Monday, June 14, 2010

They're Paving Paradise...

Current Reading: Nothing.

Inspirational Quote: “Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans.” -- John Lennon

Greetings from my front porch. Thanks to the miracle of my netbook, I'm capable of reporting from the front lines, writing out in the fresh air although not in the sunshine because it's cloudy right now and because too much sunshine makes it impossible to see the screen. Stratus clouds are blowing in from the northwest with a scatter of cumulus underneath. Rain's coming. Probably tonight.

Anyway, right now I'm watching a cement mixer do something cement-ish to the road allowance in front of my house. See, back in 1998, a builder got the bright idea of creating a sub division in the neighbourhood. Unfortunately, right about the time he was ready to commit, the economy tanked and people stopped buying. He ended up with a couple of show-houses facing a road allowance and a dozen acres of marshy ground. He sold the houses, and went off to wait until things got better.

The Kingdom of Ithaka occupies the northern most of the show houses. The grounds of the kingdom are quite extensive, if by “extensive,” you mean, “small,” although we make up for it by living on the edge of a small village surrounded by forested hills and farmer's fields.

Things got better, because the moment the frost was out of the ground this year, surveyors showed up on my property and began tagging everything from gas mains to children's toys. Two weeks ago, a portable lumber mill moved in and reduced the swamp thicket to pulp. Last week, a back-hoe, bull-dozer, something that looks like a steam-roller with cleats, and a dozen men with hard hats moved in and turned the swamp into a landscape that wouldn't look out of place on the moon. They've buried sewage tanks and lines and torn up the street nearby. I'm told I'm getting anywhere between three and 200,000 neighbours in the next few years.

My joy at the prospect cannot be measured.


Yesterday, I read a book. A whole book in one day. I'm rather pleased about that. I'm a little disappointed in the book itself, but the accomplishment was nice. I haven't read a book in a day since I was a teenager with no responsibilities. I'd sprawl on my bed and read for hours. Now, I can't sprawl anywhere for more than a few minutes before someone steps on me, or comes to tell me that I should give them a ride somewhere or that the cat's thrown up / Aeneas has decked Telemachus / Cassandra's speaking in tongues... you know, the usual father stuff. But for a few hours on a Sunday, everyone was elsewhere, silence descended on the kingdom, and I read.

I wouldn't trade fatherhood for anything, but sometimes it's nice to have a day wherein one can read an entire book.

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