Sunday, February 25, 2007

I couldn't believe my luck. When I woke up this morning it wasn't raining! The forecast had promised a very wet weekend. I was all geared up last night, mentally prepared to wake up Sunday morning and go out for my run in the rain, telling myself that it's the tough runs that will get me through the finish line on race day. I was actually looking forward to being positive about running in the rain. Then I woke up and no rain. Huh? There was even some blue sky patches. So I got ready as quickly as possible just in case the clouds got darker. The rain can move in so quickly here, you have to take advantage of the good weather when you can.

My run started out okay. It wasn't even that chilly. I felt overdressed so I peeled off a layer. It was my first long run with a water bottle on my hip -- the first time ever and it was a pain. I fought with that stupid water bottle belt for the first half (or 40 minutes) of my run. It was really slowing me down and frustrating me because I wasn't thinking about running or the beautiful morning, but rather this stupid water bottle I had to carry. I enjoyed the benefits of having the water on hand and even a spot to put my carb snacks, but overall it ruined my run.

When I headed towards the inlet and ran along the water near the end of my run, the sun came out and it was really quite warm out. The water was perfectly still and the mountains rose up behind. It was very picturesque. At that point I just tried to enjoy my run on the off road trail through what I think is a really lovely part of BC. I also thought about how much I like living where we are. We could have ended up in a condo or some crappy apartment building out this way, but we didn't. We have a great little garden suite.

* * *

We went to Chinatown the other day just to get some rice paper and I was so glad to come home at the end of the day and be away from the city noise. I like visiting the city, but I prefer to live outside of it. I think that's how I really envision whoville. It's a bit quieter. Maybe it's my age and my need to write. I like having a quiet room to write in. Granted I can always find distractions anywhere, but at least I'm not calling the cops in the middle of the day like I use to when the teenagers got out of hand and were gathering in the alley next to our house.

Here are the things I miss about our old city home that we moved away from just four months ago:

There were the gummos across the street. We called them gummos because of the movie Gummo. Anyway, they were always making a racket, having 24/7 garage sales with stolen goods. They stole the wooden fence from the school to put up around their "garage sale." There was a lot of coming and going of suspicious looking characters in that time. They moved or were evicted or something.

The young mum with her teen boys moved in. That was when our Italian flag was stolen during the world cup.

I heard gun shots one night and the police came the next day to look through our yard to see if a weapon had been dumped there and ask us if we'd seen anything. There were at least two other shooting related deaths within a block of our house in the 7 years we lived there.

Then there was the "saw man" who was a carpenter and decided that he needed a workshop on his front lawn across the street from us. This went on while I was trying to write my second thesis so that was fun.

One of the tenants next door had a lot of kids. The young boys use to hang off our fence and watch us while we tried to sit peacefully in the backyard. They always wanted to talk to us and we just wanted some quiet.

After they moved out another family moved in. The father was nice enough, but he cooked these huge chunks of meat on this miniature barbecue and the smoke would force us indoors and we'd have to shut the windows just to keep the smells of cooking flesh out of the house. Yuck. It really did smoke up more than any barbecue I've ever seen.

Another neighbour across the street we called "toenails" because my sister saw him walking on his heels one time and realized he'd had a pedicure. He must have been up at 4 every morning and on garbage day he often would bring his garbage and leave it with ours. He didn't like to have garbage in front of his house. My sister caught him one time and told him if it happened again she'd empty the bag all over the street. One morning we even watched from our windows to try and catch him in the act. We didn't. He did stop for a while, but occasionally we'd still find bags in front of our place.

Someone drove into our fence and took part of it out. D., sis and I replaced the boards, and re-painted the whole fence only to have it graffitied not long after.

Somone also came through the alley and pruned branches off our mulberry tree. I suspect they didn't like how low the branches hung down and grazed the roof of their vehicle. That was our intention. We wanted to slow people down in the alley so we let the branches hang a little more.

The neighbour on the other side chopped off the tops of the lilacs to let more light in on his veggie garden. He never asked. I assumed this is why he did it. He also use to spray his lawn with some chemical so ugh that wasn't good.

There are lots of other stories and incidents that occurred, but I can't get it all in. I'll just save them for another time. I'll try and include stories about our good neighbours too. Fortunately we did have several great neighbours who were always nice to see and gave us a sense of some community in our small space.


mister anchovy said...

I think there are plenty of good things about life in the city too. I grew up in the near suburbs and hardly knew anyone, but now, we're friends with all our neighbours. One day I was playing button accordion in the living room and the was a loud knock at the front door. I could see two of our neighbours out there, and I thought oh oh, I'm making too much racket. I went to the door and one of the guys said, "You know that squeezebox would sound an awful lot better....if you played it out here on the front porch so we could hear it better", and handed me an ice cold beer.

Wandering Coyote said...

Great list, sp. At least you have a story to tell after the fact! I hope your new place is just as rich for you, but in a good way!

red jane said...

Ah, home sweet home...I miss the good ol' days, don't you? Don't forget the cars rattling up and down the alleys and the guy who started his ford noisily at 5 every morning, the highschoolers to'ing and fro'ing from school to the mall; the mall! Who could forget Mal Wart and The Duff? Ah, good times! Fitness One? Sweet...thanks for the memories...No, I don't miss all of that either; although as I ride through the downtown eastside over to the Drive, I think things here are far worse when I see the desolation and poverty coupled with the drugs.Mind you, it's not across the street or in the alley behind the apartment here. And there is far less gunplay which is better, I guess..small mercies.

Anonymous said...

Oh, but you cannot forget the drug deals outside our windows, the gummo t.v.-a-thon at 2am. And of course, cleaning out their deep fryer while watching t.v. right out on the side walk. Gee, I miss it! And Saw Man was called "Buzz Saw". Hey, did you forget about those kids in the parking lot, playing on the concrete? Ah, good times...
I miss so many things about that place, seriously. I guess we made our house, a home.
L, L.

red jane said...

We sure did- living with you all changed my life and is a huge credit to who and where I am today. I love you all! That being said, any house you guys are in is made a home instantly- I love the new whoville digs because you've put your stamp on it. I can't wait to see the garden in a few months!