Each winter has its challenges. Actually, I'm not referring to the challenge of living through countless days of wind, snow and frigid temperatures that normally mark our winters here in the snow capital of the world. Although that too is a challenge. One we meet right handily by going out into the weather and enjoying whatever it brings, and then dashing back into the house to bask in the warmth and glow of our home. No doubt about it, living in Canada presents it existential challenges. Well met by recognizing winter as a welcome change from all those other seasons.
Yes, we tend to find the other seasons more agreeable for easy living, if not downright attractive in comparison to winter for reasonable road conditions where driving to and from one's place of business doesn't offer daily opportunities for disaster, sliding across icy roads, visibility hampered by ice fog or snow being whipped all over the place including the car windshield by high winds. Let alone having to be constantly on the outlook for all those other - dangerous, inept, truly stupid - drivers out there increasing the natural hazards exponentially.
But this isn't meant to be a carp about living in a northern clime, honestly. This is intended as a bit of crowing about how wonderful it is to live with a creative personality, one who chafes when there are no projects underway, who goes out of his way to invest himself with the authority of his aesthetic, handily transferring creative thought to creative action under the authority of the renaissance man within him.
The winter months, while they do offer splendid opportunities for embarking into the out-of-doors for specific pleasures like winter hiking, snowshoeing, skating, skiing, sledding, are not to be compared with other seasons when one can impel oneself into nature's precincts for hours and hours without ill consequences. Spring, summer and fall all bring their own season-specific activities to bear, to break up the days' adventure of living, to keep one busy and active.
There are always chores to be done, pleasurable and otherwise-but-necessary. But it's in the winter that the opportunity presents itself for becoming engaged in projects requiring the dedication of compliance, time and work. He's always got a few projects in mind, and then he picks among them to determine which he most feels like selecting. He could have, for example, begun replacing the floor in the upstairs bathroom, since he'd already bought the tiles and they're stored downstairs awaiting replacement.
It's a larger job than you might think, since he will also rip up the existing countertop for the vanity, rebuild it and tile it also before he settles in to do the floor. And before he does the floor itself, he'll tile halfway up the bathroom walls. Nothing is as simple as it seems, not in this hosuehold. This is his hallmark of creative thought and resulting production. Invariably when he begins a project it somehow grows a mind of its own, becoming infinitely more complicated in execution than the original relatively simple plans would dictate.
So, no, he decided against doing the bathroom. But he has been brooding about the thought of designing stained glass windows to cover the plain panes existing in the living room. We adore stained glass. Our home has become a stained glass showroom. Simply put, he enjoys working in the medium; it offers him great satisfaction. He thinks about what he'd like to look at in perpetuity, since coloured windows kind of smack you in the face; they're there, front-and-centre, stealing the show from anything else. He begins with the concept, thinks mightily about what would 'fit' aesthetically, then begins a cartoon.
One cartoon leads to another; small, initial designs some elements of which he finds useful, others not. He retains the useful portions, transferring them to another cartoon to which additional elements are added until he finally ends up with a product that satisfies his vision. Then the cartoon-size design is enlarged to a full-size image, and a double produced. The double is cut into pieces resembling a puzzle. It is the numbered pieces that are used as models for the glass cut to size and placed over the intact design to finally produce, after long hours of work, the final product.
There are four tall narrow glass windows in our living room. Roughly 3-1/2' by 7', height and width. Thus far working from late November to the present, three of the quartet have been completed. The end product is colourful, amusing, exotic and a balm for winter blues. Why on earth would anyone want to cover their windows? After all, windows are useful for looking out of, for emitting light, and sun. Well, we have many paintings on the wall of our living room, all of which must be protected from the sun. But the big, really big reason why my husband isn't fond of looking out those windows is the view.
Tenement city, he calls it. Unfair as a characterization, but I get his point. We don't see all that much of our garden; we do see much of our garden shed and beyond it, the bulk of other houses looming over the fence, and the sight of all these houses offends his tender eyeballs; their effect is hardly ameliorated by the sight, beyond them, of the tall perimeter trees of the ravine into which we plunge daily for our commune with nature. So, the windows shield him from the unwanted sight of a 'tenement'.
But they do far more; the colours of the glass treat us to a vision of light and colour throughout the course of any day, any weather conditions unmet by any other medium. They're an ongoing, ever-changing treat for the eye. Besides which, they present an additional barrier against the cold. In addition to which, the colour in the glass emits additional light, and warmth as well. The heat of the sun magnifies through coloured glass and helps to warm up the house in winter.
When all is said and done it's another layer of beauty to live with. Good 'nuff.
Labels: Personally Dedicated