Some things were just not meant to be.
There are times in our lives when we have to make decisions that we don’t care to make. It seems that no matter what we choose, we are going to be unhappy. It is just the way it is.
I am sitting here writing from my usual place this morning. If all went according to plan, we should have been on the road and somewhere in Maine at this point, heading for Saratoga Springs, New York. But as much as we tried, there just seemed to be obstacle after obstacle that were trying to keep us from going.
The first issue was the tires for the cars. You would think that by beginning to work with things three weeks in advance of leaving, it would allow plenty of time to replace them.
We had to wait for the first set we ordered. Then, when they were delivered, they were the wrong size. (Their fault, not ours). Our regular mechanic was leaving last week for his annual vacation. We ordered from the second place and the delivery was delayed from there as well.
By that time, word of the upcoming storm was buzzing, so we decided to use Keith’s winter car – which fared much better in the snow than my Mustang. But that car needed tires as well, so we spent the day Monday choosing tires for it and having them installed.
So much for leaving ahead of the storm.
By Tuesday we had the plan ready. All the materials for the classes were printed, cut and prepped. We even drilled the plaques so that the students wouldn’t have to waste their time on doing something so simple and could do some REAL learning.
We printed enough copies of our new booklet that we had been working on for the show. It was our plan to debut the booklet at the show. It is 50 pages long, full color and was filled with information and articles about the basics of scroll sawing.
We are proud of our booklet. It is a culmination of the class that I hosted on Lumberjocks.com, with the addition of articles, practice projects and other helpful information for someone new to scroll sawing – all in one file. We think it is something that will be beneficial to all newer scroll sawyers, and even those who have been scrolling for a while.
We had a copy prepared for each student, as well as the pattern for the class and even a gift card for our site. We wanted everyone to go home happy and feeling that their class was worth it to them.
We heard that all our classes were full except the late Sunday class, which had two additional spots available. We were told that is typical though because that was when the show winded down and everyone was heading out. They were going to give the two spots away as prizes on Saturday, and we were happy to hear that there was so much interest.
But things happened that were out of our control.
The storm hit, and they are calling it the worst storm here in over ten years. All my hopes and positive thinking couldn’t change that. From dawn to dusk and beyond, we had snow blowing side way and building up. It was unrelenting.
We lost power for only a few hours, but we lost our internet overnight. That meant all of our communication was down. Even then, we spent the time doing our last minute packing in hopes of leaving in the morning. Everything was packed and waiting by the door. We hoped to leave on Thursday morning and still make it in time.
But about 8:30 Wednesday night, my cat Richard got sick. We had him to the vet twice in the past six months with the problem of not being able to go to the bathroom. We don’t know why this was happening to him and have been trying to adjust his diet, but another episode came up. He was miserable, and when he vomited an alarming amount that evening after an hour or so of wailing and crying, I called the vet, despite the storm hoping that there was something that I could do from here to alleviate his pain. It broke my heart.
Fortunately, we found vet last summer who was on call 24 hours. While we knew we couldn’t leave (the snow was over 18” now and we had winds over 100km) the vet called back immediately and told me to try half a baby aspirin to help with the pain and help him relax so he could do his business. We were lucky that our landlord had grand children that visited so she had the baby aspirin on hand.
After another hour or so of me comforting him by gently brushing him (he seemed to like that and it took his mind off his problem it seemed) he fell asleep. When he woke, he was able to pass some waste, although it was difficult for him to do so. It probably let off pressure where he wasn’t in agony anymore and another hour or so later he was able to do so again.
I am sorry for all the information, but it was horrible and traumatic for all of us. Anyone who loves their pet would understand. And those of you who read know how I feel about my own.
We went to the vet the as early as we could. While the storm had since passed and the sun was out, there were still gusts of wind over 75km per hour. Keith cleared the way for the car, and that took him quite a while. In the 30 minute drive to Yarmouth to the vet, the roads were clear, but the gusts of wind were blowing our car from side to side. There were two trucks and a car in the ditch in that 30 or so mile stretch.
The vet checked Rich out and it appeared he was clear for the moment. However, we have medicine to administer for the next several days, as well as a change in diet. We need to watch him to make sure things don’t build up in him, or we will have to look at other options. We are trying new food as well, as it will help things along and blissfully, he seems to ‘not hate’ it (which is good for a cat.)
Bottom line was that it was the last straw in our cap. There was no way we could leave him for a week. There was no one to care for him or watch him or administer his medication. The winds were still howling and by the time we returned from the journey to the vet it was well after noon. On a good day, driving to Saratoga Springs too about 22 hours. That was at a pace of “slightly above” the speed limits. We heard that New Brunswick had been pounded even worse than we had, and that the winds were still an issue there. There were just too many things going against us to head out. We made the difficult decision not to go.
I have never backed out of this type of responsibility in the past. I do pick and choose what shows we agree to do, not because I don’t like to do them, but I try to be realistic as to the circumstances that may arise. Who would have thought that late March would bring this type of storm? Anything less would have been manageable. But this was extraordinary.
The people at the show were wonderfully understanding. So were our friends. It helped make us feel less guilty and better about our decision. But as we looked at the pile of prepped wood and projects and printouts and thought of all the work we put into our presentations, we couldn’t help but feel sad. Keith and I decided we were still going to send the students the gift cards, as well as the patterns and booklets, free of charge. We hope that they will learn from them and make use of them and have some fun.
I will miss seeing all of my friends as well. It would have been wonderful to visit with them in person and enjoy their company. Especially after the long winter. I was going to see my friend Leldon for the first time in 12 years. And I was going to meet Jeanette in person for the first time ever. I can’t even begin to name the others, as there are many.
I am sad and somewhat deflated still. I spent yesterday caring for Richard and resting – and unpacking. But disappointment is part of life and we will go on from here. Hopefully we will be able to try again when we are sure the weather will be a bit better. And seeing Rich once again comfortable and resting is for now the most important thing.
I think the decision we made was the only one we could. Those who matter most really do understand.
Thank you to all of you for being so kind and supportive. We all do appreciate it.
I wish you all a wonderful Friday.
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"