Saturday, June 4, 2016

Postage-stamp yard

There are some advantages to having a small yard, namely that I don't have to spend too much time on it.  This morning I got the mowing done in about 10 minutes and another 10 or so for watering some of the plants that we planted a couple of weeks ago.  I had certainly hoped it would rain, and it was supposed to last Thurs., but it didn't.  Currently, they are saying that it will rain Sunday and probably Monday.  After that, I think the plants will be one their own: either the roots will settle in or they won't.  Actually, I feel a mild allergy attack coming on, and I'll go out and grab some antihistamines, and perhaps some potting soil.  But that is basically it as far as how much I want to be gardening this year.  I spent far too much of my youth mowing the lawn and weeding a fairly large garden.

There aren't even that many houses on the block with grass in the front.  We're probably one of five on our side of the street.  On the other hand, our back yard is 85% porch (and that will be a fairly substantial effort this summer to restain it but I am not going to do that this weekend) and the rest is a great big tree and a number of ferns that don't really need watering.  So it is low-maintenance, which I appreciate greatly.

We're starting to settle into the neighbourhood.  My son plays outside with some other kids on the block almost every day, which is great.  It wouldn't have been at all unusual back when I was growing up (and there were very few helicopter parents), but far too many kids today spend nearly all their time inside on computers or watching TV.  My daughter has started to socialize a bit more as well, and has gotten into several water gun fights and so forth.  Her school friends are just a bit further away, but one is within walking distance, so perhaps they will play a little bit over the summer.

I'm starting to feel like a real Torontonian with one foot on the property ladder, though not quite as firmly as I would have liked.  I have the Toronto Star delivered on weekends, and I put the books on hold after they are reviewed in the Star.  (I did beat out a lot of people on Han Kang's The Vegetarian, since I signed up right before it won the Booker International Prize.)  If I did vote, it would be with the prevailing party: the closest to Liberal that had a reasonable chance of winning.  I would even have voted for John Tory over Olivia Chow, and I would do so again.  In short, a pretty middle-of-the-road Torontonian.  This city does feel like a place I can finally put down roots.

Anyway, the big news is that our neighbourhood will probably be impacted by the Downtown Relief Line.  I am not that worried about it, since I don't think the city has the money to start anything until at least another 8 years.  Still, it is exciting in a way, though I am sure I will be cursing the construction disruptions when (or if) they ever get started.  We are far enough from the route that expropriations of property on our street are extremely unlikely, but again, it is way too early for the city to make any firm commitments one way or the other.

I think I'll head out and do some reading on the porch before it gets too hot today.

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