Not ready to be old yet

I was thinking about the concept of aging. It’s subtle; tends to sneak up on us and if it weren’t for mirrors, most of us would take little notice of our changing bodies.
But some days, Mother Nature, with her wicked side, likes to shout it out. “You’re old,” she says, her voice with a cruel attitude, like she got up on the wrong side of the bed and wants to ruin someone’s day before her morning coffee.
Today was one of those days for me.
Mother Nature dropped a whole bunch of very wet heavy snow on us here in the Annapolis Valley last night (Nov. 20 when I am writing this). The snow messed with power lines and the power went off because Nova Scotia Power seems to enjoy going off on a regular basis or maybe it just seems that way.
The power went out while I was happily watching a suspenseful movie and I had to try to sleep without knowing the answer. I thought of pulling on my snow clothes over my pajamas so I could start my generator at 11 p.m. but that didn’t seem like a wise idea, so I gave up and eventually fell asleep, silently praying the power would be back on before I woke up.
It wasn’t.
That meant a couple of things. Get my shovel ready and dig my way to my car, to get it moved before my laneway-clearing guy comes along. Alas, the snow was more water than snow so it was “dang” heavy. My shoulders started to hurt and my wrists were really whining.
I moved my car out of the way as best I could.
Next stop, the generator. I shovelled a path to the generator under my deck. I tossed my hat and jacket before I was done that bit of shovelling. I pulled the generator out from its hiding place, turned it “on” and adjusted the choke, and began pulling the cord.
I pulled and pulled and pulled some more and though it seemed like I pulled it 300 times, I think it may have very well been only 20 times but my generator stayed in its dormant, not running, asleep position.
I wanted to swear. I didn’t. I wanted to kick something. I didn’t. Then I wanted to whine. I didn’t–until my friendly neighbour with the snow-blower on his tractor came to move the snow out of my driveway.
“May I borrow your arm?” I asked, my voice sounding defeated and I’m never any good at asking for help. He grinned and knew what Mother Nature had done.
“Feeling old today?” he replied. All I could do was nod.
I told him 10 pulls. That’s all I wanted. If it didn’t start after 10 pulls, I would move away. Four pulls later, he had it started and I promised him a kidney if he was ever in need.
I’m going to have to do some push-ups and weight-training to keep my biceps generator-starting worthy. I can’t be asking someone to start my generator every time the power goes out because if I do then I fear Mother Nature is right: I am old.
And I’m not ready to be old just yet.
wendistewart@live.ca

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