Dark night, icy morning

I want there to be pictures, but I have not yet wanted them badly enough to bundle up, put on my cleats, and go out there to take them. We are in the middle of a slow-moving ice storm this weekend; the freezing rain started to glaze everything over on Friday afternoon, and I guess we are up to maybe a quarter inch (3mm) of ice now, midday Sunday. It is supposed to continue into tomorrow.

The pines are nearly always the first to bend, thanks to their dense, long needles and soft flexible twigs. Then the rest of the evergreens begin to sag under the weight of the accumulated ice. Then the young deciduous trees and shrubs, the supple-limbed ones first, then the older, craggier ones, until even the oaks are weighed down. Anything weak breaks first – what is rotten or gnawed by wildlife or cracked by the wind.

So far, so good. We have not lost power here and hopefully we won’t. There does not seem to be much wind today, at last not on this side of the hill. But that may change.

The family gathering that would have been last night was postponed until next weekend, weather permitting. Since holiday schedules are always tight, this caused great consternation and there are several people who are obliged to work or have other plans, but given the ice on the roads and the lack of level parking on our hill it did not seem wise to try to have everyone over at once. And we were not really ready for it either; the house is mostly clean at least and so we will be just tidying up a little instead of trying to do everything all at once.

Yesterday involved an unscheduled trip to the vet with Doofus Cat, who had a misadventure on Friday morning. I’m glad I was home: I found her semi-suspended by one trapped paw from the hinge of the cupboard under the basement stairs, trying to dig her way loose in the cupboard below. I can only guess she was exploring, slipped and got stuck. Upon rescue she squirmed free and disappeared for several hours, as cats will do, but was limping when she emerged Friday night and so, yesterday’s vet visit. Nothing broken, nothing dislocated, probably a pulled muscle, and the big furry doofus is on the mend today.

I have sort of squeezed out the other side of the stress into a delicious calm where I simply do not care too much any more about outcomes. This is possibly not the healthiest way to deal with these things, but it is where I am at, and maybe from here I can make some progress on the tangibles before January comes and I am off to Chicago.

I have made progress, by littles, on the credentialing front. Had an interview for a CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) program last week, for which I was a big ball of nerves: this particular program is the one whose timing best fits with my academic schedule, and if I’m not accepted for it then I’m going to have to talk to my advisor(s) and figure out what to move around to still try and get everything done on time. I am also thinking that it will end up being okay if I have to extend my degree beyond the three years it nominally takes (many people do), but I do want to get as much of it done in three years as possible so that if I do have to extend into a fourth year, it would be a light academic load and I’d be able to look for pulpit supply or contract work, or take an additional unit of CPE if that seems like a good idea. I hope to find out whether I got in or not before I leave for Chicago.

I have my RSCC interview scheduled: I am on the list for next fall, which gives me a stack of deadlines to get the required materials into place: official transcripts, essays, references, etc. The bureaucracy. I have to shake my head and chuckle just a bit. There is so much paperwork involved in this process. So much paperwork. Cross the t’s, dot the i’s, submit electronically with original signatures by paper mail… Just getting as far as scheduling this interview has been a lot of work, and I think it might be a milestone. I am trying not to be too competitive about this but it is hard not to be. It is not about being first, it is about being ready, and even if I could get an earlier interview date I would not be ready in time, I think.

I have a lot of work to do.

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