by Julie, wintering in Somerville and dreaming of spring
Last week the power went out in my apartment. There were some inconveniences–I was in the middle of doing laundry, and my bed needed to be made. However, my apartment was warm, and holds on to heat, so comfort wasn’t compromised. My phone was charged with audiobooks at the ready, I had a flashlight handy, and it was late enough in the day that I was winding down.
Today, the water is being shut off to my building from 9am – 2pm so the city can do work. I found out last Wednesday, so plenty of time to store some water, take a shower, and prepare. In both these instances, my first thought was “I would have made a lousy pioneer”. No heat, no lights, no water–I can deal with them for a bit, knowing they’ll be back. But traveling in unknown parts, not knowing when the next time I’ll have any of them? No thank you. (Needless to say, I’m not a camper, but that’s another post.)
Now, where did that thought even come from? It’s not as though I’d been thinking about pioneers or covered wagons. Why did my imagination go there right away? From my mid-winter musings, that’s where.
This is the time of year when the days are getting longer, and a titch warmer, but there’s still a long way to go. I’m cold, and tired, and a bit cranky. And my mind wanders about, like a toddler prodding a bruise affirming that it still hurts. Lights out? Water cut off? Prod, probe. What must it have been like to be a pioneer? Would I have been any good at it? Answers–difficult, and no.
Other musings of late?
- I love charming books and television shows, but find them in short supply these days. People don’t fully commit to the charm–they feel the need to mix in dark, or a bit of horror, and that doesn’t work. Or the charm moves into stupid, which also doesn’t work. Charm, true charm, is underrated.
- I saw a thread on social media that celebrated the character actors of yore, and bemoaned their absence today. More accurately, the actors who looked like ten miles of a bad road, and wore it proudly. You could tell they smoked, drank, and ate terrible foods, and used all of that to fuel their work. Think about the older reporters (Martin Balsam, Jack Warden, Jason Robards) in All the Presidents Men or Shelly Winters in the Poseidon Adventure. How about William Conrad in Cannon? With our obsession about youth, fitness and beauty, what’s happened to the place for those character actors? Please note–in England, they’re alive and well. This feels like more of US issue.
- I’ve always wanted to learn how to crack a safe and pick a lock. Even before I could use “but I’m a mystery writer” as an excuse. (That excuse is wicked handy in all sorts of situations, trust me.) Do other people harbor the same desire? Where does that even come from? My sisters have no such interest. On further musings, I’ve decided to learn how to at least pick a lock. Seems handy to know.
- I find myself looking at an actor, or person in the news, figuring out their age, and if it’s around mine asking myself do I look better than them? What’s my age, you may ask. Heartthrobs of my youth are now playing the grandfather in bad movies years old.
Readers, do you have odd mid-winter musings? Let’s commiserate in the comments.