My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

Beth Kaplan logo

wake up call

HELP! That’s it, I don’t want to do this any more. It was a terrible mistake to decide to renovate and not to sell. Anyone want to buy a large, dysfunctional, freshly-renovated wreck in Cabbagetown?

I’ve been sleeping badly this whole winter, probably my general anxiety level with this reno. Last night, another terrible night, finally fell asleep around 5 and was awakened at 7.15 from a dead sleep by screaming noise and blinding flashing lights; I thought it was a police raid. Now I know what that must be like. It was the brand new smoke alarms, which now flash as well as shriek, and do so throughout the house. And because there’s a rental suite in the basement, there were two right next to me, one on one side of the bedroom door and one on the other. I may never hear again.

Ran around frantically in my pyjamas; I flipped the breaker switch the electrician had told me would disconnect them, only it did nothing, on they blared. I called the electrician who luckily was coming over anyway today but had no idea what to do; finally called Kevin, who picked up the third time I called, at 7.30, and luckily lives just down the street. He came over and disconnected them all, but the two in the basement, even off the wall and in his hands, continued their incredible noise. We wrapped them in cushions and put them in the birdseed box out on the deck, where they continued their muffled cry.

I called Kidde, who told me they’d send two new ones and how to turn these ones off for good. A moment of peace, blessed relief.

And then another siren started somewhere in the basement. Couldn’t even figure out where it was coming from. Finally realized – the apartment. Had to bang on my tenant’s door, get him out of bed, go in with the electrician; it was the sump pump alarm. He turned it off. A bit of peace. About half an hour later, it started again. Again banging on the door, disturbing Gabriel and his guest, this time unplugging the alarm for good. Realized – that in turning off the breakers to try to stop the smoke alarm, I had turned off the sump pump breaker, so the alarm was doing its job, letting me know the sump was not working.

I hate this house. I hate smoke alarms, never know how to stop them. It has happened before that they went off for no reason, only this was worse because they’re even louder, with lights, and everywhere. Before, I could open a door and blow fresh air in and it would stop. Now – nothing stops them, it seems.

I’ve called a furnace guy to come and make sure it’s not the furnace. Kidde had no explanation as to why they might have gone off when the house was asleep. It could have been worse, however. It could have been 4 a.m. And of course, there could have been an actual fire. So, I should count my blessings and crawl back into bed, except that there are two electricians and two painters here and Kevin going back and forth.

Okay, enough. This too shall pass. First world etc. I am however feeling battered.

It really helps to tell you all about it. Thanks for listening.

PS Five minutes later: I think the furnace is not working. There’s no heat.




2 Responses to “wake up call”

  1. Think: Europe, Spring, good food and wine and coming home to a "new" home. Hang in there, Beth.


  2. beth says:

    Thank you, Chrissie! I know I shouldn't complain, have so much to be grateful for – including my escape next week. But the smoke alarms seemed at the time like one thing too many. Looking forward to eating some of your home-grown veggies in June!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

Some Blogs I Follow

Chris Walks
This blog evolves. It once was about travels. Now it’s a reason to be at the keyboard that I value.

Theresa Kishkan
Theresa Kishkan is a writer living on the Sechelt Peninsula on the west coast of Canada.

I walk on. With my feet, and in my mind as well.

Carrie Snyder
Wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, consider this space a place for reflection and pause.


Coming soon

A new book by Beth Kaplan, published by Mosaic Press – “Midlife Solo”

Join the mailing list to stay up to date on this and other exciting news.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.