After shock on Smyth Road
By Rose Simpson
The puppy pile woke me up at 5 a.m.this morning: one pug wheezing beside me, the other worrying his paw, pausing from this serious work to sniff my ear and lick my open gob. Hannah the retriever had stretched out, taking up what was left of the bed; she growled every time I tried to find a place for my feet. I love my dogs, but some mornings they make it impossible to sleep.
Kudos to them. After brushing my teeth, I heard an alarming gurgle; it sounded like a running toilet only louder. I padded downstairs to discover that one of the fish tanks was badly leaking water, its filter had morphed into a base for a water fall. Slimy algae water was cascading over the side of the tank onto the hardwood below .
The aquaculture guardian was alerted; he bounded from bed, grabbed the tools of his trade and began muddling, doing something or other.
“Olga Three is looking pretty grey,” he said, grimly. This was a worrying sign; Olga Two had been the color of slate when I scooped her lifeless body from the tank hours after the earthquake last week. Scott was right. Olga Three was indeed looking grey around the gills.
Fish tank carnage continues in the aftershock of the earthquake on Smyth Road. We are just beginning to feel the fallout from the grumbling earth that rocked our world last week.
After a mind dumbing hour of watching Canada AM — Jeff standing in a vineyard in Niagara-on-the-Lake saluting as colonial soldiers shot something out of cannons — I finished my coffee and headed down the street, where I saw my neighbour shaking his fist, and swearing at the sinkhole which was once his driveway. He hasn’t been able to get his car out since last Tuesday, thanks to the excellent craftsmanship of workers laying new curb.
Our street looks like something out of a Cormac McCarthy novel, with craters where the sidewalks used to be, a gaggle of John Deere and Caterpiller machinery left abandoned, pylons strewn every-which-way. The only sign of life at this hour is the sound of the odd ambulance weaving its way along this hospital highway, carrying its usual cargo of early morning heart attacks and strokes.
We were warned just last week to move our cars, lest they be imprisoned by the workers putting in new curbs. A week later, the “work” continues, with no sign of abating. My poor neighbour looks absolutely bereft, and spends hours railing against the city and chatting up anyone who will listen about the evils of road reconstruction.
Buddy will have to wait a little longer. There were no workers in sight yesterday; it might be too wet today.
There is no good news for me today, either. My planned excursion into the forest has been postponed. The weather forecast is calling for rain and cool temperatures. Rain, again. Seems it has rained for six weeks. I’m thinking it’s time to start taking my Vitamin D tablets again. It’s wearing me down.
On days like this, I wish I had a job in an office somewhere, where I could huddle around the coffee machine chanting about the squirming maggots that have turned my Green Bin into their own little juke joint, or about the weather. But I still count myself lucky that I can instead spend my hours clacking away at the keyboard with the pile of puppies nestled at my feet, watching the traffic back up on Smyth Road while the ambulances negotiate the space to save another life.
Here, I can sit in my tee shirt and shorts, drink endless mugs of lattes and have a nap when the mood strikes. It’s looking like that kind of day.
Only 7 a.m. and the blog is finished. Time to go back to bed.