Thursday, January 18, 2007

A Cryogenic Day In Deep Inferno

Are y'all freezing where you are? We're dying here. It's not such a big deal that it's been 36 degrees and raining outside all day; the big deal is that it's been 36 degrees and damp and gloomy inside. (Please keep this information to yourselves; we don't want to be scaring away potential house buyers.)

So my brilliant handsome son who lives in Ohio is visiting me for the week, telecommuting to work every day from my dining room, and even he is freezing. My dining room is colder than Ohio! Even sitting at a table right next to the charming antique floor furnace, he has to wear those hi-tech thermal undergarments from REI, you know the kind people wear when they backpack across Antarctica, and huge woolen gloves from the polar hunting department at the Wal-Mart:

The poor dogs are huddled over the furnace in their little Irish fisherman sweaters:

And don't even ask what I'm wearing. This weather is just ridiculous.

But you know what? I mean speaking of weather, and going outdoors and stuff? It just occurred to me that since I'm ending chemotherapy early, I'm going to be able to prune my roses in February after all! I thought I wouldn't, because as long as I'm in chemo I'm not allowed to work in the garden or even with house plants, no going near soil or thorns, on account of the microorganisms that might attack my compromised immune system. If I'd done all eight weeks, I wouldn't have finished treatment until mid March, too late to prune here.

I'm going to be leaving a lot of roses behind when I sell the house, and I'm ok with that. But I'm not ok with not pruning them before I go. I think I actually have a strong compulsive inborn biological drive to prune my roses, and it kicks in full force on February first. If I couldn't prune when the season rolls around, I'd probably go mad, like a migratory beast trapped pacing in a cage, or a deranged Labrador retriever whose tennis ball got stuck behind the refrigerator.

Anyway, since I'll probably have to prune a week or two late, this miserable cold snap is good because it'll keep them in a deeper dormancy just a little bit longer.

Shit. Do you have any idea how good it's going to feel to get back in the garden? To pull weeds, and prune roses, and slosh my hands around in rich crumbly manure? How heavenly it will taste to eat a fresh crisp apple, or a sweet juicy strawberry; how wonderful to go back to the gym and feel my body stretching and moving and flexing again? To go to parties? To watch the parades? To start growing hair? All the little pleasures I've always taken for granted. But I swear I never, ever, ever will again.


Blogger Christopher C. NC said...

If your jonesin for some rose pruning I just did a post on a vintage rose pruning pamplet a friend felt I really must have. It could tide you over till February when things de-ice down south.

Very handsome indeed.

2:24 AM  
Blogger Ya Looblue said...

it's butt ass cold here too, although i'm in boston so it's suppose to be, i guess.
i should get one of those crazy awesome sweaters for my cat. she's burried herself in blankets in her carrier.
that's so wonderful...about your garden. when i came home from russia i walked into a grocery store and started crying when i saw the bagged salad and was able to (in 2 seconds as opposed to 2 minutes) read labels and not have to figure out a ruble to dollar exchange rate. i haven't taken ordering a cup of coffee for granted since.
silly example maybe, but it meant a lot at the time. :)

7:14 AM  
Blogger Alto2 said...

Free legal advice here: don't go posting publicly about the heat that doesn't work b/c it could haunt you as a seller's disclosure. [off soap box]

I love the dog with one blue eye and one brown eye. He sort of reminds me of Georg Rodrigue's "Blue Dog". I'm happy you'll get to tend your roses before you move on. I wonder whether you can transplant the lovelies to your new home.

10:01 AM  
Blogger Annie in Austin said...

Every gardener among your readers can empathize with your need to get back out there, to prune and play, and will rejoice with you when you can do it again.

We're finally starting to thaw in Austin - I hope that your son can soon take off his typing gloves and that you can soon put your gardening gloves on.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

12:02 PM  
Blogger MJ said...

I felt a rush of vicarious excitement when I read about your roses-- I'm so happy for you!

12:12 PM  
Blogger Gr8lakesgrrl said...

Jeezus, your starting to sound like a trooper what with all this talk about miserable cold snaps having a good side and playing in the dirt. Knock it off! ;-)

I was just commenting over at Finn's that I'm hoping it stays good and cold here in the Mitten for awhile. Other wise the fruit trees might get confused and we can't have that.

I'm really glad to hear that your treatment is going so well. That is awesome! I totally understand the compulsion to prune, I find it to be better then therapy.

I'm sorry I didn't get your puppets done in time. Well, I'm going to make them anyway. Stop by for a visit and you can see the fabric I'm going to make them out of! :-)

2:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Liz I think you're son handsome, the weather pantywaist, and your curls rad, but please, matt up some pictures of those dogs *in that picture there* and offer them to us for a fee and mailing costs. I am weeping with laughter here. Where DO you find them?

3:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Liz I think your son handsome, the weather pantywaist, and your curls rad, but please, matt up some pictures of those dogs *in that picture there* and offer them to us for a fee and mailing costs. I am weeping with laughter here. Where DO you find them?

3:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you think the compulsive rose-pruning might be related to the compulsive hair-cutting?

And on the only-six-sessions-of-chemo front: fuckin' *A*, man.

7:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hot son.
carry on ;-)

8:31 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Girlfriend. Can I tell you that I'm actually GLAD that it's cold somewhere in the world? Aside from the past few days, we are having an unusually warm winter up here in Chicago and I've been wondering if global warming is accelerating!!

9:36 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

I'm really pleased you will be able to get back to your gardening. I know you've been to a place that others have no real knowledge of, it makes you appreciate the things they take for granted. I was thinking this morning about pruning the roses as we have quite a few here so need to get stuck in soon as possible. Best wishes, Bob.

8:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's going to be 15 here tonight but it's a lot warmer inside so bearable with wool socks, sweaters, etc.

Cool about the gardening!

4:50 PM  
Blogger Professor Zero said...

I have lived in the Midwest and I tell you Louisiana is colder. Even when it officially isn't. What I wear here for 28 degrees Fahrenheit will work at ZERO up there.

5:10 PM  

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