It is week two of my three month sabbatical. And with all this sudden availability of free time, I’ve gone hiking, and I’ve done a bunch of baking. And eating.

Last week I missed work. This week it is distant memory.

Last week I thought about all the stress of my work, and how much of it is my doing, and how much of it is imposed on me, and what can change when I go back. I’ve also recognized how much work gets in the way of exercise. For no good reason, it just happens that way, and what I can do about it.

This week I am much more relaxed. I’m keeping a nice healthy distance between my existence, and the pandemic world on the outside. I enjoy unplugging and not being subjected to everyone’s thoughts and politics and declarations.

The sun has been incredible lately, but our nights were still cold until just the last day or two, so we have a ton of snow still everywhere. So much so that there is concern we’ll have ice jams on the river this year, and a high likelihood of flooding. I think a pandemic and a flood would go hand in hand, really, why not?

Anyway, let me catch you up on my life so far this April, with some photos.

Hank and his brother Griff at the dog park

We’ve still kept some of our social life intact. We meet friends at the dog park and let our dogs run and race and chew on each other.

View from the dog park

We’ve also went to a couple bonfires and sat at a distance from our friends.

From the dog park, looking over the frozen river, and the glorious sun

Our friends put on a fireworks show at the beginning of the month, for the entire town to enjoy from their own homes and porches.

Jeff and I bundled up and sat on the front porch, watching the show!

Here is a video of the end of the 20 minute show. You can hear people all over town banging pots, clapping, honking horns, and hollering in support of all of us, doing our part to keep the virus from impacting our lives.

The sun is setting later and later, with true darkness not coming until after 11pm already, which leaves lots of times for evening walks with Jeff and Hank.

Little rink our fire chief made this winter
Benches and picnic tables are starting to be visible again!
Some of our businesses may have a delay for opening this year 🙁

The city and its hired contractors have been busy for over a month, hauling snow out of town, snow off the road, the snow banks from the sides of the roads, the snow from the back alleys and parking lots. Everyone is worried about the high level of snow this year and what it will mean as it thaws.

I’ve taken a few hikes in the woods on our trails. They are just at the end of their pleasantness for awhile. You can’t tell from these photos, but the packed down part of the trail is still very high off the actual ground, so as it gets warmer, you sink through the snow, which just isn’t fun for walking. Or, alternatively, the snow gets an icy crust on top and you have to hug the trees to go up and down the hills.

Hearts have been appearing all over town, on buildings, in windows, tied to tree branches. Just another sign of love and solidarity while we all try to keep our distance and isolate ourselves.

For awhile town was truly eerily quiet. But by last week, I think people had enough of it. The sun is out. The snow is melting. Gold miners are coming back. People want to work. A couple of businesses that closed have now reopened. The bars are closed, and the restaurants are take out only, but the streets are busy again during the day.

We went through a time of great paranoia, as traffic increased and rumours of returning workers not self-isolating spread. With cases in the territory sitting at just 8, all related to travel outside the territory, and 6 of those having recovered already, I sense a bit of a lull in the worry and paranoia. Maybe it is just me though.

No doubt some of the increase in traffic and shopping is just people on the far side of the river getting ready for break-up, that is, getting a month or two of supplies stocked up on the far side of the river so they can wait out the river’s break up and thaw, until the ferry is back in the river.

As always, I declare I’m going to work on my fitness, and instead of just going for walks, I’m way overdoing it, going on 5+ km hikes in the snow with hills and slopes and then I’m too dead to go again for a couple days.

So I bake. Here are some highlights:

I even bartered and traded a loaf of fresh bread for a bag of Tostitos one afternoon!

Jeff made us a really nice turkey for Easter, and a delicious ham the week before.

I made hot cross buns for Easter, and cranberry biscuits to go with the turkey. The cranberries and the blueberries for the blueberry crumble are all local berries we picked last year.

We even had a banana cream pie! We didn’t use Jeff’s family recipe, but rather just a box of banana cream Jello mix, so that doesn’t really count as baking, but it is what we had in the cupboard.

With the temperature pushing 10C this afternoon, I skipped the trail hike and hiked up the Mary McLeod hill and around the lower Dome Rd. for 90 minutes instead.

It was very warm! By tomorrow I’ll be taking pictures of slush and water and mud instead!

Stay well my friends. Are you blogging somewhere? Let me know so I can subscribe.