Posted in 1918 Eatons' House, health, rural life, Self Care

Weathered by the weather

I had no plans to do the latest #Sundaystills prompt about weather. But I’ve spent the last 10 days being weathered and it gave me a concept.

Perhaps it’s true of most locations but somehow it seems like the wind is such an integral part of life on the Canadian prairies. So much that W.O. Mitchell wrote a book called “Who has seen the Wind?”

“Here was the least common denominator of nature, the skeleton requirements simply, of land and sky –Saskatchewan prairie…. But for now, it was as though a magnificent breath was being held; stiff puffs of cloud were high in the sky retaining their shapes for hours on end, one of them near the horizon…waiting for the unfailing visitation of the wind, gentle at first, barely stroking the long grasses and giving them life; later, a long hot gusting that would lift the black top soil and pile it in barrow pits along the roads or in deep banks against the fences…”

W. O Mitchell
Who Has Seen the Wind

So while I haven’t actually seen the wind I have been plummeted by it plenty this spring. We’ve commenced the once in a lifetime job of replacing the cedar shingles on our house roof.  That’s where the concept of this post came from; feeling the wind.

50+ years old versus just installed. Obvious which has been attacked by the weather.

If you’re into the details of what we did it can be found here at https://1918eatonseager.wordpress.com/2021/05/09/stage-2-act-2/ The house blog is a detailed record of the journey we’ve taken with our catalog house. I’m referencing it here because of the cedar shingles.

The story goes that Herbie and his sister Doris reshingled the house using the bucket of their tractor. We now believe that they only shingled the single story kitchen attic portion. The main three story roof shingles remain in decent condition and we suspect that they may actually be original. So while they are very weathered they’re actually in good condition. 100 plus years of wind rain hail sleet snow and the never-ending Prairie wind. Isn’t it amazing how something can stand up to the weather like that.

100+ years

When the shingles go on they are this gorgeous array of blondes to reds to deep russet browns. Interesting enough it only takes them about a week to fade out until they all look relatively blond.

Left hand side finished 5 days before right hand side. The garage was done 10.years ago. Only one structure remains to be done – can you spot it?

And then a year later they don’t appear to have changed much. Within 5 years they’ve developed a light gray patina. By  10 years on they are this lovely deep dark silver and they just keeps darkening with time.

1 year old shingles with a potential storm brewing to the west

Oh that we should stand up that well to the weathering that goes on in our bodies, especially if we spend all day in the wind and the sun. It takes its toll as can be seen by looking at any 55+ year farmer (or construction worker). I can actually remember going out to summer fallow (back in the days when that still happened) wearing a bikini so I could work on my tan. My dad was not impressed but whatever I got the work done. So even farm girls of that era can be worse for wear as who wore a hat, sunscreen or sunglasses back then?

But we should have been. It wasn’t until I had a grandchild that I stepped on the hat wagon. She had to so then Nan had to set a good example. I’ve worn sunglasses pretty consistently for years as my family has a strong history of some serious eye conditions so I’ve been working on prevention of what I can. Sunscreen is, unfortunately, kind of hit and miss. And that’s a serious issue across the world. In fact more people will die from skin cancer this year than will be affected by the side effects of the Astra Zenecia vaccines but who will hear about that? I was going to post a statistic about the number of men (more so) and woman and what countries are the hardest hit with this preventable cancer but decided to keep it a breeze (nice wind reference hey) post.

Havent mastered a good selfie yet and I could/should have smiled but here I am with hat, sunglasses and  sunscreen at the park with my grandchildren.

It’s up to us as individuals to take into account the weathering weather does on our bodies and protect as we can. This is most definitely a different tangent than Terri over at https://secondwindleisure.com/2021/05/09/sunday-stills-weathering-memories/ but it’s what I was thinking about up on the roof in the spring wind and endless sunshine.

There is no doubt that the weather I dislike the most is wind but it is perhaps not the one that does our human bodies the most damage. Although I am not so sure my lips would agree with that statement. I love me some sunshine but spending a lot of time in it does indeed carry some risks. Something to think about as the hot dry summer unfolds in front of us.

Bernie

Author:

I have had a love of the written word for my entire life. It's no surprise that eventually I found a platform where I could write. It's random; sometimes funny, occasionally sad, maybe even at times from anger and I lean towards creative photography and hands on crafts. I have a few blogs that high light these interests.

27 thoughts on “Weathered by the weather

  1. The prairies and wind do seem to go hand in hand. I lived in the Yukon for a few years and also very windy and dusty at times. You make a good point, Bernie, how ‘weathered’ can still mean in good condition. I will be more observant of shingles from now on after reading your post. I understand about setting a good example for the grandchildren. Yes, about the sun and risks, Bernie. Also working on top of a roof!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah the risk of working on the roof never leaves your mind and makes one very aware, unlike sun which one can forget about at the time and pay the price later.
      I would not have suspected the Yukon to be dry. Somehow I am not surprised by the wind up. We all weather, buildings and people, just at different rates. Take care and thanks for stopping.

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  2. What an evocative quote!
    I love your cedar shingles; replacing them is such a huge achievement; especially to stand up to that wind! You’re right, the grey patina is beautiful.
    Right too about the importance of being correctly dressed – and protected against all weathers! I do love the sun, but always have lashings of sun protection to hand, just as I’m well covered with layers all winter… nice to be emerging as spring turns to summer… have a good one!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Emma, the book and author I quoted from are quite well known in our province but probably not around the world. But yes his words really captured the Canadian prairies.
      The shingles are done and I am so glad not to have to climb up onto the roof again. It’s interesting to look around the yard with the 3 buildings all having different colours of cedar as it ages.
      Oh yes it’s so nice to be emerging into spring and hopefully opening up a little. I know, from English cousins and friends, that we are a bit behind in the vaccines and the opening. Just finished being walloped by the third wave. So hopefully we can enjoy our summers hey. Take care. Bernie

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  3. What a great perspective and so much truth. In our little town in the SW area of Washington we experience a lot of wind on a daily basis. Maybe it’s our elevation or being located on two rivers, I don’t know, but it’s always windy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kirstin, Sorry for the late response. Busy finishing off the shingles and the clean up (in the wind again!) and just now catching up on Word Press. I suspect a lot of us have our own wind theories. Thanks so much for stopping by and engaging here with a comment. It’s so nice to connect with readers.

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  4. I love seeing the sunshine more than being in it. I’m all about the sunscreen and hats. Your roofing project is interesting. I don’t know anyone who has replaced their own roof, nor do I know anyone with cedar shingles. Two new concepts for me. I love how the shingles age, weathered into perfection.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry for the late response. We pushed hard to get finished! We are big DYIers. As an engineer he can figure out anything and we both love to build stuff. If you are bored some afternoon step down the rabbit hole of the other blog I referenced and see what else we’ve done! It’s been quite the marathon.
      Cedar shingles are quite common here in Canada and stay the test of time. Significantly longer life span than asphalt ones. Not sure about tile ones – I suspect they must have a long life span.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Amazing how the natural materials of the day can survive better than the current iterations. As to the selfie….don’t worry….I have been told it is an old people thing….one which I am also afflicted with. The new roof looks fabulous Bernie. Allan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry for the late response – we’ve been up getting it done. So happy to have that task behind us! Yes the old products have the test is time. The old growth cedar on the main roof is still in good shape. Did your roof repairs happen?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No worries. Work takes precedence. If I can believe the latest, it will be done the week of May 23. As it is only a small job, I am sure they are spending their time on the full reroofs that make the most money. Hope all is complete by the end of May. Better chance for the shingles to seal in any event. Cheers. Allan

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  6. It’s crazy how the sun can just add years to our appearance. My husband and I joke that our family motto is “cling to the shadows”. We usually always seek out the shade. We try to go swimming later in the afternoon. We often hike with hats and sunnies. I usually carry an extra bottle of sunscreen in the car. The wind is often harder to deal with than the sun. P.S. I love the look of the cedar shingles.

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    1. Your motto cracks me up but your skin will thank you for sure. Hats and sunnies are essential but darn how often I forget the sunscreen. Married to a guy who doesn’t burn and just turns browner and browner as the summer goes on. I do need to be careful as my colouring means I’m much more likely to burn.
      Thanks on the compliment about the cedar. It looks amazing and now that job is done!! Yeah.

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  7. I love me some sunshine too. And I haven’t been always diligent with the sunscreen but I am now as I want to keep being able to spend as much time outdoors as possible! Trying to find that balance between getting my vitamin D made, and also protecting my skin.

    Deb

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    1. Protecting your eyes as well is so important. Funny how it takes us to age to learn to do what we should have been doing! But better late than never. It definitely is a balancing act isn’t it Deb. I love the sun so much. It’s my “superpower”. LOL.

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      1. I’ve always been a sunglasses person. I have light eyes, and they seem to be quite sensitive to the sun. I get headaches if I don’t wear them. The sun is my solar battery too…LOL!

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  8. Who has seen the wind?
    Neither you nor I;
    But when the trees bow down their heads,
    The wind is passing by.

    Sorry, I couldn’t resist. My apologies to Christina Rossetti.

    Love the direction of your post. I am sure that Terri loved it too!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m so glad you were motivated to share this on Sunday Stills this week, BernieLynne! Replacing shingles is a tough job, but they look fantastic. And don’t we all get a little weathered as we age? You are wearing the right outdoor gear for sure and looking great (and protected)! Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Terri — I just need to remember to wear the gear all the time and that’s the issue! It is true that we all do look a little weathered as we age but some more so than others. My nursing friend of 44 years just posted a grad picture and one of her now and flip she has hardly aged! Thanks again for running the Sunday Stills prompt

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      1. That is so true. I keep two pair of my prescription sunglasses at the ready and most of my glasses have transition lenses. Eye health is important as you mentioned! Now if I could just remember that hat!

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