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So this is something that has been reinforced this week: that we all pay a price for our decisions, one of the most important of which being where we live. My friend Chris has peace and ocean and glorious trees, but there’s a price for living on an isolated island. My friends in Vancouver live in a gorgeous city with mountains and ocean, but there is a definite high price for choosing such a popular place.

And I came home to the price I pay – a very long list of all that has to be done in my house in order that I may live here. (Not to mention in Toronto, a fabulous city with its huge challenges.) The garden, in only ten days, has bushed out of control, and as I wrote before, the guy who used to help a bit has vanished. I could spend the next week just in the garden, but then there’s the house. The roof and eavestroughs guy are coming tomorrow plus the window guys, Kevin coming Thursday to rip up my deck because the termite guys are coming Friday to finish the distribution of poison, which of course requires – ripping up part of the deck. I faced a huge load of laundry, because the people who rented here while I was away not only left sheets but every single bath towel. Why would people staying five days need six bath towels? When you get out of the shower, are you not clean? Can you not use the same towel once or twice?

Teaching today, tomorrow, Thursday. Recruiting for my garden workshop in July. Editing two U of T students, extra work that pays.

Worst of all, the biggest shock, another huge bill from the renovation, something I was not expecting related to the plans that didn’t happen, thousands of dollars I didn’t know I owed to pay for a failed plan. Truly ghastly.

So. Home. Gazing out right now at greenery, birds, flowers, veggies. But there is a price and sometimes, like right now, it feels steep. I came back from the conference fired up to write, but the house and life have once again taken precedence.

Ah well. First world problems. As one of the conference attendees said, to a writer writing about her upbringing in small town Ontario in the fifties, “Are you aware of your white privilege? Will you be writing about racial awareness?”

The author replied politely, “No.”

My lettuce is bountiful. I’m going to pick some and crack open a bottle and a fresh avocado that I bought just down the street, because shops are nearby and easy to get to and cheap, and make dinner, and watch the last episode of “Gentleman Jack” that I taped, and not think about all there is to do. And then – I’ll do some writing work. Yes we can.

Here is your faithful correspondent suffering in Vancouver.

Hideous Jericho Beach.

Okay, done and done. Go Raptors. Oh yes, they did go, and there were two million people on the streets yesterday to celebrate them, including my daughter and her boys getting a sunburn. Not sad to have missed that.



2 Responses to “overload”

  1. theresa says:

    Always a price. I choose to live outside the mainstream but it has its price, I know. Mostly I'm ok with it. I don't know how anyone can afford Vancouver any more, even though it such a beautiful place. My friends all bought their houses decades ago but young people? My (math) son has a research partner who is at UBC, at the same career stage, but man, the difference in buying a house in Edmonton and buying a house in Vancouver.

  2. beth says:

    Theresa, I could not agree more. Vancouver horrified me this time – I love it, one of the most stunning cities in the world, but the flaunting of vast wealth everywhere in clothing and cars is shocking and the cost of housing – astronomical. Like yours, my theatre friends managed to buy something small decades ago and will be laughing when they sell, but young people now – I guess they rent an apartment and share, if they want to live in town. And yes, I celebrate the advantages of life in the city, as you know, but after time in B.C., how much I miss the tranquillity and lush green and sweet sea air.

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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.

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