Thursday, 6 December 2007

Bright Lights, Big City!

I am a proud urbanite! A city dweller! A member of the rat race and all that it entails! I love living amongst hoards of people. I love the culture, the excitement, the shopping and the diversity. (even if I do hate the weather!) I spent most of the summers of my youth in a small little midwestern town weirdly named Zionsville Indiana. Weird in that Zionsville was and still is home to one of the Reform Movement's oldest summer camps, yet paradoxically was, in the 70s, the midwest centre for the KKK! (There is one very frightening memory of this craziness. One Fourth of July, we took the entire camp into town for fireworks, and many of the reddest of rednecks began heaving beer bottles in our general direction to let us know, in no uncertain terms, how they felt about our presence. Needless to say, fireworks have been handled on camp ever since.) Today, Zionsville is kind of like Richmond Hill in that the city has grown up to it's borders. Today, Zionsville feels like a northern suburb of Indianapolis, but back then, it was very small town. The only entertainment that existed off of camp was a Denny's, a laundromat, and a Pizza Hut! If you wanted more, you had to trek the 10-20 miles into the city. So believe me, I understand what small town living is all about, and I will take city-life every time. I know that we here in the cities have issues. We have too many cars and not enough roads. We have too many people and not enough places for them to live. Our public transit leaves a great deal to be desired and we produce to much garbage. Still, here I am, happy in my "little box on a hillside, made of ticky-tacky!" (Malvinia Reynolds was a genius!!!) This morning, however, I witnessed the perfect storm of city dwelling. The snow and ice clearance has been less than adequate and thus has created very narrow streets in this neighbourhood. (I'm sure in all neighbourhoods.) It is also garbage and blue box collection day in the northern hemisphere of the Big Smoke, so there are many trucks on the side streets this morning. We have a lot of school buses for various school boards and private schools that traverse the neighbourhoods before 9:00 am and, to add to the chaos, my neighbour 3 houses down was celebrating her son's bris this morning at around 7:30 am. Needless to say there were cars parked in every available spot within a 500 metre radius of my house. Teenage Son, in his diligence, place the garbage on the end of the driveway along with the 3 blue boxes. My contractors have been wonderful about hauling their trash away, but last night was a late one and, noticing that it was trash day, they left a few large pieces along with our own. I diligently tagged these with paid stickers so as to avoid the inevitable hassles. So here is the scene! Cars parked every which way including directly in front of my house, but not all that close to the snowbanks. Garbage trucks and parked cars on the street directly opposite to us. Cars speeding along my street trying to get to work AND a school bus trying to make a tight right hand turn onto my street directly in front of our house. He didn't make it and got painfully wedged in between the cars and the snow. It was at this exact moment that the husband chose to leave for his morning appointment. He is now totally closed in and cannot exit the driveway between the bus, the garbage and the snow. Horns are blaring, the husband calls me and is cursing words so blue that they would make a longshoreman blush. I, dressed in my sweats, winter coat and sneakers, trek three doors down and politely interrupt the cutting of the child in order to inform my neighbours that their guests have created traffic hell!!! They innocently look at me as if I am from Mars and say, it is not them! What to do? As I trudge back home, I notice the husband has made a three-point turn on our drive way and has squeezed his way around and speeds off. The bus driver is cursing in a foreign tongue and horns are blaring from cars up and down the street. Finally a young truck driver, gets so fed up, he almost yanks the bus driver from his cab, re-aligns the bus himself, and allows for the resumption of calm. The only good news, is that my guys had not yet arrived. This time, it wasn't our fault!!! Only in the city!

We are almost there. Yesterday was interesting. There was a piece missing from the dishwasher. When the husband found out, he blew his usually composed gasket. He not only got the company to admit that they were incorrect, but he had them send the piece over at 7:00 last night by courier. The countertops were not perfectly aligned, so back to the shop they went, hopefully to reemerge today. I have running water, but was instructed by Reliable not to turn it on in case it doesn't hold and he is not here to fix it. Check out the pictures. The place is really shaping up. Raines (formerly Hunky) is supposed to come today to build a step so that we don't kill ourselves walking out the back door. We'll see!

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