In declaring my independence from the city and moving to the country, I felt a sense of renewed freedom that was truly hard to describe.
Regular readers and my inner circle of friends will recall that in the city, I have had more than my fair share of lousy neighbours. Over the years, I have endured blaring music till all hours of the night, my backyard being used as a dog’s toilet and my driveway being used as a visitor’s parking spot, among other not-so-neighbourly infractions.
Don’t get me wrong, I have had exceptionally lovely neighbours as well and I miss them dearly, but the nuisance ones occupied significantly more of my head space than the delightful ones.
The move to a rural property meant less need to compromise and to accommodate the impingements of self-entitled neighbours in the name of “staying on good terms”. With so few neighbours, I had the distance I needed to breathe and to heal.
But in the country, there is a different impingement that has become an almost daily preoccupation: garden weeds.
When we arranged a first visit to see this property, it was mid-February and the 1.4 acre parcel of land was covered by snow. We knew that the place had a garden, as the listing referred to the patio as an “oasis”, but that was the extent of what we knew about the state of the landscaping. Continue reading
Filed under 50+, home, Humour
Over the course of our first year following our move from the city to the country, it became apparent that I was lacking one asset: vocabulary.
For someone who loves words, who writes a weekly blog post and who aspires to become a screenwriter in retirement, who basically eats, sleeps and dreams about writing, how can that be?
The reality is that I grew up in the suburbs of Ottawa. And by suburbs, I mean outlying parts of the city, but leaning more toward the city than the country.
Up until last year, I hadn’t been fully aware of the differences, intricacies and nuances of language simply by moving from an urban to a rural postal code. As a result, the gaps in my lexicon have left my interlocutors with squints and raised eyebrows.
The first glaring problem was my inadequate ability to distinguish between conveyances.
For example, if I was ever arriving home a little late from an errand in a neighbouring village, I might say, “Sorry, I was stuck behind a slow-moving truck on the highway.” My partner realized that I used “truck” for just about any vehicle that didn’t qualify as a car, as I later used the term to also describe every type of construction vehicle that ran across our lawn when we built our garage.
Upon realizing that “truck” was pretty vague to someone born and raised in the country, I adopted the expression “agricultural vehicle” as a seemingly more accurate catch-all term for farm vehicles. At least that would distinguish the conveyance from let’s say, a pick-up truck, a dump truck or a tractor trailer hauling “stuff” (which I should also more accurately describe as goods, crops, livestock or building supplies, as appropriate). Continue reading