The temperature in Alberta during April is notoriously unreliable. It can change twenty degrees (Celsius) within hours. This week on my Facebook feed, friends in Red Deer showed pictures of snow while some of us in Edmonton had endured only a little rain.
I am trying to persuade some vegetables and herbs to grow from seeds in my shed/greenhouse. This is the first year I have tried this, so I hope the cold weather won’t thwart my efforts. We are expecting temperatures as low as -3 C tonight, and by Edmonton winter standards, that is not bad but, dammit, it is April and we have been housebound all winter!
The traditional date for gardening outdoors here is May 1st. By then, the danger of frost is usually past. We spend quite a bit of time planning our gardens, thinking about visiting garden centres, and looking out of our windows just waiting. This week’s up-a-bit, down-a-bit fluctuations are frustrating. It’s a bit like being a child sitting in the back seat of a car with a sibling who periodically gives you a hug then a shove.
Today, I decided a spring jacket was necessary. I have gained a pound or two since Covid-19 changed my plans, and so I have reluctantly conceded that some new clothing is in order. I tried complaining that some of my clothes have shrunk, and I have given away some clothes I ordered that were obviously not made according to standard size labels. I pushed to one side of the closet all the clothes that I have had for too many years and any that might one day fit me again. But, eventually, I had to finally confront the truth. I needed a lightweight jacket that would actually zip together around my hips.
I’ve been vigilant in not leaving the house except to buy groceries and to take neighbourhood walks, but today I planned a long-awaited haircut at a local shopping mall salon. The haircut was long overdue, and the trip to a place where there was indoor space and (gasp!) other people, was quite exciting. It was so exciting that I actually put on makeup. I haven’t put on makeup for months; maybe even a year. I arrived early so that I could spend half an hour just walking around before my appointment, theoretically getting exercise but actually being amazed that there are so many other people out and about.
My hairdresser, who confessed to really enjoying her work cutting short hair, did a wonderful job as usual. She soon twigged that I had cheated on her by trying out a different hairdresser for my previous cut. It took her less than two minutes to figure that out. That’s how good she is. After my new, but satisfyingly normal, haircut, I stopped by a store that specializes in outdoor clothing. It was next door to the hairdresser, so I didn’t have to do another tour of the mall.
At the outdoor clothing store, I had a Goldilocks moment. When you try on something that is just right, you know. It’s a Goldilocks moment. After looking at a few jackets and trying on a couple, I found the perfect spring walking jacket. And, because somewhere in my youth and childhood I must have done something good, it was on sale! I got the jacket at 50% off and then, when I gave the store clerk my phone number to sign on for a store Adventure Rewards membership, I got an additional 10% off. This is why Leonard Cohen wrote that Hallelujah song. He got a good deal on a spring jacket.
All of this got me thinking about degrees of vanity. First, I had to confront my expanded front. Then, I had to face my un-made-up face. Then I had to weather the weather. Having done all, that, I was rewarded by a good haircut and a good deal on a spring jacket. I can almost hear Julie Andrews and Leonard Cohen singing in harmony!