Two cops a ‘cruisin. Another night on Smyth Road
Scott and I sat in the backyard into the wee hours this morning, on the deck that Scott built with his two hands, surrounded by the rose garden he had planted as an anniversary present for me. We talked about our eight years on Smyth Road, about the great barbecues we had, about the party we threw the day we got married. We’re going to miss this deck, this place when we move in two weeks, forced out by toxic oil spill next door.
It is from this vantage point that we watched the goonies — our affectionate name for the kids and their friends — as they bounced up and down the stairs. It is from here we made our life plans and off-loaded the effects of good days and bad. Lots of food was cooked on the two barbecues, lots of wine, beer and Scotch was drunk. This place is full of memories for us; I’ve lived in many houses, but it is in this house where we raised my three children.
As always, there was some fun activity going on behind us last night. The parking lot of Jewish Memorial Chapel, which has been our good neighbour all these years, has always been full of nonsense — kids smoking dope and questionable sexual activities — despite its larger than life and useless motion detectors. Last night, we crawled into the bushes to watch two Ottawa police cruisers tucked in behind the chapel. We were pretty sure there was sumpin’ sumpin’ going on. I felt like singing that old rock song: “If the cruiser is rockin’, don’t come a knockin.”
We chuckled about this clandestine little activity, as we always do when there is nefarious behaviour afoot. This deck has kept us entertained, that’s for sure. Like a couple of weeks back when the cops jumped the fence and wrestled a car thief onto the ground, then tried to arrest my harmless little son Nick, just for peeping at them out the window.
On this street, there have been honour killings, machete murders and bank robberies on one end, and lifesaving heroics at the other end as the good people in our hospitals do what they do best. Behind us, many families have come to honour the memories of their loved ones. I went there, too, to pay tribute to the strange but remarkable Jerry Yanover who passed away last summer.
In two weeks, we move on to new adventures. It’s looking like we’re going to settle into yet another strange house on a busy street, a house which will see the return of at least two of my children. Goonie activity, no doubt, will ensue.
I will look back on Smyth Road with great fondness, and I will thank my landlord for being, for the most part, a good guy who allowed us to paint and build, to make a rental property a home for our family. I expect to pass by here often, and see which new people will make this place a respite from their busy lives. Hopefully, the toxic oil spill will not prevent this house from being alive with the sounds of people, their dogs and their children.
That would be a shame.
Farewell, Smyth Road. It’s been a slice. It hasn’t always been good, but it’s always been interesting.