Once again, I skipped a week. I didn’t intend to, it sort of just happened. I blame it on the time of year. Winter was ever my least favorite. The sledding is great, burying yourself in every blanket you own is nice and snuggly, and who doesn’t love a good mug of hot chocolate, but it’s still dark, it’s still cold, and everything is still dead or asleep. February is the longest month, although it’s over now. Soon, the clocks will be moved ahead an hour – one of my least-favorite days of the year – and green things will grow, bursting forth in the days that grow longer and longer, until a late April frost kills off some of them. Our winter wasn’t that bad, all things considered, until the past month or so. There were a few cold days, yes, but nothing serious. In the past two weeks, 22 Fahrenheit (aboot* -6 C for my Canadian friends) was balmy. It has been warmer in Alaska. Not happy about that. The snow was an added bonus. Last week, we got snowed on a few times. Nothing like they got in Boston; the city didn’t shut down, it just paused for a little bit. It happened three separate times, though, and it never got warm enough to melt the old stuff.
By Sunday, some areas had over a foot of accumulation. I’d shoveled on Friday evening, just so I could get to and from the house, and then it snowed pretty heavily Saturday. When I looked outside, I could see the indentation where the path I’d shoveled used to be. That kinda sucked. Sunday morning, I had somewhere to be. It had warmed up some, the sun popped out for a bit, so the top layer melted. Not much, just enough to refreeze and become a crunchy crust of snow, about an inch or so thick. With all the climbing over drifts and sinking into soft pockets of untouched snow, my right knee was bugging me, and it was supposed to rain and freeze, so I shoveled again, that I might have a clear path to my car. After breakfast, I went out to clean off my car and maneuvered it† out of my parking spot and onto the unplowed asphalt. I had to stop on the way and clean it again because there was still a mound of about, oh, 4 inches in the middle of my hood that I couldn’t quite reach. My extendable scraper finally crapped out after a decade or more of service. I managed, though, and further managed to get off the side street onto a main road that had been mostly cleared. It took a bit of skill, but by that point, I’d already had to deal with that a few times before earlier that week.
Exciting, right? Everyone wants to know all about the shoveling. I have a point, though. See, all that shoveling, and the extended effort cleaning off my car, that hurt me. It wasn’t really obvious until the next morning. I’d overdone it. My muscles were a little sore, but hardly crippling. My kidneys, on the other hand, were making me sick. I went to work Monday, tired, in a bit of pain, but getting on with it. I had things to do. By lunchtime, though, I was not in good shape. Got down to just over 2-and-a-half hours left in my regular shift, and I couldn’t. Dizzy, nauseous, hurting, I had to leave. If I hadn’t had such a short drive home, I think I would have left earlier, just so I could be sure I’d make it home. Considering how much effort it took to shovel and clean off my car, I was afraid that would happen, but there’s no one else here, and I had somewhere to be. I didn’t have time to wait for the kindness of someone else. Leaving the house on Monday had made it worse; by Tuesday morning, I was fine as long as I didn’t move. Just pain, thankfully, and it has faded significantly, enough that I was able to go back to work on Wednesday. I daresay when I left Monday, no one really had any idea anything was wrong. I tend to keep myself to myself. I don’t often make my private self public, just because no one’s particularly interested. No point saying something if no one is going to listen◊, is there? Felt miserable, but only if you knew me did I look it; someone passing on the street would have had no idea how much pain I was in. Just a reminder to be kind to others; you don’t always know what they’re dealing with. Not a doormat, kind. There IS a difference.
Anyway, it’s winter. My period of hibernation is almost ended. For the past few months, I have forced myself to leave the house – for work, to do laundry, to buy food/groceries, to go to church/choir rehearsal, and even a bit of gaming. Been about 20 years since I’ve done that with other people IRL; actually, also close to that since I MUD’d regularly, which got kind of ugly. February is finally over, spring is coming. A month before baseball’s season begins, a month before the magnolia’s bloom, two months before my birthday, heat and humidity rising, leaves erupting from dormant branches, flowers pushing through bare soil, birds nesting in trees, often giving any unfortunate car below a new paint job, and all the allergies that come with the birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees…that’s a song. It’s before my time, but not before my parents’. It’s coming, spring is. It’s a time of possibility, hope, optimism, growth, discovering the new, building on or discarding the old – in case it wasn’t obvious, spring is my favorite time of year.
Well. Not to bring things down, but we lost a nerd icon yesterday – or at least, we heard about it yesterday. Leonard Nimoy. His final tweet – of course I followed him – has been retweeted about a quarter-of-a-million times as of this writing. Twitter was full of tributes from Trekkies in all walks of life – actors, astronauts, people on the street and the POTUS. The most touching, unsurprisingly, came from those with whom he worked, even briefly – Uncle George (Takei), William Shatner, Zachary Quinto, Patrick Stewart.
Yes, he did at one point hate his role as Mr. Spock; like Robert Reed (The Brady Bunch), another talented actor with great range, he wound up typecast and had a lot to overcome, reminding people that his name was not Spock. He did embrace it eventually, though. Perhaps once he understood just how important that role was to millions of people in multiple generations, it swayed him a bit.
Star Trek influenced NASA. That’s not an overstatement, it did, and they’re proud to admit it. Who wouldn’t be? Another whose influence in my own life I underestimated, he left the world a better place than he found it. Thanks, Dad, Mom, for the love of Star Trek. Oh, I still prefer Star Wars, but I’d be a fool to not recognize the impact, understand the world Gene Roddenberry told us we could be, if we but made the effort.
One to beam up, Mr. Scott.
“Of my friend, I can only say this – of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most human…”
Dif tor heh smusma. Live long, and prosper.
*Sorry. I couldn’t help myself. I tried to avoid it. For a good 2 or three seconds, maybe, but I did.
†Rear-wheel drive. Lightweight, high profile, tires that need to be replaced. In the 14 years I’ve had that car, both here and in Colorado, I’ve not gotten myself into a situation I couldn’t get out. Don’t get me wrong, I also didn’t seek to put myself into a situation I couldn’t get out, so there were times in Colorado where I took the vacation day. Not many, though. Less than one a year. Point is, in many cases, you don’t need 4WD – you need practice.
◊That’s INTP logic. Takes energy to participate in small talk – or conversation at all – and if no one is paying attention, then it’s energy wasted.