First I would just like to say, "Enough already with the cold!" This morning was slightly better, a balmy -10 and I should be grateful it's warming up but come on! And, what's up, or should I say, down with -17 wind-chill?
Wind-chill is like Canadian tax and airline tickets. You get teased with a base price and then they pile the taxes on. Please...just show the total 'everything' instead of sugar coating it with the lower figure. The weather channel shows you a temperature of -10 and when you go outside you're hit square in the face with -17. The hairs in your nose freeze and break off! We haven't had this kind of consistent cold for years. Where in heck is global warming? I see next week brings some reprieve but man, like Sam McGee, I'm chilled to the bone!
When I was in grade four we were asked to memorize a poem and one by one we got up and recited our choice to the class. Most got up and did a four to eight line stanza so when I stood to narrate “The Cremation of Sam McGee” it was met with a gasp from the teacher. I didn’t do it to show off, have the longest piece or for any other reason other than pure love for the poem. I stumbled over a few lines but all in all, got it out fairly effectively. Some kids were grossed out by the cremation part but that was the appeal for me. I was a morbid little kid, obsessed with death and dead bodies, wanting to grow up to be a mortician or a pathologist (a story for another time) as early as grade two. Anyway, I heard the poem the year before and it resonated with me, sticking in my crop half memorized until the need for the assignment made me take it all the way. Pretty industrious for a wee mite of a girl but for some reason, the words stuck in my head and to this day I can relay the entire poem...sometimes I quietly recite it in lue of counting sheep on those nights when sleep eludes me.
Robert W. Service wrote a lot of poems about the Gold Rush that happened in Alaska and northwestern Canada at the turn of the 19th century. "The Cremation of Sam McGee," however, is probably the most famous of all. It was published in 1907 and was based on the places he saw, the people he met, and the stories he heard while he lived there. Since its publication, the poem has been popular with generations of readers, who love its combination of black humor, adventure, and captivating descriptions of the lives of Yukon prospectors. For those of you who have never read his wonderful poem google and enjoy it! Johnny Cash does a great job reciting it on YouTube.
Back to my hooking and the warmth of the woodstove, my own little crematorium of sorts, that has an insatiable appetite for hardwood which I've been feeding like a bulimic at an all you can eat buffet. It warms my entire house, upstairs and down and is my savior on these bitter days and nights. Now, if only I didn’t need to go out for provisions, doggy business and work, I’d hold up here till spring!