Bundled Up, Baby

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email

I hope you don’t mind, my friends, but I’m feeling a bit angsty today. If you asked Hubby he might say I’m a bit bitchy too. If you’ll excuse the profanity. Maybe even a teensy bit complain-y. Funny, but yesterday once I was bundled up to head out to the ski trail, cursing my neck warmer and my two layers of gloves, and taking ten extra minutes to get everything zipped and tucked, I asked Hubby out of the blue if I was hard to live with. He looked surprised and said I wasn’t hard to live with at all. “Right answer,” I said and laughed. But I wonder if that’s the answer he’d give today. Ha.

I was going to write about something else completely, you know, but when I sat down at the computer today, this just came spilling out. So please bear with me while I write myself into a better mood.

One of the things I hate most about winter is the sheer number of layers we have to wear to stay warm. Bundling definitely makes me bitchy. There I said it again.

I remember as a kid being so bundled up in my ski pants and heavy winter jacket, scarf tied by mum behind my head and over my hood, which was pulled up over my hat, that my legs would hardly bend, and turning my head was impossible. That made tobogganing particularly difficult. Especially on our old wooden toboggan. The person in front would stick their legs into the curled front of the toboggan, and the next person would put their feet in the first person’s lap and so on, until everyone was loaded. Loaded and overlapping. Ha.

If we weren’t actually on the precipice of the hill everyone would push with their hands hoping that we could take off without anyone having to unwind their legs from the person in front. Then, if we tipped over halfway down, we’d lie there in a tangle for a few minutes until one of us began the process of extrication. Rolling away, staggering to our feet, hats pulled sideways so we couldn’t see. A couple of us clearly finding that just lying there was the easiest thing to do. Sheesh. I’m tired just writing about it. I guess that’s why we all cheered when the snow turned crusty and we could slide on old pieces of cardboard boxes. So much easier, and way more fun.

My grandfather Sullivan with my bundled up brother. Winter 1948

And it’s not only kids who hate wearing so many layers. Sometimes even now, I hate being bundled up. Sometimes so bundled up I can barely turn my head when I’m driving.

I recall with a shudder all those years of commuting to work in the winter. The commute was always much longer once the snow came. And after a big storm, morning traffic would be backed up for miles, and at very busy intersections I’d sit through green light after green light. Bundled to the eyeballs in a heavy coat and a tightly wound scarf. The defrost on full blast to keep the windshield of my little car clear. And after a few minutes, the top half of me would begin to sweat, while my feet froze.

One day I had the bright idea that I would open my thermos of tea and have a nice cuppa while I sat in traffic. Might as well make the best of it, I thought. Oh… bad idea. Half an hour later I was not much further down the road, not daring to pull out of the line of traffic for fear of never getting back in again, and wondering if I could shift and operate the pedals of my standard-transmission car with my legs crossed. Ha.

Just the other day I mentioned to Hubby how January always makes me think of the first winter we were dating. And not for any romantic reason. That winter we had a ton of snow; the snowplows could barely keep the streets clear. Let alone the sidewalks. I shared a house with friends downtown and had two teaching jobs. I taught English during the day, and Chemistry two nights a week.

My day job was in the far west end. Oh god… I recall with such clarity struggling through the snow to the bus stop that winter. In my burgundy leather boots (the same ones I’d fed the cows in the year before) and my long coat, muffled to the ears in scarves, and with a dreaded hat squashing my hair. My boots might have looked fabulous, but they were not warm. I lugged my lunch, and two days a week my supper, in a canvas bag, and used Hubby’s old leather briefcase for my books and papers. I cursed that Chemistry course every morning. That frigging textbook weighed a ton. It took me three buses and two hours to get to my day job at the Adult High School. Luckily I didn’t start teaching until 11:45.

I still remember arriving at school all disheveled. Mascara running, hair either flat as a pancake or sticking up in all the wrong places. I’d try to repair the damage in the bathroom mirror before class, and vow not to bother with my make-up or hair the next day as it seemed of little use. How I envied people who could stay all pristine in their nice warm cars and not have to stagger to the bus stop through three-foot snow banks. Or wait for the second bus on the windiest corner in Ottawa. I’d have been happy to sit in traffic gridlock that winter if it meant I was out of the elements.

Gad. I’m happy I’m retired. All that palaver, just to get to work in the winter. Now I can have my second or my third cup of tea before I even have to think about getting dressed. It’s amazing how recalling annoying situations of the past makes one so much more sanguine about the present. I mean, if there’s any time of year for a stay at home order it might as well be winter. Right?

I think that stay at home order is what is getting up my nose today. Not that I disagree with it. I don’t. But I’m suffering from a bout of COVID fatigue. Partly because of the timeline just published by the Ontario government which says that people like Hubby and me may not be vaccinated until August. We are way down on the priority list. I don’t disagree with the priority list. Not at all. And I don’t mind being way down that list. I know there is currently a shortage of vaccine. Yep, I know that. I know all of that. It’s just the thought of eight more months of staying home. And self-isolation and masks being de rigueur for a long time yet. Especially since the herd immunity thing won’t kick in until most of the general population has been vaccinated. Sigh.

And I woke up this morning so over the whole thing. So bored with staying at home that it made my toes curl. I’m serious. I wanted to spin in frenzied circles like the Looney Tunes version of the Tasmanian devil and shout all manner of profanities at no one in particular. And instead I settled with being bitchy. Much good that it did.

Then I sat at the computer and started to write about other things that bug me. Like wearing so many clothes that I couldn’t turn my head to see the stupid bus coming. And dragging bags of marking and enormous textbooks through snowbanks. Or being so bundled up that I couldn’t get up off the ground when the toboggan tipped over. So I just lay there and hoped that I would be magically transported home where supper would be waiting. My favorite. Hotdogs. A kid can dream, can’t she?

So, I never could magic up those hotdogs when I was a kid, but I always magically feel better when I write about my angst. And, today, once I felt better, I thought about those of you who live in the States. And how you might be feeling today. Maybe, possibly, despite all the COVID stuff, slightly hopeful? And how good that must feel.

In a comment on my last post, Deanne mentioned that she has a dress similar to my new grey one and that she might haul it out of the closet to wear during the inauguration. And I thought what a wonderful idea. Dress up. Cheer. Feel good for a change.

And I decided that I’d dress up to keep her company. Because even if it’s not really my place to celebrate, I wanted to show my support to those of you who might feel like celebrating.

bundled up in my Holt Renfrew coat and my hat from Oddacity Designs in Bear River, N.S.
My inauguration outfit. Hat from Oddacity Designs, Bear River, N.S.

So when Hubby came home from skiing and asked what I was doing, and I said I was getting my inauguration outfit ready, he laughed out loud. When he left I was cranky and bitchy, and when he came home I was all dolled up. The power of writing… capped off with getting dressed up. Can’t beat that for cheering one up.

This is me in my celebratory outfit. I don’t have a flag to wave, so I settled for just waving.

Coat and scarf from Holt Renfrew, Prada boots. dress from Aritzia, hat from Oddacity in Bear River, Nova Scotia.
Waving to the motorcade.

Anyway. That’s my tale of woe for today. My angst is gone. It came, it snarled a bit, it went away. Driven by my flying fingers on the keyboard, and by a fabulous coat and hat which I haven’t worn nearly enough. And those old suede Prada boots. And my new Aritzia dress.

I’m bundled up, baby. But I’m happy. Maybe even a little celebratory. And I guess I know what to do next time I feel angsty.

Anything on your mind today, folks? Anything?

Email delivery

Would you like to have new stories automatically delivered to your inbox? When a new story appears on the website, we’ll send the story right to your inbox. 

* indicates required

Email delivery

Would you like to have new stories automatically delivered to your inbox? When a new story appears on the website, we’ll send the story right to your inbox. 

* indicates required

From the archives

fashion

Dressing Like a Grown-Up.

I love to look at clothes, even if they’re clothes I can’t afford to buy, …

fashion

Spring Jackets and Muddy Boots

Spring is in the air this week. The river is partially open. And I am digging my spring jackets and coats out of the closet.

life

What I Miss from the Before Time.

What do you miss from life before Covid-19, before the stay at home orders? If I’m honest, what I miss most from that “before time” are the small things.

85 thoughts on “Bundled Up, Baby”

  1. Funny how that writing works, isn’t it? Sometimes through my blog, sometimes just for myself in a version of Morning Pages (sporadic morning pages, I’ll quickly admit) . . .
    Reminds me of how important it was when my kids were growing up to let them express their feelings before trying to help them find a solution or, worse, trying to reason those feelings away as unacceptable. We need to give our feelings voice first, I think, but often if we get a chance to speak or write them, we can sort our way through surprisingly easily. So much better than if someone else tells us that it could be so much worse, that we need to get some perspective, that at least we. . . fill in the blanks.
    I love your coat! and I so relate to that urge to enjoy that thermos of tea enroute. . . and that other, um, urge. the increasingly urgent one.
    Also, just beginning to accept the reality that it will still be many months before we can travel to see our g’daughter (and her mamma and papa). . . Not so easy. Ah well, at least we . . . . (“know how to do this now,” is the way I’d fill in this blank).
    xo

    1. I love that old coat too. It’s better for walking around in than wearing in and out of the car though. Just checked out your 2020 shopping round-up post. You did extremely well. 🙂

  2. Your coat and scarf are perfection! Over the years I have thought about buying a long coat, but haven’t taken the leap yet. You make me want to look for one again.

  3. I am so over getting dressed to go out for a walk and a couple of months to go but the dog has to be walked, which really is a good thing for my mood because it does help with the bitchies. I was so fed up with the staying home stuff until yesterday when I talked to a few friends and found out how many in this small town have covid because of get to-gethers and holiday parties. Made me feel better and smarter, lol We will get through this and get our vaccines. Life will get better

  4. Counting the minutes until the Inauguration at noon tomorrow! Thank you for dressing up in a kind show of bespoke solidarity. You inspired me to get decked out in my new cashmere sweater tunic and cashmere joggers for the event tomorrow, no matter if it is for merely standing in respect in front of the TV in my living room for the historical moment. In Tennessee, the over 65’s are slated to begin COVID vaccinations next month. Fingers crossed for peace and good health in 2021 for all of us!

  5. Angsty. Bitchy. Complain-y. Ha! Those all sound pretty normal to me! Especially these days. And especially the past two weeks south of your border, and especially in these last hours leading up to the inauguration (that I never thought of dressing up for). I mean – how many ways can you express ANXIETY? (Oh yeah. Maybe it was those 3000 calorie days I had all last week?? Not this week though. This week I am so filled with anxiety that I can’t eat. Go figure.)

    On the subject of being bundled up, some of your words made me chuckle. Given my New England upbringing, followed by a number of years when I remained in the region (and had to dig ice and snow off my car in order to commute to work) – well, let’s just say – I reached a point in my 30s when I just couldn’t take it anymore and that’s when I flew south. I am no longer as far south as I once was – I do indeed go through a real winter now – but nothing so wretched as in New England, which was never anything like where you live!

    I don’t know how you do it. (Chapeaux)

    Now I’m wondering if I should dress tomorrow to perk up my spirits and fight the anxiety that I know will persist for another few days. (Longer?) Of course, 10 months of indoor existence (Covid captivity) has resulted in this: “I don’t have a thing to wear.” (Sigh). But maybe I’ll put on some fun earrings!

  6. Indeed thank you for your Inaugural solidarity. I’m going to be very relieved if we get through the day without disaster; lots of foreboding on my part. My husband got his first vaccination today; I think its a bigger deal for me than for him.

    And yes, so over the dressing for the cold (which you would probably think was just a pleasant spring day!).

    ceci

  7. Thank you for sharing our joy,and being patient with your troubled neighbor.We have nowhere to go but up,right?We will rejoin the civilized world tomorrow!

  8. I do appreciate your inaugural solidarity. I will not relax until tomorrow night, after our new President is sworn in. I so look forward to turning the corner on Corona virus and the last four years of divisiveness in the US. Hopefully better days are ahead. It was lovely of you to share your method of coping with the occasional Corona virus grumpiness that we all feel.

  9. Antsy about tomorrow but looking forward (hopefully) to at LEAST 4 years of headlines that don’t make me want to just go back to bed, pull the covers over my head, and stay there forever. Or that don’t leave me stewing in outrage. Tired of COVID, oh so very much, like all of you. Of winter (here it is just rain, rain, rain). Vaccinations were due to start 23 January here in Oregon, but the vaccines were just “not there” as promised. So, waiting, although my husband (a scientist who works with COVID) gets his tomorrow. I’m next (who knows when, but hopefully soon). It is, quite honestly, good to read a blog where the author actually talks about feelings like a NORMAL person, negative as well as postiive, so thanks for that. And thanks to the authors of the comments–reading this blog makes me feel so much less alone.

  10. Thanks for your post.
    For me the new year starts tomorrow at 9 am Pacific Standard Time as I watch our inaugural of a good and smart man as President who will lead our country with a good and smart Vice President into the next 4 years.
    Will drink a little champagne and look forward to my country’s future with hope!

  11. Loved this post! It captured many of my own current feelings of claustrophobia and sadness, frustration and anxiety, but also optimism. I love your inauguration outfit and also your memories of winter tobogganing when you were a child.

    I am retired and currently live in the Netherlands but lived in Quebec, Ontario and Newfoundland. I have also experienced the bitter winters, toboggan pileups and lamented my poor clothing choices at bus tops. The Dutch have a phrase “there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing choices” so I purchased a warm knee length coat that is wind proof, rainproof, has built in reflectors for walking and cycling and even a detector if you fall in the canal.

  12. I love the old photo . I wore a little ‘siren suit’ like his as a tiny girl . I think the name came from those that Churchill wore in WW2 . I’ve lots of winter memories like yours . We didn’t have an inside toilet so there was a trek across the yard in the snow with a little heap of snow to clear from the door .So you set off torch & shovel in hand ! You knew not to the slam outside doors of the house or the snow on the roof could be a little avalanche . The pretty ice patterns on the inside of the windows were a very small compensation . Later standing in deep snow waiting for a bus that was always late – awful .
    And I know your up & down feelings well too . I had a little bubble of happiness – there was a vaccine – those clever scientists. Our beaten down National Health Sevice is excelling itself again & rising to the challenge of vaccinating us all . The new vaccine cetres are rattling the over 80s through with pics of lots of beaming oldies having needles stuck in their arms . We’d turned a real corner . Our turn soon , only a couple of weeks away . The end is in sight . Then I bumped down again . Masks & distancing will still be needed for months to prevent spread . Our death numbers yesterday were the worst ever on one day . Our politicians have done too little , too late over & over again . Boris Johnson is not going anywhere soon & Brexit , oh dear .
    But I’m very happy for the US . Happy for all the good people we have met on our travels there & their travels here . They didn’t deserve that dreadful man . I hope today goes well . Yours is the best news in the world today .

    1. I love that photo of my grandfather and brother. Love seeing my grandfather so big and hale and hearty. And my brother so tiny by comparison. I’m glad that you and Max will get the vaccine soon. xo

  13. Oh yes. The online calculator says the same for me and, while I am more than happy to wait my turn, there are days when it seems very far away. Not helped, might I add, by reports on the news of the already-vaccinated telling us of their plans to go on holiday as soon as possible. There is a case for reticence. And they don’t seem to have realised that nobody is going anywhere soon. Being Covid-weary is perfectly acceptable; Mr Green had the temerity to comment on my language yesterday so I simply told him I was going to get myself another cup of f&*%ing coffee, thanks. Re: bundling. Everything you said.

    1. Oh no… let’s hope that those lucky enough to be vaccinated don’t upset the apple cart by being silly. I did hear that they do not know yet if vaccination prevents one passing on the virus. I’m with you on that coffee adjective. Ha.

  14. Love your inauguration outfit!
    Looking forward to today’s event,thinking about US readers (and writers)
    I’ve forgotten about all the bundling during our childhood-winters were more serious than today,with a lot of snow- but,what a joy,playing in the snow,sledging…how we’ve dealt with urgent situations? Can’t remember!
    Less joy was later to move through 40-50 cm of new snow for 7 km to the work when buses and trams (and my car as well) couldn’t drive.
    Dottoressa

    1. I remember your telling me of your walking “commute” to the hospital in the winter. And I was complaining about waiting for a couple of buses.

  15. Oh boy, can I relate to the “bitchy” feelings. Ugh, it’s the monotony that just gets to me sometimes. I mean, one can only be so thrilled to go grocery shopping, lol. Anyway, I love your inauguration outfit! I plan to accessorize my jeans and sweater with pearls and converse in honor of Kamala (got the idea from a New York Times article). I’m so anxious/excited that I can’t sleep. Hoping/praying that all goes well. A little over 6 1/2 hours to go!

  16. I had to laugh at your description of getting to work in the winter. I teach in Tennessee and usually when the first flake flies…we get a snow day!!!! We build 13 days into our calendar by adding 30 minutes to each school day and that is usually more than enough. I must admit I love the winter weather! I’m sorry about your wait time for the vaccine. Teachers are scheduled to get theirs in the next phase here, but not sure when that will be. I have been in person with my masked little ones(kindergarten) since August and we have made it work. I am so looking forward to today and just hope America’s reputation as a force for good can be reestablished! Love your outfit-so fun!!!

  17. Great post sue!

    Thanks for the inaugural solidarity and your outfit is perfection! I’m wearing suffragette white- and have waited four long long years for this day!

  18. Thank you for putting your feelings into words, helped me both from a solidarity point and to examine my own. Great idea – I’m dressing up for the inauguration as well!

  19. Ah dressing in winter. I still recall the red wool coat and the green wool snow suit. Bother we’re chambers of itchy scratchy! Sooo happy when I outgrew them! When living in Alberta, I actually wept in someone’s entryway having to face putting on enough clothing so as to avoid frostbite…that winter went from septa May as I recall…

  20. Good morning from MN! It is sunny here, which is so needed after many days of cloudy and snowy. We had 2 inches of snow yesterday and a brisk wind so bundled up and yes, I hate how it takes me 10 more minutes to get dressed in the winter. We are headed up north of Duluth to hang out by the big lake for a few days. We take our food or order take away and hope to snow shoe. Lots of clothes packed. Yes, I understand your feelings and we are now looking at cancelling our Ireland trip in September. We hope to go to wine country in CA in July for hubby’s birthday. My 87 year old dad will get the vaccine next week, my 80 year old mom has not heard. Praying the new president will get things rolling. Thank you for sharing and your thoughts to us in the states. I just read Hannah’s Dream and really good. I didn’t think I would like a book about an elephant so much.

  21. Oh, it did my Covid-weary heart good to read this and all the comments from like-minded observers of our US politics. I spent all of yesterday listening to raging Santa Ana winds, gathering the precious and the necessary items that might be needed if we had to flee, stepping outside only long enough to sniff for any hint of smoke that might indicate a nearby conflagration. That’s our version of taxing and “bitchifying” weather, I guess. Last week we had to use the AC. I’m not boasting; it’s tragic, because at this time of year we should be using our umbrellas and complaining about driving in a deluge.
    I love the idea of dressing up for the inauguration!! Thank you!

      1. Thank you, Sue! Looks as though we may have dodged that bullet this round! Always a relief when those winds die down!❤🇺🇸🍾

  22. Thanks for your post that triggered memories of growing up in the cold Upper Midwest! I also remember the necessary bundling up and today as we begin a new chapter in the United States, I will choose to remember the sheer joy of having a near by sledding hill, a mom who sent us out in the fresh air for the day, always an assortment of neighborhood kids to play with, and a sturdy piece of cardboard that would last the entire afternoon! What fun and what freedom. From the runny nose to the “apple cheeks” to the frozen woolen mittens. And a whole afternoon to celebrate fresh air and cold and the joy of having fun with friends. Today I will recapture that joy as I and my friends watch our new President being sworn in – how fitting that it takes place in January – a month to remember old traditions and look forward to new beginnings!

  23. Hello, I’ve been reading and enjoying your blog for quite some time but have never commented. So, today is the day I say thank you for your well thought out and written posts.
    We’ve had a relatively mild winter here (I’m near Montreal) so far so not too much bundling up required although hats, which I hate, are a must. What I remember most about childhood winters are high snow banks and those rubber boots we wore over our shoes that always managed to fill up with snow as we climbed over those snowbanks.

  24. Thank you and your readers for the kind solidarity, and for dressing up in support. Praying for safety and hoping for a return to thinking rather than reacting. And for rain in wine country.

  25. Cynthia Blaylock

    Not interested in celebrating this inauguration. My flag is flying in the distress position today. Each to his own.

  26. It would seem that I am not alone in my periods of bitching of late. You are such a wonderful story teller, and I look forward to each time you connect with us. All the stories of trudging through the snow banks reminded me of my mile long treck to school with the dreaded snow pants and snow boots that were never warm enough. At a later age I had a full length winter coat as well and at that time found the bottom was always getting slush on the bottom, or catching in the door of the car. Oh the joys of a cold Canadian winter. The cold clear crisp walks of late however are a bit of a lifesaver on those days of frustration.
    I have just watched the new president give his eloquent speach and am hoping for a much better beginning for our neighbours to the south. Fingers crossed.

  27. i think its the worlds day to celebrate. trump has had an impact all around the world and has dragged political discourse much further into the gutter in many countries including australia, where we have a mini trump as prime minister.
    i am so sorry for your frustration. melbourne had a very hard lock down for a few weeks but we now have had barely any cases for weeks and no deaths for months. our federal government wanted to open up everything too quickly but our state premiers were much tougher and it has paid off. apart from having to wear a mask at shopping centres and supermarkets we now have virtually no restrictions. our economy is almost back to normal too. there is light at the end of your tunnel but sometimes it good to just have a wallow in it and not feel you have to feel up. i love your outfit. i got up at 3am to watch the inauguration live.. and i am so looking forward to paying little or no attention to US politics again!

  28. Oh my! You must have read my thoughts. The past few days my sense of boredom and frustration have been growing out of control. Like you, I agree with the restrictions here in Alberta and I understand the delay in getting the vaccine out to the general public, but in my heart I’ve been rebelling anyway. I want to write, but can’t seem to think of anything worth writing about. Perhaps that’s what I really need to write about! Maybe it would help.

    I love your inauguration outfit, especially the hat! I just listened to Amanda Gorman recite her inauguration poem. Now that’s something to be cheerful about. Wow!

  29. Wearing my pearls and still smiling after what was a wonderful inauguration ceremony this morning. I wept when Kamala took her oath – such an historic moment! Thank you for joining in our celebration – I sincerely hope we’ll go back to being good neighbors to you.
    One of the biggest things I remember from our two years in Salem, MA, was this California girl discovering just how much of a pain it was to go out during the winter. One time, there was a blizzard in the forecast, and I thought I’d timed things properly to go out and stock up: bookstore, liquor store, grocery store, and then my previously scheduled mani/pedi. Well, the storm came in early, and every stop along the way became a slog of doing the errand and coming back to clear off the car. On the plus side, I didn’t have to worry about any of the food in the trunk of my car during my manicure!

  30. Thank you for celebrating our inauguration! I was weepy several times during the event, and boy, do I love the poet Amanda Gorman.
    I am so happy to be retired and not having to slog to work at 7 in the morning. I can just sit and look out the window with my hot beverage and listen to the plows scrape their way past my house.
    My worst snowstorm/school moment happened the winter of my last year of teaching. I must first disclose that I worked in each school one day a week and I shared a room with another teacher. That resulted in me usually leaving school later than all of the other staff. I needed to have the room cleaned up of all the art projects and materials so the music teacher could set up the room for her classes the next day. That snowy day we had an announcement from the office that we should leave right away because the snow was piling up quickly. My thought was, “fat chance,” because we had been painting that day.
    Sure enough when I left there was nearly a foot of heavy wet snow hiding my car. To make matters worse, as I was cleaning of the windshield I somehow managed to break the wiper on the driver’s side. Checking the time, I had five minutes to make it to the garage one block away. I took off, going the long way around to avoid the steep hill but I had to pull over and clean off the windshield three times before I got to the garage. The owner had just closed the door and was locking up when I arrived in a panic. But of course, he took pity on me and sold me and installed a new wiper. Needless to say, I was too frazzled to cook that night and even considered a stiff libation. Instead I went to bed early and dreamed about looking out the window with a hot beverage watching the snowplows scrape the road first thing in the morning. Carol in VT

    1. I have not heard her recitation yet. I have taped part of the ceremony so will listen tonight. Love your story. A wonky windshield wiper and even worse a broken one is the pits in winter driving.

  31. Well sometimes (and only sometimes) I envy you people in the north. I live in San Diego and I would love to see some winter weather. Last week it was 95 degrees here which is much too hot for the middle of winter. Thank you for dressing up for our inauguration, I thought that was really cute. I also am tired of covid but at least we can get outside most every day of the year and exercise and garden which helps with the clostophobia of covid. I so look forward to your blogs, it makes me realize I’m not in this covid boat alone.

  32. Love your post! I am feeling so relieved today. During the inauguration I just bawled – it was as if the floodgates opened. Such hopeful truthful words spoken by our new President and our National Poet. Thank you for your support.

  33. Sometimes we all just need a good old moan, Sue! You can certainly moan to us. Your inauguration outfit looks chic AND warm- quite a feat! I’m very touched it’s important to you. I don’t realize how much our northern neighbors have to put up with the good and the bad from us spoiled-brat siblings further south. Our nation often seems to me like an oversized child, making too much noise and breaking things. I admire everything I know about your calm, considerate citizens. Thanks for the Canuck point of view, sweater!🥰

  34. Kenzie McConnel

    Greetings from sunny New Zealand – sorry!
    I am new to your blog and have to say your comments resonate. We too have been locked down (twice) and still have a heavily controlled border. Although many businesses have suffered badly our death rate has been low with only 25 deaths in total and they were all elderly people from rest homes. Hopefully they will start vaccinating people soon but there is a bit of wait and see attitude from the government so if may not happen until March or April. Hopefully our borders will keep us safe until then.
    I have had a double whammy as well having sustained a back injury last March which resulted in a triple spinal fusion in July. So not only at home but also in bed!!
    Your descriptions of bundling up to go outside had me chuckling. I am Scottish and was there for one of the worst winters in 100 years. No snow days at school back then so it was on with everything possible and the trudge to school. There was a little humped bridge on the way and you had to use the parapet to haul yourself up one side then a slide down the other. The boilers couldn’t cope so we sat in class with coats, hats and scarves on. My writing wasn’t very good st the best of times but the shivering made it indecipherable! You brought back memories of tobogganing with friends where half a dozen would pile on and go hurtling down the hill and one time shooting across a frozen stream. At the end of the day we would end up in a friend’s house thawing and drying our feet in the lowest temperature oven of the old Aga. Thanks for bringing back those memories.
    Hopefully spring comes sooner rather than later for you and this dreaded virus disappears.

    1. Sorry to hear about your back, Kenzie. I know a little about bad backs. But thankfully not during lock-down. Love the image of you scrambling up and over that humped bridge. 🙂

  35. During the initial press conference tonight following President Biden’s Inauguration, it was announced the first phone call he scheduled with a foreign leader is this Friday with your President Trudeau! Off to a great start, as your country is a valued ally. Let’s hope we all feel less moody soon… springtime and vaccinations are perfect cures! In the meantime, we’re all here for you, Sue, and each other. Your blog is like a little version of the United Nations, with all of us readers scattered about the world. Thank you for sharing!

    1. I heard that about the call to our PM too. What a change from four years ago. I think we were ignored for quite some time, if I recall correctly. When it’s always been tradition for our PM to be the first contact. Love your comment about the United Nations. 🙂

  36. Sometimes I wish that all the other Bloggers writing about dressing for “winter” should be forced to read this Blog….then they might realize how annoying it is to see barefoot/ankles, shoes (no boots), no coat, and no snow anywhere in sight and they have the nerve to say their Blog is about dressing for Winter…. Sheesh…..this is the stuff that gets me b!tchy. It is hard enough to do Winter and not get cabin fever but add a COVID lockdown and it seems to get under everyone’s skin….especially since the first lockdown back in Feb, March,April 2020 did not work well enough.
    On a more cheerful note you look great and I want your scarf…but since you did not buy much this past year I am betting it is not currently available anywhere

    1. I hear you. I always laugh about the press shots of people in winter coats and shoes with no socks. Ha. Not on my feet! Sadly that scarf is one of two I bought at Holt Renfrew back in the early 2000s. So it’s at least fifteen years old.

  37. I hear you Sue. As a kid in Ottawa, we bundled up to the point of immobility every day. My mother also made us wear plastic bread bags on our feet in case the rubber boots leaked. Your outfit looks so much nicer!

  38. I don’t mind the cold: I’m a firm believer in the Scandinavian concept that there isn’t bad weather – there’s only bad clothing for the weather! Or at least I think that’s the idea. I have layers of long underwear, puffy jackets and good pants, hats and buffs, warm mitts, and lots of cold snow wax for my daily skiing. I’m happy that there’s snow and that the grooming at my ski club has been allowed to continue during the pandemic. I know this is vain, but I like that one can be a kick-ass skier AND look good at the same time: I think fashion can be for both daily wear AND sports! (I know, I know…this is so very vain! And Sue and I had a misunderstanding about this once when she thought I was being in jest about nice workout clothes – I jest not when it comes to workout fashions!)

    So it’s not the cold that’s got me down these days. Or nordic skiing fashion.

    I am weary for my kids. And my students. Children are making an enormous sacrifice because of the lock-down. My kids’ hockey is likely cancelled for the season; even their nordic ski teams won’t be able to run practices. They are stuck at home without parental guidance all day during remote learning because my husband and I are both teachers. And, of course, my son is learning challenged, and we have been contacted by his teachers that he’s not doing his work. No surprize there.

    My kids don’t have any friends over nor do they go to anyone’s house. Parents are so careful in my neighbourhood that no-one allows their children to gather for sledding, to play road hockey, or meet to play at the park. No-one talks or shows their face during my son’s entire remote school day. Many subjects are a complete joke to attempt on-line: dance? phys ed? drama, when no-one talks? So, their world is lonely and boring. And not looking very hopeful in the near future.

    My own students rarely show their faces or talk, and we can’t compel them to do this. Several have emailed me to say they aren’t doing well.

    Adults have much better coping skills, and we can manage through this pandemic. As we start to realize that we are barely 1 year into this pandemic, with another year or year and a half to go…..we have adjusted. I think many people have accepted that a social life won’t happen until people can meet up outdoors again. We know stores might be closed until the spring. We are resilient and we can handle this. But I feel so terribly sad for my children and my students.

    And then I despise myself for feeling sick of making sacrifices ‘for others,’ because what this pandemic has shown is that society is much more intertwined than we realize.

    So that’s what’s got me down today.

    But now I got it all out, and I won’t burden my family. I’ll take the kids for a ski and we’ll laugh at Mother Nature’s feeble attempt to freeze our blood under our warm puffy jackets. And then sometime after dinner I’ll be lying on the couch with a layer of Siamese cats on me and I’ll try not to think too much.

    1. I am slowly changing my mind now that working out outside is the only time I get out of the house. But I still feel bad about sweating in good clothes. 🙂
      P.S. I hear layers of cats can be very healing. Hang in there my friend. xo 🙂

  39. Hi Sue
    I check my email each day hoping for a post from you. I love your blog and reader comments.
    I live in Atlanta, which is as far north as I’ve ever lived but I think about Ralphie in A Christmas Story when you talk about bundling up and you have my sympathy.
    A large group of us here wore pearls for the inauguration in honor of our new Vice President. I would call my look Pajamas and Pearls. I laugh/cried my way through it and sang along at the top of my voice. I saluted the troops and the flag and felt the best I’ve felt in a year.
    Thanks for your thought provoking words. I ordered Thursday Murder Club the day you wrote about it and read it the day it arrived. Quite a treat for a retired educator.

    1. That’s such a nice thing to say, Judy. I was surprised that I was choked up at times during the ceremony. Especially at Dr. Jill holding the bible for her husband’s swearing in. I can’t believe she wasn’t in tears.

  40. Oh my gosh, what an entertaining post! It conjured up so many memories of that dreaded feeling of being bundled, but fun to read when I’m sitting comfortably in my recliner without layers upon layers! You nailed it in all the right ways and I laughed out loud. A good thing.
    And I was of course amazed that you mentioned my plan to get dressed up for the inauguration and had decided to follow suit (no pun there!). It was pretty cold here that day so I decided against the dress and settled instead for my Eileen Fisher navy wool pants and a navy cashmere cardigan, basic ivory crewneck sweater underneath. Interesting long necklace and earrings. It felt great to be dressed up as I’ve been lately!
    Thank you thank you for writing, I sometimes don’t get around to reading your posts “the day of,” but always catch up eventually.
    On to today’s post!

Comments are closed.