January 7, 2016
I spoke about the weather the other day, and I received some comments from my Canadian fellows – all of them agreed with me. Weather is a huge concern here – in winter because of the temperatures and winds and in summer because of the rains spoiling the weekends when people usually go to their cottages to relax after a week of stress and of rushing around all the time.
Today it was mild. No need to wear a hat – I even went out in my shoes and didn’t feel a chill. Not that I don’t go out in my shoes every day when I walk Rex. But the last few days, I had the occasion to shiver and I couldn’t wait to get back inside, which definitely peeved him as he prefers longer walks, and if possible up and down the hills. Now, don’t imagine some high hills – more like the terraces of a creek. Nevertheless, they are still a challenge when you wear shoes and the ground is covered with icy snow or slippery grass. I can visualize myself falling down and Rex slobbering all over me thinking he’d help me.
Today, I’ve been thinking a lot about the necessity of balance in all things. If something goes well, then something else will definitely go wrong. There must be equilibrium.
Let’s take the mild temperatures we enjoyed today. It was great – we had a longer walk than usually and we could stay outside in the yard longer than yesterday, for instance. However, that also meant we had visitors – squirrels and birds – which upset Rex’s world dramatically. He doesn’t react well at intruders. He’d run and bark and couldn’t find any peace at all. Neither he nor anyone living around of course!
The clear skies also made it easier for flights and we had helicopters above the house a few times today and he had the possibility to spot a helicopter for the first time in his life. The invasion in his private life was too much for my sweet little dog, though, and he knows how to make his displeasure known. I am pretty sure his displeasure made its way even up to the superintendent’s office. However, I think they were in quite a good mood there because no one came to admonish us.
I can’t complain too much though. He was good the rest of the day with only one other incident involving his friend – the cat. They have days when they get along just fine and days when one of them has some leprechauns lodged on the brain and can’t stand the other.
Today it was the cat’s turn and she didn’t want to even glance at him, so playing with him was out of question. To get rid of him she hid under the Christmas tree and he howled and howled like forever till I promised him to take him out.
The loudest dog ever! You should hear him when the fire alarm gets off. He is louder than the alarm itself and has a pitch in his voice that would make a fireman go into alarm mode instantly. To avoid anything like that, regardless what I cook, if it involves the stove or the oven, automatically I open a window and the door to the yard. Thus, I am sure no smoke or steam could set off the alarm. After hearing him once, I decided it was enough. I need my eardrums and I wouldn’t feel so good if I had them shattered.
To get back to the point, the bad part in all of that spat between the cat and the dog was that I noticed the Christmas tree again. I usually try to block certain thoughts from my head and taking the tree down is one of them. I suppose we should take it out. I know it is the time but as impatient I am to decorate it, as reluctant I am to take it down.
Last year, we managed to keep it well into February but I heard someone saying he’d leave the tree on for Easter as well – it looked good in the house and spared him of thinking at things like interior décor. I don’t think it is a bad idea. I found myself agreeing it was a something quite unique.
And besides all that, why wasting time to pack all decorations only to take them out after a while and put them back in the tree again? Plus, another advantage, no globes get broken, no lights get lost and you don’t have to think where you stored a bag of decorations and to rummage through the storage room exasperated that a big bag could hide so well in plain sight.
I think of that every year but then my mother’s face pops there on top of everything and I can imagine her expression seeing a Christmas tree in my house in summer. Not everybody likes an original person or an original idea. I, for one, never thought I had to follow the same drum as everyone. It is much more interesting to march at a different beat.
I was talking about balance in everything: if something bad happens, absolutely something positive will follow. I am sure that’s why I had a huge surprise today: my daughter proposed that we went to buy some groceries and that she’d cook.
To understand why it was such a big surprise, you should know that if the shopping doesn’t involve books, DVDs or clothes, then it is not shopping for my daughter. Most of the time, I go to buy groceries by myself.
Moreover, my daughter doesn’t cook. Even if I ask, the answer usually is “I don’t know how and I have no interest in learning. There's always take out.” So, you see, a double surprise.
I really don’t know what movie she saw today, but something set her up. I don’t complain. It is great to finish work in the evening and not have to go into the kitchen and start another kind of work. I simply waited in my room, reading a book, and dinner was served to my door. A great ending for a very long and busy day!
Our trip by bus to the grocery store, reminded me of something very funny.
Here, in Toronto, if you need to change the bus, even twice or three times, you simply ask for a transfer ticket from the driver and with that one, you can ride bus after bus, subway or streetcar, but only in one direction – you cannot go back to the starting point and you have a period of time available to you to change buses. For instance, you cannot take a bus, go to the mall, cruise the mall for a couple of hours and then try to take the streetcar. You can stop for five or ten minutes on your way but not more.
Well, a young woman got on the bus and presented the transfer ticket to the driver. The driver told her it was expired. The ticket had been given to her in the morning and now it was already in the afternoon. She tried to reason with him but as the justice was on his side, she didn’t have any success and had to pay for a new trip.
However, that brought back into my mind something I saw a few months before. An old gentleman got on the bus and also showed the transfer to the driver. The driver told him that the transfer was not good and he had to buy a ticket. The man got extremely angry and started shouting sputtering effectively: “Not good! How can you say it is not good? I used it yesterday, I used it even last week, I’ve actually used it for six months and now you tell me it is not good!” The driver, with big saucer eyes, clearly overwhelmed, managed only to say: “Please, pay the fare, sir!”
I remember he paid the fare, probably thinking that anyway, he bought another ticket to last him for other six months.
What I like in buses, but especially on the subway, it’s the fact that you can see lots of people and each of them different and a world in themselves. Everybody has something to do, avoiding eyes and keeping to themselves.
There are things though that catch your eye and you cannot look away. I find fascinating to see women putting their make up on. If it is easier on the subway, to do that on the bus requires precision, a hand that doesn’t falter and a strong will. To manage to trace the contour of the eyes with eyeliner while the driver takes a turn with maximum speed possible, that makes you an artist, that’s out of question. To manage to put mascara on your lashes without having black everywhere on your face when the bus passes over a bump in the road – and there are enough of those, smaller or bigger, that shows steady nerves.
I imagine they gain time not doing that at home but besides the fact that they fascinate me, I wouldn’t even think of taking up the habit. I am old guard and some things are better made behind a closed door.
I am sure I had something else to say but it seems that Rex has other thoughts. He kept eyeing my banana for a while and he’s lost his patience already and now he’s trying to snatch my hand off the keyboard so that I could take care of him.
Anyway, I will remember for tomorrow and hopefully it was something that deserved sharing.
Now, I will have to share a banana with a very gluttonous pug and then we’ll get out on the balcony for a bit of fresh air so that we could bless the neighbors with a few barks when Rex will notice the stars. I only hope no plane would fly by. He can’t forgive the planes as easily as the stars. I think it is because they are noisy too, not only intrusive in his horizon.
So, I will be back tomorrow.
Born sometime in the past century, living in the 21st century.
Sometimes I have good ideas... (what do you think?)
Sometimes fascinating guests!
(that for sure!)
Sometimes I have to share some of my frustrations,..
(not too tempting, huh!)
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