays aren’t significant anymore. I went outside for the last time before going to bed to grab more firewood and could here walking through the snow. I usually have a bright light clipped on to my coat, so I un-clipped it and held it up looking around to see what was walking. I could see many big eyes flashing back and the walking changed from slow ambling to a hurried pace. I had a mild panicked moment and decided to shut the light off. The walking stopped. In the moonlight stood seven or eight moose spread out around the cabin. This was my significant birthday moment! It made me stop and think, oh my God my life is so awesome, I am so happy to live here. I am in the right place! Happy Birthday!

The day after that, yesterday, I worked a double shift (I haven’t mentioned yet but I got another job, so now I have four… ) and came home around 10:30 at night. The fire had long gone out and it was freezing. The chickens were hardly moving around and the wood box was empty (my own damn fault). In came that creeping feeling of, “why am I here, what am I doing, why is nobody helping me? “. I left the truck running (new water-pump, frowning bumper and all) and ran in to light a fire, ran outside to bring water to chickens, ran back in to re-light the fire, ran outside to split more wood, ran back to the truck to warm up, etc. etc. For whatever reason the fire did not want to light. Out of utter exhaustion I went back to the truck one last time to warm up, and cracked a slushy beer. Out of no where I noticed Northern Lights appearing. They were the simple green ones but still, northern lights. I sat in awe for about fifteen minutes before in the same way they appeared, they were gone. Again, another significant moment assuring me that yet again, I am where I am supposed to be.  I went back inside and hopped in to bed hoping I would warm up enough in bed to fall asleep. Right before I fell asleep with frosty eyelashes I had this thought. Maybe I’m dying. Maybe I have hypothermia and I feel warm and cozy because I’m dying. Then I fell asleep.

In regards to my progress on my huge to-do list I started to share in my last post, Yes! There has been progress. My Mom came up and helped me to put in the floor joists for the loft. Now all that’s left to do to finish it is to put some floor boards up there and move up. I am excited for that project to be done.

016      I think maybe all this depressing stuff might just be how people move on. All these questions you’ve not asked yourself in a while after being lost in someone else for years. Maybe it’s just the weather. I am looking forward to getting out of survival mode and into thriving mode. Enough of this depressing, broken hearted, being cold, broke and lonely. I am looking forward to spring.


3 thoughts on “North Road Cold Snap Blues

  1. I am impressed. Joist hangers, properly dimensioned lumber, sixteen-inch centers… have hammer, will travel. Yes! Bravo!

    Stay warm and keep up the good work!

  2. Found your blog one of theses days… Don’t know if you’d remember me, but I think we knew each other from christianforums. I was (am) from Brazil! 😀

    Seeing your hard work is such a great motivation. I have some ideas that need to get out of the paper and turn into actions!

    Anyway, stay strong. Things can be bad somedays, but surely better days come by!

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