• M. York

53rd Winter

You know what our temperatures were this weekend? Above freezing. It was shorts and t-shirt weather. That held until Monday when it decided we'd had enough of spring and snowed sideways all day. So while my mother's probably posting beautiful pictures of her budding flowers and the first hints of the Azalea Trail in Tyler, TX on Facebook (and, trust me, those are some amazing sights), this is my view:

Yup. Snow. Snow as far as the eye can see. When the heck are we? Oh, right, end of March. The whole, "April showers bring May flowers," rhyme doesn't work in this town. Though there is a chance for flowers in May, there's no April showers. Snow storms? Maybe. But no showers.

So I usually don't rant about the weather in my area. Though the gray skies and dark winter days do certainly have a negative effect upon my mental health, I guess it hasn't seemed that big of an issue to me while I've lived here. Really, while I've lived in this apartment I've been struggling with fatigue, excessive lack of energy, sort of a stagnant kind of depression. This means I've not been able to do much of anything with cleaning and that has, unfortunately, fallen almost completely on my husband.

As much as one of my favorite little sayings is, "a peek behind the curtain," this really is that. I share a lot online and you might be surprised to find out I'm an aggressively private person. Actually, I probably tell y'all less than I imagine I do.

I've made it my mission this year to really get into shape, make my body strong as it can be, and utilize my energy to make life better. I've had so much more energy, lost over 100 pounds since January 1st, 2020, and I can fit into most of my old clothes. Once I figure out how to do good make up and fashion I'll probably be one of those annoying people who posts too many selfies. Not sure I'll be a fan of that phase looking back in the future. Future annoying me aside, today I was feeling strong. Like, really strong. And when I threw away some stuff from my lunch, I noticed our garbage smelled. Just really, really bad. Horrifically so.

My husband works 5 days a week, the usual 8-5 shift (well, "8-5" as he "takes lunch" at 4), cooks dinner most nights (unless he asks for nachos, tacos, burritos, or fajitas, then I'm cooking for a while), works out, sweeps the floor, mops, takes out the garbage, etc. Most that I can help with is keeping the bathroom sink/counter/mirror clean or keep the dishes clean via dishwasher (though he has to clean the wok if he uses it as it's hand wash only and it's too cumbersome for me to manage). So when I opened this garbage can and realized it smells disgusting, I thought, "This cannot stand." It cannot! I'm not gonna let my hard working husband come home and be disgusted by the smell when we're eating dinner! (Note: he's also very sweet and, even if I am not able to shower that day or do anything in the house, he tells me I'm beautiful and hugs me, I recommend everyone who wants a partner, get one as supportive as him.)

So, you know, I heard the people outside, clearing snow in the parking lot, and I was feeling all nice and strong, so I bagged up the garbage, got all winterized (mask, hoodie, pants, clothes, etc), and rolled out! Down the elevator, out to the front of the complex... Well, that's odd, the driveway doesn't look that clear... but I need to get down the driveway to put the garbage in the dumpster. It's not that bad, though, I see footprints that show the snow isn't that deep and it's fairly clear in the truck treads... so out the door I go!

The front of our complex has a slanted way up to the door (or down from the door) and I couldn't catch my wheels fast enough when I went outside as there is no flat threshold and I have to go with a decent speed over the door jam. I went right into the snow. Because I'm stronger and have better balance and less weight, I didn't go flying off my chair (also helps that I'm not overweight for my chair anymore), but I was stuck in some deep snow. Because I chose to stop myself from falling out of my chair, my trash bag went forward several feet and was laying in the snow.

What followed was about 20 minutes of me trying to unstick myself. It didn't work out, but it gave me a great workout. I was there, in a bright pink hoodie, my bright red wheelchair (it helps that I like reds, doesn't it?) for a while because I'd, as an idiot, opted not to bring my phone with me. That was until my mother-in-law turned down the driveway. Why? They live in the apartment across from us and she saw someone in a bright pink hoodie stuck in the snow. She helped me get unstuck and got me inside, then grabbed the trash bag and put it in the dumpster. My in-laws are great people, very generous and helpful. My parents are, also, helpful and generous and great, but they live over 1,000 miles away, so they wouldn't've been able to help here.

Anyway, even living in the only residential building with an elevator, a building that caters to the disabled crowd, I can't take my own garbage out. I cannot wait to have our house built.

For those of you who don't know, my husband and I are working on getting a house built that will specifically cater to my needs. Having a house built in the covid era where everything's weirdly out of stock is a strange experience, but having in-laws in the construction business is great for that.

Even if there was a fire in our current building, by the way, I'd be required to stay in our apartment and wait for the fire department to hopefully get to me in time. That's another reason I'm losing weight. If there's a fire (the person living a floor under us often starts cooking eggs and just leaves the apartment while the burner's on), I want it to be easy to help me live. If my husband is home during a disaster, he wants to be able to carry me out. Though, rather hilariously, the last time the lady tripped the fire alarm with her egg mistake, the elevator worked and we got an annoyed call by the building owner as I used it to get off the 3rd floor.

So today no talk about writing, just me grumbling about being a cripple in a world I'm clearly not optimized for. Robot legs would be pretty sweet, though. If I could get dependable robot legs that would let me walk normally, holy heck, I'd go for that. Thanks for joining me for my little heart-to-heart today! Have a wonderful week, y'all, and I'll catch up with you again next Wednesday.

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