That's my upstairs window - always open a tiny crack for the Xmas lights electric cord....and last night an entry point for the blizzard that swept over this city.
Seeing a blizzard in an urban area is kind of unreal. Buildings and cars and people - fading in and out of vision.
At one point, as I was shoveling snow in our parking area I looked back...and couldn't actually SEE the front door 4 meters away.....
Trains, planes, highways shutdown. Scary stuff.
So I took my 84 year old mother-in-law to the hair salon.
Because stay at home old ladies need high adrenaline excitement....
Wasn't planned that way. Really!
At 2 pm I was on my way home from the city, had been to see an amazing documentary called "Personal Song" (Alive Inside), about the work with iPods and music and the elderly, especially the demented. On YouTube, it is the film and project behind that video of an elderly man coming alive to the sound of jazz.
Great film. I cried my way through it. Hope someone will do this for me. And when Okaasan gets beyond TV watching and understanding - we'll give her big band music, Latin dance music and hula.
Vowed to come home and be nice to Okaasan.
Bought her favorite sushi box set.
Made her a hair appointment at 2 pm...for 4.30 pm.
At 4 pm the blizzard had arrived. Had to clear a way from the front door to the car for Okaasan. She was cutely so kind - kept fretting about the snow falling off my coat onto the car seat. Kept brushing it off for me. As there was about a bucket of snow on the car floor anyway it didn't matter. But she cute - trying to help in some way.
Outside the hair salon a meter high drift. I grabbed Okaasan's hand and steered her along the road to the next possible slope....and delivered her to the salon for a cut and perm. Glad that she likes this salon. One male stylist who seems to have a knack with an old lady.
Showed Okaasan - and the stylist - how to call me on her cell phone for a return lift.
I came home to clean Okaasan's room. Bought some more knickers for her. Threw away trash. Carefully placed eight bags of various shapes and sizes back where she had left them - some stuffed with old newspapers. The bag sorting is her current obsessive job.
Went outside and cleared more snow. Parking area. Street. Occasionally in the whirling storm I glimpsed my neighbors doing their best to fight the elements.
At 6 pm got the phone call from Okaasan.
Took me 25 mins to drive the usual 8 mins to the salon.
By now the snow had buggered up the electrics in the salon door. Okaasan was all ready to take my hand and start the struggle home. Back out to the car, shielding her with my body...
Took another 25 minutes to get home. Trying to find side streets that were clear enough to drive through.
A night of madness.
But it was a shared adversity experience for Okaasan and me. That is probably good, isn't it?!!! We bonded in an extreme situation :-)
Home to dry multiple clothes and shoes. And eat the sushi. It comes from where her father was born, so she told me again and again about her family and their histories.
Her hair looks great. So, that's good.
* A friend asked me recently about: what happened to your plans to put an exercise DVD on Okaasan's TV?
Ah. That. Plans fell by the wayside. Didn't do it. Getting the DVD player, getting the expensive Nishi-guru DVD. Didn't happen. Pre-winter rush, then end of year and xmas preparations, now snow.....
She is getting out twice a week for some kind of physical exercise. That will have to be enough for now.
Could I get her an iPod and put Nishi-guru exercises on that? Yes, I could.
It's a whole series of actions - go to shop, buy Ipod, learn how to use it, find Nishi-guru stuff to put on it, do that, explain to Okaasan etc - that I can't be bothered to do at the moment.
I think another 10 inches of snow has fallen while I've written this posting.