Sunday, May 19, 2013

opening up the new room

Bushed. But happy bushed, on this beautiful Victoria Day weekend. Much of Toronto has decamped to the cottage, to sit by the lake and listen to the loons. Or, just as likely, the cottage next door's sound system, gas mower or motor boat. Whereas here in the ceety, we had the usual soundscape of a holiday weekend - birds, sirens, the guy on Spruce Street who spends every waking holiday moment making something with his power tools, my next-door neighbours gardening.

Me gardening. I planted some veggies and bought impatiens and herbs to plant tomorrow. John #2, my plumber and other handyman, and his friend came yesterday to stain the cedar planks of the new termite-less deck, and today to help put up my pergola and carry out the big plants that wintered indoors. My outdoor room is finally set up and ready, with its new carpet of cedar. What a long haul. John's friend showed me how even the base of my wooden planters had been devoured by termites. John, meanwhile, was investigating the lack of water at the front, to discover that the pipes there had burst during the winter and have to be replaced, which means cutting into the basement drywall.

Good thing there's something else broken around here, otherwise we'd all just be so bored!

John's friend is a born-again Christian visiting from California. John is born again too, and I'm happy for him, he says finding religion saved him from alcoholism, depression and self-destruction. Though he talks about his faith, he doesn't push it. But when his friend mentioned the love of the Lord God for the fifteenth time, I asked him to stop. He was proselytizing the whole time he was here, and it got to be a bit much.

Once the Jesus boys had gone, I did some more gardening, cut the lawn, moved the rest of the plants out, brought out and cleaned the cobwebby garden chairs and the seat cushions from the backyard shed, found the Provencale tablecloth - and collapsed with a glass of wine, to enjoy the soft dusk light filtering through the lilac.

There's chaos out there in the world - Obama fighting various scandals with the slavering Republicans at his heels, like starving wolves. And Rob Ford highlighting Toronto's embarrassment for the entire world. Again, as Jim Coyne pointed out in his "Star" article today, we have Mike Harris to thank for the fact that the suburbanites of Etobicoke elected their man and shoved him down the throats of the rest of us.

But let it rest. It's a holiday weekend, it's full on spring, flowers and scent everywhere, and you cannot solve the problems of the world by fuming. So pour another glass, go sit outside, and listen.

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