Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Brrrr.... it's chilly and silent.

Well it's minus 19 here (that's zero fahrenheit) or at least it was when the kids hopped on the bus this morning. It might have gotten warmer but it sure doesn't feel warmer.
It's snowing again, lightly so hopefully I won't have to shovel out the driveway before I go off to teach my after school art club at Pinecrest in Bloomfield. Isn't it amazing how quiet the snow makes it outside? It muffles all the sound so it's completely still. I love that moment after the bus drives away with the kids and it is out of ear shot, it is the time when I do the wander around to the barn and down along the riverbank. It is utterly still and so silent. The squirrel family in our willow tree gets a little irriated with my wandering but soon scurry off to different trees to avoid me.
I went for a walk on the frozen river last week when it was minus 25 or so and bitterly cold with my mom. We walked right in the centre of the river where the snowmobile tracks were and then our feet starting breaking through a couple of inches into slushy stuff. Well that surprised and unnerved us enough for us to hightail it to the shoreline! There was a fairly thick blanket of snow on the ice so I guess it acted as an insulating blanket for the ice. When the snowmobiles go over the river they are moving quickly and therefore aren't as heavy as if they were standing still. We were apparently too heavy with our slower walking.

I love walking on the river since you see the land from such a different perspective and plus there is no cars or people so you are completely in nature. I have to say though everytime I walk on the ice of the river I am very nervous since you never know how thick it really is. We know in the shallow part of the off shoot of the river in our backyard there are definitely warm springs that are underground there since you can see almost a polka dot effect when the ice is beginning to form. Our two cats always get way too bold when they see the ice on the river and can't resist the new hunting grounds on the other side and are always trying to get across by zigzagging across the ice to the thicker spots so they can cross. Insane! I call them back when I see them but one time Smudge came into the house with the entire back end of him soaked from what I assume was a dip in the river off of the ice.

So it's all quiet and I have to leave on Saturday for the opposite side of quiet and drive to Toronto. My kids are both coming since I sneakily called their old Toronto friends and set up play dates for them while I go to a Canadian Artist wholesale show in hopes of finding more handcrafts for the Galloping Goat shop. I'm not sure it was a good idea to take the kids or not for this visit. They are still moaning about leaving our home in the downtown Toronto core and all of their friends. I'm hoping they'll gain a bit of perspective when they see the crazy small houses we all were crammed into and the no backyard. Plus the restrictions we all placed on our kids when it came to playing outside or going anywhere off the front porch. Probably not, and maybe they'll start moaning all the more loudly and longer after the visit...sigh. I like the idea of visiting the city since I think the multi cultural area we lived in was great for keeping them open to different ways of life and people. Not to mention they may end up back there for college or university (a mother can only hope!) and in that case it's better to see Toronto as not the "big bad city" but a large grouping of small villages that are pushed up next to each other. It's not so overwhelming that way. I do miss Toronto and our friends. We had a lot of fun during the 4 yrs we lived in the core and oh, the awesome food from all over the world was truly fabulous!
Maybe I'll be able to grab some singapore noodles from my fav spot in Chinatown to bring home! Yum!