In Which I Make Lists

September 14, 2009 at 1:48 pm 4 comments

When we bought our house, things were very different. We were different: we had no small children of our own, but two older foster kids. And the place was different: the adjacent property was empty scrub.

5 Years later, things have changed. We have a 1 and 3 year old who want to play outside all the time. And the empty lots have been turned almost overnight into “Adult Lifestyle Condominiums”.

Things that suck about living next to a new development of Adult Lifestyle Condominiums:

  • Gorgeous quiet residential cul-de-sacs, and no kids to play in them.
  • A small number of neighbours who bought here to get away from neighbours with children.
  • A view of roofs, where there used to be small trees, long grass, and wild flowers.
  • a park with paths and grass and trees but no play structure.
  • feeling guilty about the bit of lawn we don’t maintain, which looks much worse when it is no longer next to small trees, long grass, and wild flowers.
  • having the phone line cut as a weekly occurrence during construction.

Things that don’t suck about living next to a new development of Adult Lifestyle Condominiums:

  • beautifully paved walkways, built for people who may have or develop mobility issues, but also wonderful for strollers, that connects our street to the nearby grocery store and Zellers, with minimal time spent walking along the 4-lane arterial roads- by way of a small treed park, and quaint little footbridge.
  • people doing Tai Chi in the park, triggering conversations about different ways to move that feel good, and about how if you aren’t good at something right away, you should keep practicing  (yeah, if you watch Ni Hao Kai Lan, you know why.  If you don’t, I cannot explain it).
  • A lovely flat paved circle in the park, just waiting for a girl to get her first two-wheeler.
  • Many neighbours who are happy to wave back to a smiling 1-year old, or wait for the “walking man” when they see you teaching a 3 year old about traffic safety.

My love for my house, its tiny kitchen, fenceless yard, and busy thoroughfare waxes and wanes.  But the fact that we can now embark on an “adventure” that can include waving at puppies, visiting the pet store, whooping it up at McPlayland, buying diapers, choosing potty-chart stickers from the dollar store, and bringing home milk- all without having to use the car, or to stroll with two kids along several blocks of pedestrian un-friendly arterial road?  I’m not about to send love-letters to the developer.

But I might start to mow the lawn.

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Rituals and Rites Usagi?! Ujjayi.

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. JeninCanada  |  September 15, 2009 at 8:49 am

    Mowing the lawn has got to be my least favorite out-door chore. Infact, that and weed-wacking are the only two outside activities I think of as chores! My neighbourhood also has very exacting standards of lawns. It drives me nuts because I like the natural look of a lawn and let mine go almost completely to clover this summer. I’m sure my neighbors hated it but I loved all the friendly bees that came by and how awesome it smelled. Eventually it got mowed because the flowers were finished and it didn’t look so nice anymore but I dont’ regret my mini-rebellion against the norm.

  • 2. Cleric at Large  |  September 15, 2009 at 9:19 am

    Jen-are you in Ontario? Ed Lawrence (the gardening guy on CBC’s Ontario Today) is a HUGE fan of clover for lawns- native, green, drought-resistant, pretty, and great for walking and playing on.

    I also heard some stories from Windsor after the long, long city worker strike that some people absolutely loved the meadow-like quality of the city parks after weeks un-mowed, and that some parks were going to be left in that state intentionally. Haven’t done the legwork to confirm that, though.

    (if my bit of yard had more meadow-like quality than thistle-refuge-like quality, I might not worry about it)

  • 3. Emily  |  September 17, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    I had a totally different “Adult Lifestyle” in mind HAHA!

  • 4. Cleric at Large  |  September 18, 2009 at 7:05 am

    What all those childless seniors are doing behind their own closed doors is none of my business.

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