Dec 032006

I received a light rap across the knuckles for having neglected my blog yet again.

So, first, island life.

In spite of enormous challenges, the island has been good. And challenging. And good.

As you may know, this part of the world got whalloped with a rather massive (by our standards) amount of snow. The snow made the island pretty. The trees were all dusted in layers of snow. So much snow, that many a branch collapsed and took out a fence or a power line. I was lucky, I had power for at least a few hours each day before it would croak again, and again and again. My neighbours lost their power last Saturday and went without even anĀ  amp of juice until Thursday evening. And while my wee cabin heats with propane, most of the locals heat with electricity, so there were many busy fireplaces.
I was lucky with the electricity. Lucky that I had some and lucky that I wasn’t relying on it, (except to keep the mighty laptop purring while I lay on my butt, watching entire seasons of Buffy all over again).

I was less lucky with the water because our pipes froze the first night of the big snow. It was not completely dire because you can always boil up some snow and cook up some pasta. It’s just weird to keep picking bird seed outta the pasta water, but hey, everyone has to eat.
But there really is nothing quite as fine as a bath after a few days marinating in your own freeze-dried sweat.

I spent all day Wednesday and Thursday trying to get off the island because I had tickets to a show here in town. There were hurdles a-plenty to overcome.
On Wednesday, my big butchly truck was stuck on the ice and not capable of any sort of controlled movement. So, I set my heart of getting the early ferry on Thursday morning.
This ferry catching plan was made considerably more difficult when, on Wednesday night, the power went out in my cabin, and since I left every single one of my wrist watches at home, the only way I could find out what time it was involved firing up the laptop. And that meant prudently guarding the battery life (and not just watching Buffy reruns till I fell asleep) so that I could, at any time, fire up the laptop and find out the time.

So, Thursday morning I woke up, saw that it was 7 am, and realized that if I really hustled, I could make that 8:30 ferry. It would involve a great deal of motion, constant motion, but I was hell-bent on getting home at that point and if it meant dragging my cat and my laundry and my garbage and my recycling and my laptop and my guitar, each in separate trips, along that long path of ice that was once a road, well hell’s bells, I’d do it. I loaded myself down, all optimistic-like, with a duffel bag full of dirty laundry and began slipping my way down the lane, only to walk right past my truck. See, it was concealed beneath the two birch trees that had fallen for it and then fallen on it and sleuthfully disguised it from me. I did in fact walk right past it, didn’t notice it, just noticed something strange and wrong out of the corner of my eye.
And then I saw it was my ride to civilization, now slain, or at least on the ropes, not able to move an inch till the neighbour, the king of the Husquavrna, came to chainsaw me out.

I’m home now.
It took quite a few trips, back and forth, dragging drugged cats and such. I was second in line for that evening ferry.
Still all enthusiastic about making the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies show that night.
But by the time I got off the ferry and drove through the massive sheet of ice that was Delta, and then landed in my bathtub, I just couldn’t turn around and go back out into the drippy, awful night, apologies to firegrrl.

That’s your island life update so far.
I’ll be heading back sometime around mid-month. Spend some other chunk of time over there and then head back home once and for all and start looking for my next palatial estate. All you local folks, do drop me a line if you hear of any cheap, nice and cat-friendly places.

Other news…

The Globe and Mail piece has been enormous. It seems to have garnered the attention of various politicians. In fact, the week that piece ran, Steven Harper announced the creation of the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer,dedicating $260-million over five years on cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
Erin Anderssen came back to all the original participants and asked us what advice or kicks in the ass (my paraphrase) we might give politicians wanting to do a better job, and she also wanted to know what advice we would give to newly diagnosed folks.
Somewhere in between my final papers and exams, I really want to throw my 2 cents in.

In other health related notes, things are going well in a general sense, but I do have to go get a bone scan in a couple of days because someone in a lab coat thought that might be a good idea.It turns out that it takes over 4 hours to do this test. It remains to be seen whether this one will actually happen because of some island-mainland communication screw-ups.

And after that, I will be hurled back into the land of blood-draws and visits with the oncologist. Thankfully I can make it through the holidays without *that* added stress. But it’s funny, because I can feel the dread mounting, slowly, even though it’s weeks away.

And finally, for folks still following at home, the old man has got himself another room in the hospital. The doctors say that this time his lung/breathing problems are not pneumonia. I don’t know if that is good news or bad news. But I think, and the doctors think, that having him in the hospital is going to be a pretty regular thing.

It’s weird the things one comes to accept.

 Posted by at 9:14 pm