The Competition

If you have checked out the location of The Asylum you will note that we live in the north.  No, not Muskoka, which is barely north at all.  We are a comfortable eight or nine hour drive directly north of Toronto.   On the way here there’s a marker which proudly declares that you have entered a new watershed:   Our water runs north, to the arctic.

Being this far north has many advantages.  Less people.  Our town is just over five thousand strong.  More nature.  Bears, foxes, moose…nature.  And in the summer we rarely need air conditioning.  Even if the day is hot, the evenings cool right down for sleeping.

But it gets cold.  -30 Celsius cold (for the one huge nation that does not use simplest form of measurement, that is -22F.  -40C is -40F, and we will hit that more than once during the winter months.  And that is “inside your bones” cold.  “Glad you have wood heat” cold.  “Don’t like to pee outside” cold.  You get it.  Anyway…to my tale of wonder.

Usually my meds knock me out cold, but the other night I did not sleep well.   I had booked a car appointment for 8:30 am, however, so rolled out of bed to greet the day, which happened to be  a “feels like -30” morning

i told you i am nuts.  i’m bipolar and have PTSD from an accident AND have had too many head injuries.  So i have memory and focus problems.  Simply put, i forget.  A lot.   And, by the way, i get pissed when people say, “Yeah.  i have trouble remembering too.”  No…no…no.  It is worse if i am in a hurry, which i definitely was on this fine morning.  i  think i have all my lists done now.  Ah, my lists (things to do before bed…things to do before i leave the house…things to take when i go to town) and so on.  i have lists done for everything now, but did not have such a list on this chilly morning.

so i begin to run around looking for everything i need to go to town because i did other stuff instead of doing lists and organizing the night before.  i was up early, but time was becoming a factor, so i did a quick check and headed out.  Got to the driveway and realized i had left an essential item behind.  The laundry.  And i had already made a trip into town that week for laundry and forgot to take it with me.  i back up the truck and go get the laundry.

confident i am now fine, i begin to relax a bit.  Icy roads and cold temps demand some common sense up here and paying attention to the road in bad weather means not dying in the cold.  Just as i get to Genier (10 minutes), i suddenly become aware of another oversight.  “Why into town today, young friar?”  “Why to get snow tires on my truck,” fine sir.  “And where would those tires be now….you MORON!!!

Back in that high quality storage thing at the house…behind the Argo and god knows what else.  It was a good thing i left early and the roads are better than expected, so i can still do this without having to go on the dreaded phone (more on that another time).  So, i go to the mailboxes, pick up mail and head back to the house.  i do not know what Bella was thinking, with all the commotion and the occasional utterance to the god of the moment

i get to the storage shelter, open the zipper and, yup…there they are.  In the back of the shelter behind the Argo.  And, on the bottom shelf, of course.  I only need to move a small outboard motor out  of the way.  Easier said than done in an enclosed space, but mission accomplished! I figure the gods must be in hysterics by now.

Now here comes the best part.  I have been doing a light run each day.  i run down the road as far as i am able (not far) and then walk back home to cool down slowly.   Good, positive, slow return to breathing without harming my body.  It helps with stress, increases my stamina, and Bella, our dog, is so gloriously happy when we go.

Imagine with me, if you will, dear reader, those strongman competitions.  Now picture me in one of those competitions.  Good, we can move on from there, as John furiously races back and forth from the storage unit to the back of the truck, each time needing to toss the (rimless, thank you lord) tires in the back of my raised-up truck.  One tire, two tires (tossing these)….third tire (breathing like a fish out of water)  and………………….fourth tire (kind of pushing it into the bed over the side of the truck.  Sweat falls profusely down my brow, as i now realize the bed opens in the back.  Fuck you…i hadn’t even had coffee yet.

my chest pains and breathing returned to normal about the time i returned to Genier and the trip into town was largely uneventful.  Let’s just say that was the start to my day.  And that, honestly, the day eventually overwhelmed me later on.  But i laughed as i thought about how ridiculous it all was and hope it brings a smile your way.


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