Roxanne Tellier: Snow on the Rooftop, Fire in the Furnace

january roxanneThis must be a nightmare of a year for young weather forecasters. They probably get up in the morning, check a stone outside their weather dartboardfront door to see if it’s wet, snowy or dry, and then fling a dart at a weather board, sobbing “Oh who cares what I say – it’s always wrong anyway. I’m never gonna finish paying off my tuition!”

my dog has fleasCall it climate change or a fickle polar vortex, but our weather seems to have been driven insane. Ice storms, earthquakes, tornadoes, tsunamis, snow in hot climates, floods in Great Britain. It’s seems the planet is just not happy with us. The natives say, “the earth will shake us off as a dog will a flea.” And who could blame her?

All that melting snow and ice has found its way through the foundations of our house, and landed with a lot of plops in the basement. I’ve always wanted an indoor pool, but this is neither the time nor the place. The old sump pump battles bravely on, day and night, sucking up the remnants of the ice storm that threatened to make the back yard into a glacier ridge.

My cats, the cowards, have utterly abandoned their slinky outdoor ways, and have serious cabin fever. It’s like an extended viewing of Mixed Martial Arts routines around punch cathere, with big cat pouncing on little cat, and little cat retaliating with deadly claws and an even deadlier shriek. And then she runs into the bedroom and pees on my side of the bed. Apparently this winter is ALL MY FAULT, and there aren’t enough Temptations™ in the world to win back her love.

Windows are not to be opened, so the fug of cat pee, smoke and cooking hangs in the air. I’m vigilantly scrutinizing the temperatures to find a tiny sliver of opportunity in which to somehow ventilate the rooms.

Winter is not to be trusted. Even in the mildest winter, you’ve only got to finally wash the salt stains off the car to trigger a slushy snow. Taking a mallet to the ice on the walkway definitely brings about freezing rain. And hauling out a bright spring jacket ensures a major temperature drop. Winter is just not to ever be taken for granted.

refreshedI know there are many people who enjoy a Canadian winter. Healthy, young, sporty individuals pull on a down jacket, and hit the slopes or the rinks with abandon. Good for you! Enjoy! But I am not amongst your ranks, nor have I ever been. My idea of a perfect winter would be one spent lazing about in front of a roaring fireplace that never had to be tended, whilst drinking spiked cocoa and eating comfort food that miraculously did not pack on the pounds. Or perhaps, just lapsing into unconsciousness at the first flake of snow, only to be revived in the spring, looking refreshed, 10 years younger, and 10 pounds lighter.  Each to his own.

The cold and the dangerous sidewalks keep me inside the fug house, reading, writing, and trying to make sense of the chaos. I have bursts of caromenergy which send me caroming off the walls, and leave packed boxes of books scattered throughout the hallway. I only venture outside if it’s absolutely necessary.

Gloom and doom. Luckily there’s music to carom by.

The first time I heard this Simon and Garfunkel song, I was very young, living in Montreal, and glommed on to the ‘hazy shade of winter.’ The urgency in the rhythm matched the feeling of the decade – do something! Do it now!

Not for me the happy “Marshmallow World” or “Let It Snow!” No, I want songs that reflect my sense of time wasted spent struggling through streets clogged with slurries of dirty, slush. “It sure been a cold, cold winter. My feet been draggin’ ‘cross the ground. And the fields has all been brown and fallow. And the springtime take a long way around.” Thank you Monsieurs Jagger and Richards.

Me and Muddy Waters got dem ole Winter blues, mama …

Do the seasons exist merely to torment the easily chilled? Or are they a handy vehicle for songwriters like John Hiatt, who can take the despair of the weather and craft words like, “She came on to him like a slow movin’ cold front. His beer was warmer than the look in her eyes.”

In the words of the tragic and tortured Chet Baker, “Memories of a fire, Become an ember. Grey December.” A song to listen to at midnight, while you sip a bourbon on ice.

Winter is frustrating. Just ask XTC. “Always winter but never Christmas. You won’t open your box or kiss under this.” Well, it’s a cheery little tune …

More swampy and tropical than frigid, Peter Bradley Adams still manages to capture the dread of a “Mighty Storm.”

This morning, the sky is blue, and it’s a little less chilly than it’s been. Big Cat actually went outside without a boot to his backside, and I’m not wearing any socks. Sure signs of Spring, I do hope. Hope springs eternal, and everywhere you go, you always take the weather…

Only a few weeks left of this madness, they say. Then we can bring on Spring Fever! cat bounce

= RT =

Roxanne’s column appears here every Sunday 

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DBAWIS ButtonRoxanne Tellier has been singing since she was 10 months old … no, really. Not like she’s telling anyone else how to live their lives, because she’s not judgmental, and most 10 month olds need a little more time to figure out how to hold a microphone. After years of doing things she didn’t want to do, she’s found herself working with a bunch of crazy people who are as batshit crazy and devoted to music as she is, and so she can be found every Monday at Cherry Cola’s, completely unable to think of anything funny to say, as the co-host of Bob Segarini’s The Bobcast. Come and mock her. She’s good with that. And she laughs. A lot. But not at you.

4 Responses to “Roxanne Tellier: Snow on the Rooftop, Fire in the Furnace”

  1. Beautiful song “Winter” by The Rolling Stones. One of my favourite albums, Goat’s Head Soup.
    Spring is just around the corner Roxanne..Cheer’s.

    • Marianne Lafleur Says:

      HHi Roxanne,
      Im thouroghly enjoying all your articles. its a voice from the past Marianne Lafleur. I would love to hear from you……Thinking of you m.

  2. Marianne Lafleur Says:

    Hi Roxanne. so nice to see you and read your wonderful articles which i thoroughly enjoy every one of them they always put a smile on my face. Its Marianne Lafleur and i would love to hear from you. Thinking of you P.S I love winter lol

    • my goodness Marianne! I’d love to hear from you as well! (I only found this reply from you by accident, or I’d have been in touch ages ago …. ) Can you find me via LinkedIn? Cheers, darling!

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