Jim Furlong: A Winter’s Tale

These are the times that try men’s souls. These are the days where winter sets in with the grip of Grim Death. 

The Christmas guests and visitors have all gone and the ornaments put away. The last note from the final playing of The Little Drummer Boy has mercifully faded into the air. 

Winter with all its fury is upon us and things are getting bleaker by the minute. The Visa is shot to hell, but that is fairly normal after the holidays. Often we just buy our way out of a gift oversight. Sometimes I marvel at my own generosity. The exterior Christmas lights are still up on the house, but a couple of storms have left them hanging but by a thread. Six of the bulbs have burned out. 

Snow, Rain, Wind…

Welcome to the living hell into which my world is spiralling down. Ahead lies the bleak prospects of a Newfoundland winter. More snow, more rain, more wind. The wheels on my electric meter box are already flying around like ninja stars. I’m surprised they don’t break through the plastic box.

Now some people get “down” after Christmas. Count me in among that crowd. I don’t know what the syndrome is called, but I certainly have it and I’ve earned it. Right now there is a 30 foot electric chord wrapped around the shaft of my snow blower. It has forced the axle out of its tracks. You can’t put your hands in to cut it or you’ll become “Lefty,” so I’m working with the kitchen bread knife to cut the wire. Wife doesn’t know that. 

Meanwhile the gas cap from the jerry can that I use to carry gas for my generator and snowblower is also lost somewhere outdoors. I came up from the service station with 20 litres of gas in a can with a supermarket plastic bag held on with an elastic band held over the hole where the locked stopper used to be. I am sure it’s illegal, but I won’t do it again.

The Jerry Can Saga

My ways are mended not by moral enlightenment but by the fact that while I got home safely the van absolutely reeks of gas. By the way, the replacement cap that I bought for the jerry can doesn’t fit this particular container. 

It’s a different make. Even as I was buying it I had that strange hunch. The Universe and whatever Force moves it has turned against me in January. Perhaps it’s a “karma” thing.

Today while plowing a path around the back of the house, I came to the edge of a little concrete patio in the trees where we used to sit in the summer in the dying light of a warm evening and sip drinks. It all seems so far away. 

On the ground in the snow under the outdoor fireplace was a tube of number 30 SPF sun block we bought a few years ago in Macau. It was lying there mocking me. It was watching me in my agony and laughing. It is a dark time this January but … I’ll be back.

NTV’s Jim Furlong can be reached by emailing: [email protected]

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