My Car Has a Snow-Hawk

Steve used his long arms and took control of that snow-hawk! But look at all the snow in my almost-snow tunnel…yeesh. I ALWAYS hit the snowbank while backing out. Oops!

Well hello there. Thanks for stopping by.

I realize the title of this blog is rather unusual, but the thing is, we've been so enormously inundated with snow here in little ole PEI (the most we've had in twenty four years and two more storms on the way) that my mind is a little overrun with issues relating to snow. Let me elaborate.

Today marked a desperate struggle between vanity and the need for coffee. I spent part of the day paying bills (never fun after Christmas, let's be honest here) and, by 2:30 or so, decided I must have coffee. I don't make my own coffee at home because Santa did not bring me an espresso machine (really Santa, what were you thinking?) and I can't stomach the acid that is drip coffee. I am partial to a cup of sugar or, like Jessie Wheeler in the Drifters books, coffee with my chocolate. (A flat white would do but you can't get a good flat white in my small town. My son, the barista par excellence / quality control guy with Elysian Coffee in Vancouver, did not leave his marvellous city this Christmas season to face mountains of snow and a lack of good java on the east coast. So I am coffee-challenged. Alas.).

Soooo…I adorned myself in a black marshmallow jacket, then wrapped a huge velvety red scarf around my neck (tis the season, so I thought a red scarf might be acceptable - after all, this is back country PEI, not a certain hip west coast city that shall remain unnamed), yanked the beige tam I wore as Brenda Hulse in Calendar Girls (Broccoli, anyone?) way down over my ears, and thrust my toes into flowery Bogs (I had a smile a mile wide when I splashed through a deep muddy puddle and my feet stayed dry!). Fashion? Nah! I hoped no one would notice me…it was touch and go, though, when I had to peek upwards at a nearby four way stop. I prayed the drivers vying for the right to cruise through the intersection would not recognize me. 

By now you've figured out that I was walking on my coffee quest, not driving. The truth is, I would have cleaned out my lane way and taken Tribby, my old Mazda Tribute, but I had to decide whether I was in the mood for shovelling for a few hours or…could I convince my guy to dig out the snowblower later while I prepare dinner? (Batting one's eyelashes and smiling sweetly usually helps). Steve has been at work all day and, knowing my guy, he will be antsy to be outside anyways when he arrives home. He is an outdoor guy who loves trudging through sweetly scented fresh snow. So do I, but our snowblower is ancient and blew a few belts this Christmas (I'm not kidding, the snow is insane this year!) so I decided that I would stick to my comfort zone and let him soak up the fresh, crisp outdoors while I fry, lemme see, onions, methinks. Gotta get over this unpleasant cold somehow, and i hear onions and garlic have antibodies that help...

And anyways, Tribby's hairdo is worse than mine. Fingers have been known to wag at me as I duck my head, embarrassed, inside while I slouch over the wheel and avoid glares and stares. The thing is, I can't seem to reach the top of the car to loose all of the snow…so I end up driving a punk car with a snow-hawk. Mohawk snow-hawk, that is. I posted a query on Facebook today about mohawks on cars and I liked the most obvious solution - turn fast on corners - but then one must be so cautious cuz, you know, there might be someone out there walking with their head down so as not to be noticed, an iced mocha in her mittened hand, and Bogs sludging through puddles of melting snow. 

On the plus side, I arrived home happily with my sugar-java in hand, opened up my Margaret Atwood novel (The Blind Assassin) and immediately found a quote I cotton'd on to. "We can't stand the idea of our own voices falling silent finally, like a radio running down." A short time ago someone told me it was pretty cool, all these books I've been writing, the films I've been making. That they would make me immortal, somehow. Well, I'm no Margaret Atwood, but I love the idea of being remembered. Of having something to remember me by. Even if the books are just love stories, and the films just client films. But I will say that I'm still striving for something more. The Healing Place is my own film, a meaningful film that will hopefully help people like my friend Linda and her family. Or Whitney and her family...

This is the thing. Sometimes we don't realize our impact. Or maybe we're embarrassed by it and we want to hide. Maybe we just create what we do because it means something to US.  On Christmas Eve I was in a similar hiding mode. I was sick as a dog, at the beginning stages of this awful cold that assaulted me over the holidays (think I'm on the upswing now, I hope, unless it's all that sugar that is making me feel motivated to write), and I was wandering Sobeys looking for Realemon for my guy. I had two actual lemons in my hands cause I was not finding the Realemon, and I'm sure the expression on my face was one of utter consternation and - yeah, I'll say it - the me-sorrys. Cause who wants to be sick on Christmas Eve when they're about to host a big family dinner? I was feeling pretty low.

However - out of the corner of my eye I could see a lady hesitantly approaching me. I didn't know her, but she was dressed nicely and I felt a little, shall I say, conspicuous? At any rate, she asked me if I was the lady who made films in town. I hesitated because I want to be a REAL FILMMAKER as opposed to a local gal who makes mostly client films. But there are bills to pay and…well, anyways, I finally mumbled a quiet yes, and she got misty-eyed and thanked me for a clip I posted a while ago on FB in honour of her nephew, Josh Grady. Josh was a local barista that my son trained a while ago at Samuel's Coffee House in Summerside, and Josh and I had many great conversations about coffee, music, Christopher, you name it. He even offered me some suggestions for music for my film The Healing Place. I had no idea Josh would be a part of that film one day…nor did he, I'm sure.

Anyways the little clip was so small that I almost didn't post it. I had come across Josh sitting on a bench watching the sunset one stunningly beautiful summer's eve in 2012, while I was shooting clips for a Tourism Summerside video.  I only had a few shots but I edited them together and put a little of my son's song Silence, Bloodhound behind the visuals, and I posted it. I just thought, in the end, that if I had lost my kid (oh fear FEAR FEAR) that I would be grabbing at ANYTHING I COULD FIND that showed him in real life doing his thing. This kind lady thanked me for that. And what was I thinking? Well…you know…if I never get to be the REAL FILMMAKER that I want to be, then maybe God gave me this gift just for the purpose of editing together that tiny, insignificant little clip so an aunt and a MOM (yes, Josh's Mom apparently saw it) could have one last glimpse of their beloved kid reclining on a bench by the waterfront in the sunset, reflecting on the beauty and simplicity of this world.

So does it matter that my car has a snow-hawk? That I've been miserably sick over Christmas? That my son is far away? That I just spent most of the little money I have to keep the predators away for another month or two? That I wandered down Walker Avenue looking very much like nerdy Brenda-broccoli lady? 

Nah. What matters is that I gave a little gift to a family that desperately needed it. And for that, I am so glad. I cannot wait to finish The Healing Place. My thunderbolt hard drive has been ordered and will arrive January 3rd. I will be editing fast and furious with the hopes that I can give Josh Grady's family and Kevin Gallant's family and little baby Neve's family some thoughts about the healing power of nature, based at the International Children's Memorial Place in Freetown. 

I apologize in advance for Tribby's snow-hawk and for my lack of fashion sense this very wintry season. I am not apologizing for my sugar-java addiction.

And I thank God for the life he's given me, and I pray that through my books and films I can continue to help - somehow, even in just the littlest way.