Monday, December 23, 2013

the ice storm

Backyard - icycles and ice coated over everything, the trees and bushes so brittle, I wonder if they'll make it. The streets are sheet ice - impassable. Yesterday was disastrous - streetcars abandoned in the middle of the road, the subway stopped by fallen branches on the tracks - trees are cracking and there are branches down on all streets, several piled up near here. People's cars have been crushed - luckily, so far, no one has been killed. Many broken limbs, however, and the power out all over town - hundreds of thousands without.

But here in Cabbagetown, where we have heat and light, life goes on. The plan for yesterday was for me to go to Anna's for lunch, to see Eli and also my computer genius Chuck, who lives nearby. He was going to set up my Christmas present to myself, a MacBook Air, and bring his wife Kelly and their 6-month old Emerson, whom I had not yet had the pleasure of meeting. I had a huge load to take over, two computers and equipment, some food for our lunch, a big bag of stuff for the baby, and party clothes, wine and presents for the Christmas party I was going to later. Luckily I got a cab almost immediately and we made it across town.

Anna, ever generous and kind, had posted a notice on Facebook, telling her friends who had no power that they were welcome at her place. So pretty soon, one of Eli's father's sisters and her husband and 3-year old arrived with an overnight bag and a case of beer - their power was out, no heat, light, hot water. They're there for the longterm, with others arriving. Anna's refugee camp, she was calling it by the time I left at 5. Eli's dad Thomas was there too, and we had a Christmas hug. I was thrilled to hear his son call him "Dada."

I had a great time with His Deliciousness, who practiced first fully clothed and then DID A PEE IN HIS NEW POT! Merry Christmas, Mama!

And then I staggered off across the ice, along a laneway hanging, hand over hand, onto a fence, to Jessica and Geoffrey's annual Xmas bash, full of the most interesting artsy people. Their fire was burning, the ham was baking, and though some cancelled, many friends arrived and great was the cheer.

Today the city is calmer, the streetcars are running, but it's still treacherous. I heard Jian tell Canada this morning that his power in the east end of Toronto was out. Well Jian, if you'd stayed put next door and not moved further east, you'd have power. How lucky we are. The giant boy has arrived to spend his few days off in the warmth; his sister and her babe are going to Thomas's family and will arrive tomorrow evening. We will not cook Xmas dinner, for the second time - we didn't last year either. The death of my mother at 3 a.m. last Christmas morning is a heavy weight. Anna said, Mum, let's celebrate like the Jews - let's go to a movie and eat Chinese food. So that's the plan. What a good plan.


  1. Have a wonderful Christmas how ever you spend it Beth, it will be turkey with all the trimmings here and a house full of family, Chinese sounds great to sprouts to peel or washing up! Enjoy. Carole
    PS What a storm you've had, heard about it from our family in Toronto. Keep warm and safe.

  2. Thanks, Carole. We did a huge turkey dinner for Thanksgiving - but now are getting into a rebellious Christmas routine of take out, which I'm coming to like ...
    Merry Christmas to you and yours.