We’re approaching the last day of February with outside temperatures still below freezing. We had another dusting of snow yesterday, the third snow shower this month. Not enough to shut down Washington, but enough to scare drivers off the road during commuting hours. For those of us brave enough, we had a pleasant drive during peak commuting hours which is a newsworthy event indeed for this area.
It was so cold for so long, two weeks ago, the water pipes to our kitchen sink froze. Our kitchen sink is against a north-facing exterior wall, and I can normally feel the cold air leaking through the window and wall (hot air during the summers). On Saturday morning I got up and tried to get water for morning tea, but nothing happened when I opened the faucet. A few hours running a small electric space heater under the kitchen sink thawed out the pipes, and I’m hoping nothing broke as I really don’t care to rip out cabinetry.
Winnie and I have been mostly staying indoors these past weeks, venturing out only for work, shopping, and shoveling snow off the walkways. In our off time we’ve been watching a lot of movies Charest-style; I get to watch movies and TV shows that I enjoy via Netflix or Amazon on the large-screen TV we purchased last year, and Winnie watches her Chinese movies and TV shows streamed on her laptop. Usually while sewing or cooking. This works pretty well actually, as Winnie has problems following English-language screenplays and I have no skills with Chinese languages.
Occasionally we’ll find a Kung Fu movie on Netflix in Chinese with English subtitles and watch together. Jackie Chan movies have become a common favorite of ours. The more Jackie Chan movies I watch, the more respect I have for him as both an actor and a person. One recent favorite has Jackie as a supporting role in the movie “Shaolin,” but in my opinion with just the few scenes he has in this movie Jackie dominates the rest of the otherwise excellent cast.
We also celebrated Chinese New Year on February 19, a Thursday, ringing in the year of the Goat (or Sheep depending upon how the Chinese word is translated). It was a quiet day for us; both Winnie and I had to work that day and I had a class that evening so I was home late. But we did get out on the following Saturday for some gratuitous shopping and dinner together.
The evening of February 19 was the first class night for bee keeping, something I’ve wanted to try for many years. The class is focused on teaching people how to setup and maintain bee hives and seems like a pretty nice program. Winnie is so far not excited about the thought of raising stinging insects in our backyard, but I’m working on this.
It’s also income tax time and I’ve been studiously avoiding putting together my tax records. Just the same as I do every other year. I did start gathering up stuff in the beginning of January and created a pile, then stopped to wait for key documents to arrive. Those documents have mostly arrived now so I’m about out of excuses to not finish up and call H&R Block. I was hoping warmer weather would arrive and give me an excuse that I needed to be outside, but that warmer weather doesn’t look like it’s going to rescue me for another few weeks at least.
This is always the time of year when I start getting restless to be back out on the water. Local news is predicting record low temperatures for March so it doesn’t seem like I’ll be getting my power boat “Sea Dragon” out on the water for a while yet. There is some hope for a reasonably warm weekend so I can get out for early season kayaking. I’d really like to paddle the local ice-free waterways while there’s still snow on the banks. It would make for some great photographs and a chance to see some local wildlife.
So there you go. We have record cold temperatures, income tax time approaching, and dreaming of summer boating while still performing our daily winter routines. Another February in the Virginia edition of the Charest household.