Coping with the Unpredictability of Weather


Is it just me, or do the rest of you think that weather has become much more unpredictable over the last five years or more?

If you’ve read my post in Memoirs, Seeking a Diagnosis, you will know that I suffer from chronic pain that has never been diagnosed as being caused by anything other than some “mild” arthritis. Maybe that’s the best diagnosis there is. Some studies say that wet, cold weather can make arthritis worse, and more and more I believe it. Most of the time I can deal with my pain and continue to function, but on my really bad days, when I can’t seem to finish any task, when my whole body hurts and my brain wants to shut down, a major change in the weather is involved.

During the past week, here in our community, we’ve gone from damp, rainy days to warm sunny ones, sometimes in the middle of the day. A week ago yesterday was one of those days. We had to drive my son to Toronto to catch his flight to Poland, where he is making his new home. The next day I was thankful that his flight was on Thursday and not Friday.

Friday morning was a sunny day with a little wind; by 3:00 pm the wind had accelerated so much that tree branches were taking out power lines, not only in our community, but in various locations throughout the province. Flights were cancelled in Toronto, which is 200 miles west of us, yet the nearest town to the east of us still had power. While we sat in a restaurant in that town, waiting for dinner, I watched the overhead traffic lights and signs swinging and bouncing precariously at the intersection.  Across the street a row of young cedar trees danced to the music of the wind, and discarded plastic bags and grocery fliers whirled through the air. I washed down two Advil with coffee to keep the pain in my shoulders under control. When we left the restaurant with the plan to purchase some battery operated candles, we saw that a street light had broken near its base and toppled over onto the sidewalk, narrowly missing a parked car. The store that we hoped would sell us the candles had just locked its doors and sent employees home.

Back at home I sat with my charged electric massager on my shoulders, while entertaining myself with games and puzzles on my iPad. The power came back on for half an hour, enticing me to turn on the washer and dryer to finish the laundry I’d started hours before. The last load of wash was done before the power went off again; the clothes in the dryer were still damp. By flashlight I hung them around the bathroom. We called it an early night, sure the power would be restored before morning. It wasn’t. The wind had died down and the sun was shining, but it was 3:00 in the afternoon before I could finish the laundry and make a meal.

Aftermath of first wind storm

Aftermath of first wind storm

Yesterday morning I awoke in major pain, the worst I’ve ever had. My head pounded, my shoulders felt like they carried a hundred pounds and none of my joints wanted to move. At first I thought it might be due to all of the pickle ball playing I’d done every day this week, but when I got up and opened the blinds I knew the cause. The sky was filled with heavy black clouds and it was already raining. As the winds picked up, so did my pain. The whole day was a write off for me. Shortly after the lights flickered at 4:30 I scurried to get some dinner cooked, knowing the power was going to fail us again. It did. We ate in the condo common room under the skylights and read until the sunlight disappeared. We used Jim’s phone data to watch a couple of TV shows on his iPad, and ate a snack by candle light before giving up and going to bed.

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The power came back on in the middle of the night. I know because the kitchen lights were shining into my eyes through the bedroom doorway. Today the sun is fully exposed, the winds are calm and my pain level is back to moderate.

I’m thankful that our power was restored in such a short time, unlike some areas of our country and others.

What are your thoughts on our unpredictable weather, and how does it affect you?

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Another Interesting Summer Day in Hastings, Ontario


I’m often amazed at how easy it is to find something interesting to do in this little town that we call home.

On Monday we learned that the Kawartha Voyageur was going to be cruising down the river and through Trent Severn Waterway Lock #18, something we’ve been wanting to witness, but hadn’t before been able to catch it. We weren’t sure of the time so we took our chairs and books to the lock, prepared to wait.

The Kawartha Voyageur is a river boat that provide 5-day cruises along the Trent-Severn Waterway. It navigates across many lakes and along a few rivers and through many locks between Peterborough and Big Chute, and Kingston to Peterborough. On other weeks it follows the locks of the Rideau Canal from Kingston to Ottawa.

While we waited, we accepted free (temporary) tattoos that a Parks Canada representative was offering, and I had my picture taken with Parka, the Parks Canada Mascot.

Then we decided it might be better to move further up the river, to the Gazebo, where we could see this cruise ship master the winds and glide through the canal, then we’d jump back into the car and return to the lock to see it go through.

We didn’t get much reading done. Shortly after 2:00 p.m. we first heard the horn, and then we saw the vessel appear from around a bend.

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Back at the Lock, we watched as it entered, and then waited for the water to be lowered so it could exit the other end. While the passengers waited, they were entertained by Parka.

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Jim got a hug too

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By the time the Kawartha Voyageur was through the Lock and on its way, three private yachts were waiting their turn to go through from the other direction, so we stayed a little longer to chat with the owners and watch them go through. The two larger ones are doing America’s Great Loop, an adventure that can take a year or more to complete. The boat from Fort Meyer’s Florida had already been traveling for six months; the other, from Texas, had only begun a few weeks ago.

Loop Boats

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We’d like to add that adventure to our bucket list, but considering the cost, it would be unrealistic.

Maybe the Kawartha Voyageur cruise might be a possibility someday though.

 

Exciting Things Happening in Hastings, Ontario


We’ve now spent just over a month back in our new “home” town of Hastings, one of several towns and hamlets that make up the City of Trent Hills. It’s a great little town of friendly, welcoming people who we meet on our daily walks. Everything is within a short walking distance from our condo, along the Trent River and over the bridge.

Our Condo

Our Condo

Walk along the river

Walk along the river

And there is lots going on too! Last weekend a number of plastic wrapped cruising boats that had been stored behind the Marina for the winter, were finally all unwrapped and launched.

Boats Being Launched

Boats Being Launched

Boat Slips Filling Up

Boat Slips Filling Up

Then there was the Midnight Madness Fishing Derby marking the opening of Pickerel fishing season. Enthusiasts from as far away as Oshawa, or beyond, gathered along the bridge, their hooks bated and rods ready, waiting for the call of midnight, when the season officially opened.

Midnight Fishing Madness

Midnight Fishing Madness

Those who didn’t stay up too late were able to participate in the Community Yard Sale at the Ball Diamond the next day, either as vendors or shoppers. We could have been vendors, but purchased some motorcycle gear instead.

Ever since we got home from Arizona, Jim has been watching for signs of the new Field House Sports Dome coming to life. We’ve walked by nearly every day. He’s anxious to get involved in the Pickle Ball Club, a planned activity for the dome. This morning we were excited to look out our patio door and see the giant white balloon rising on the horizon.

Dome Rising

Dome Rising, as seen from just off our deck.

We grabbed our cameras and joined Councilors, media, Board members and volunteers who were already there, watching the proceedings and chatting about the long wait finally coming to fruition. The fire department even brought in its big aerial ladder truck and permitted enthusiastic photographers to rise above the activity to take pictures. We, of course, accepted the offer.

Aerial Ladder

Yes, that’s where we were!

Aerial view of the dome

Aerial view of the dome