In search of happiness

At the risk of sounding like a broken record allow me to say, for contextual purposes only, that it is April 17. And it is still snowing.

On October 15, 2010, I snapped a picture of the Hen staring out of our living room window at the lightly falling snow. Which, if you do the math, means we’ve had snow every month for the last six months.

The bottom line, aside from my disdain of the white stuff, is that we were cooped up inside the house all of Friday and all of Saturday and by noon, today, I’d reached a new level of claustrophobia. ‘I have to get out of here,’ I informed the professor after lunch. ‘I’m in a deep depression.’ ‘Where do you want to go,’ he asked. Florida? Palm Springs? Anywhere but here, I replied in my mind. ‘The Kingsland Farmer’s Market?’ I suggested-asked.

So we loaded four very reluctant Johnson males into the car-van and headed south on Crowchild only to be greeted by an enormous line-up of cars. All with brake lights activated. ‘What in the world,’ the professor moaned. We figured out quickly the problem was actually in the northbound lane, the southbound lane was jammed with cars slowing down to take in their fellow travellers’ misfortune.

‘Looks like a van spun sideways,’ the professor noted as he gazed upon the enormous firetruck blocking that side of the highway, and a minivan pointing east instead of north. ‘Nope, that part of the highway is flooded,’ I decided as I gazed upon the brown, stinky water standing four feet deep in the middle of the highway. Three lone cars hugged the median as they dared to drive through the mess. While hundreds of other cars were being directed to turn around and get off at the nearest exit.

‘What is wrong with this place,’ I despaired aloud. Six months of snow. Perpetually grey skies. Flooded highways. It felt like a modern version of the Biblical plagues. Admittedly a tamer, modern version. But still.

Ten minutes later we pulled into the market’s parking lot. And ten minutes after that we left, having availed ourselves to the likes of croque monsieur, pain au chocolat and salted caramel macaron. We were portlier than when we first arrived, but we were not any happier.

The professor, despite having lived here for two and a half years, missed our exit and thus we ended up at the Chinook Centre on a Sunday afternoon. I’ve been to the Chinook thrice in the last two-and-a-half-years. Two of those visits happened in the last month. Just saying.

Malls are dismal places, really. I suspect people go there because they are bored, or because they are also in the throes of a major seasonal depression. But there isn’t much you can buy at a mall that will elevate your mood for longer than 2 point 5 seconds. (Save perhaps a cute, orange espresso machine from Williams-Sonoma?) And, even worse, the Chinook is a crowded place to be on a dreary Sunday afternoon. Which means that ‘members’ of your party (aka the husband) are going to be highly irritable about (a) being at a mall and (b) being in a crowded mall.

But somehow you’ll spend two hours walking in said crowded mall. Sighing with resignation as your boy-children roll around on the floor of the entrance. Repulsed as they eat colored popcorn that tastes like Children’s Tylenol.

And driving home at the end of it all; trying not to have a panic attack about a weather forecast that includes words like ‘snow’, ‘snow showers’ and ‘partly cloudy.’

Flooded Crowchild, Bored Children, Scary Colored Popcorn

5 thoughts on “In search of happiness

  1. Colorado. That is the answer for you. Mountains, check. Pretty places to take the boys, check. Target, check. Some snow that melts within a few days of its arrival, check.

  2. We were at Chinook on Saturday afternoon. Got the girls ears pierced. Mari yelled and screamed for ages after that. Good times!

  3. Steph, I’m packing my bags and heading your way. Might I bunk in your guestroom for the next month or so?

    1. If by “guest room” you mean unfinished basement that we pretend is finished with roll carpet, furniture, toys out the ying-yang, an extrodinarily echoe-y floor as your ceiling, and an air mattress- then YES!!


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