If I can being because it's snowing quite determinedly out there and tonight is supposed to be -7, so it won't melt. At least it's doing it today and not yesterday, which was my aunt's funeral out in what I call the country and non-Torontonians call a small city of 150,000. Then it only rained, most appropriately. Aunt M, not surprisingly, while totally compos to the end, slept more and more every day and finally didn't wake up. I would too if I was both blind and mute and living on intravenous drips. I shall miss her. For almost six years Saturday was my tea with Aunt Margie day, and in the last month I haven't quite known what to do with myself.
However, because the funeral was in St Catharines, the other-side cousins who live in the area were all there in force, bar the one who was told to stay in bed. His SO came instead. There was an awkward moment when the funeral director asked for only the family to stay, just before the service, and we all looked at each other till she clarified 'immediate family.' Being as I haven't seen most of these people in two or three decades, I was constantly being accosted by a string of smiling strange faces saying 'HELLO! How ARE you!?' To which I had to say, 'I'm face blind now. Who are you?' And they were, well, various cousins or cousins' kids with the occasional kid of their own in tow. Most mortifying. At least I could identify and talk to the three oldest, whom I remember best from childhood: partly because the two male ones look like my brother, and the female one has an identifiable voice.
Oldest cousin informed me that when you have replacement surgery you can't have any dental work done for two years after, including cleanings. He did and he did and now he has to use a walker and take percocet. Useful thing to know, I'd say. Oldest cousin also has an adjustable walker whose back can be raised or lowered, which is exactly what I want. Shall go looking for one.
This was also the first time I've been out of Toronto in eight years, and it was quite exhilarating to see countryside again, brown and autumnal though it was. However, every time I got out of the car I was reminded *why* I don't go out of Toronto. I could barely stand up after two hours. Or even thirty minutes, because s-i-l wanted to swing by the cottage to see what damage the winter had wrought. I haven't been there in a decade and it's still much the same in spite of renovations. I remarked on the huge width of beach now, where in past years there's been hardly any. S-i-l told me that what I thought was beach was frozen water, lapping or rather, not lapping, right up to the steps down the hill. Another reason why I don't go to the cottage: So. Many. Steps.