Monday, December 7, 2009

a middle-aged wimp

I'm sitting in my living room enjoying a cheery fire that's crackling vigorously in an old-fashioned hearth, casting a warm glow about the room . . . on a television screen. Did you get that? I'm watching a TV program of logs burning. Me, the guy that spent a large portion of his life in a log cabin with an eternally hungry barrel stove and 12 or 15 cords of hand-split wood outside to feed it . . . until I became a middle-aged softy and moved to an all-electric house and now I'm reduced to a digital fireplace, complete with Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer and Hark the Herald Angels Sing. Yep, I'm definitely feeling wimpish.

Another dead give-away sign: the December page of the fridge calendar gives me the shivers. It has a winter scene with a snow angel. You know, the kind made by flopping backwards into the snow and flapping your arms and legs and getting snow down your collar and it melts and drips down your back and trickles into your underwear and, and . . . (deep breath, relax, turn up the TV fireplace) . . . just thinking about it makes me want to shred the calendar into itty-bitty strips and use it for fire starter. Or warm myself by the virtual hearth. To top it off, the tough little neighbourhood girls (including my daughter) will be out there making these angels in the front yard as soon as the snow gets deep enough. Yep, I'm a self-confessed wimp.

Digital and virtual heat waves are great from the comfort of the couch, but they don't help much when the True and Real winter swoops down from the North Pole. Especially if you have to face it with a fire hose full of very freezable water in your frozen gloved hands. Right about now, I start hoping that public education prevails, and nobody's house catches fire until at least mid-April. We're still getting relatively nice weather here during the day, but it's dropping into the mid minus 20's at night. I don't think I would have liked polar firefighting even in my younger, tougher days, but a fire chief position in the Bahamas is really appealing now that I'm in my middle-aged, milksopish years.

But Christmas is coming, and what would the holidays be with only palms and pineapples, and no snow covered balsams to cut down for Christmas trees. And when you cut the tree, the snow dumps on your head and slides into your collar and down the back of your neck and melts into your underwear. And when you get home, the Christmas lights on the roof are on the blink and you get to sort them out barehanded, kneeling in the rooftop snow where you can get the full benefit of the Arctic breeze . . . and the Arctic breeze makes you feel so sentimental that tears run down your cheeks and turn into icicles on your chin. And then your pager goes off telling you to get off the roof this instant and spend the next seven hours coating a house (and your bunker gear) in a layer of ice.

Am I a pessimist, or is a Christmas palm tree looking really, really nice right now?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Have a comment? Go for it! It's lonely out here in bloggerland . . .

Search This Blog