Winter Work

Yesterday a few women read my last post about the depression and anxiety that I was feeling and they suggested that I start taking Vitamin D3. As soon as they said that I thought, well, duh! Our doctor downstate had once told us that she had done research about Vitamin D deficiency and discovered that it is at epidemic levels in Michigan because we don’t get enough sunlight. And my current doctor had suggested that I take Vitamin D when I told her that I had been struggling with anxiety and depression. I had taken it for awhile and it did help, but then I forgot. So I was grateful for the reminders.

It’s easy to think that anxiety, depression, and feelings of being overwhelmed are caused by a lack of faith or positive outlook. However, I know that chronic stress can really affect the body–and we’ve had chronic stress for a long time which I think really depleted us. Stress affects EJ in physical ways. Last summer he actually experienced numbness and faintness and we were afraid he was having a stroke or heart attack, but we found out it was due to stress. His doctor told him that stress has killed of the probiotics in his intestines so he has to be careful what he eats until he can build them back up. Meanwhile, my stress comes out more in emotional symptoms–feeling terribly overwhelmed, anxious, and depressed. This morning I took Vitamin D3 and a few other vitamins and I did feel much better. I still feel a bit of anxiety over finances and EJ starting his new job–new jobs are difficult and this job is complicated and EJ has to learn a new machine language. I always worry about him until I see that his job is going well. But I am not feeling anxiety to the unbearable levels that I had been experiencing.

Overnight we got about a foot of snow. I can’t believe how much snow we get up here in the north–and this has been a mild winter. I’ve read at a weather site that usually we get about 120-150 or so inches of snow during the winter.

The buggy is still stuck in the driveway so EJ has been taking JJ to school every day. I didn’t want EJ to get the suburban stuck this morning, so after I refilled the bird feeders this morning, I sneakily got out the snowblower and began to clear the driveway. EJ does so much that I try to help out when I can. I am supposed to fill the snowblower with gas before I start it, and I did try, but the 5 gallon container of gas was very heavy to lift and I didn’t get it as full as I should have. I went down our 500 foot drive, back up the driveway, and then down again and then the snowblower ran out of gas. Rats! I called EJ and he said he would bring the container of gas down, but he wasn’t even dressed yet so it took him a while to get down to me. I had run out of gas right at the very edge of the road so I couldn’t just leave the snowblower there. It was very cold today and I was sure I was going to freeze to death before he joined me.

I didn’t freeze to death…although I might have come close. EJ eventually came down the driveway pulling a sled with the gas container on it. He filled the snowblower and then took over clearing the driveway while I pulled the sled with the gas container back up the hill. I was freezing when I got in the house, so I sat down with a cup of hot coffee. But before I could take more than a sip or two Danny wanted outside and he never likes to go out without me. So I got my coat, hat, boots, and gloves back on and took him outside. Then I came back in and got all undressed and sipped my coffee again. But then I saw that EJ was returning after two trips down the driveway, so I got my winter clothes back on and went out to take my turn again even though I was still cold. He waved me away and went down again so I went back inside to my coffee. I tried twice more to take my turn at snowblowing, and EJ only let me take over the second time to clear the little bit of driveway in front of the garage because he needed to change out of his work clothes to take JJ to school.

I ended up going with EJ when he took JJ to school. We didn’t really have time to go back home, so EJ and I stayed in town and went to a couple of thrift stores until it was time to pick up JJ. EJ and I love treasuring hunting at thrift shops. It’s inexpensive fun. We also stopped at a seed store to get pet food.

After we got home again, EJ and I went outside to trying digging out the buggy. The last time EJ tried to get the buggy unstuck, the steering wheel wouldn’t turn so he was afraid something had broken or bent. We cleared the snow from the front of the buggy and EJ slid under it to take a look. Nothing was broken or bent and he discovered a huge ball of icy snow had caused the problem. So he got that out and we shoveled the snow from around the buggy. Then EJ started the buggy to try to get it unstuck. This time he could turn the steering wheel (yay!) but the tires spun. They couldn’t get traction on the slippery snow. We walked up the hill intending to get boards to put under the tires, but we were so exhausted from all the physical work we had done in the cold today that we just didn’t have the energy to work anymore. We called it quits for the night. Well, mostly. I still did a bunch of chores–like made popcorn, washed dishes, did laundry, and cleaned out the kitty litter….

We need to get the buggy unstuck before EJ starts his new job or JJ won’t be able to get to school or work.

Over the weekend, forecasters are predicting that we could get more snow–like maybe even as much as another foot. And it’s supposed to turn much colder. That is life in the north.


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