Almost Summer


Me, after A/C. (You don’t want to know what I look like without it.)

So I’ve been playing russian roulette with spring, with each spin of the chamber hoping that hot weather doesn’t arrive before the A/C guys, from whom I rent air conditioning units.

I lost.

In true Ontario fashion, unseasonably cold temps gave way to middle-of -July get-in-the-shade-and-drink-beer heat.  And I had no A/C. And the heat is still on in the apartment building until the middle of freakin’ June.  An OH-EM-GEE moment, if ever there was  one.

So I cancelled my rentals and headed down to Rona’s first thing this morning to buy me a portable air conditioner.  It weighed as much as my car, but I managed to slide it out of the trunk and onto a dolley.

Only the dolley wouldn’t fit in the elevator. I sat on a bench in the lobby with my precious cargo pondering my dilemma when the building manager strolled by.

“That won’t fit in the elevator,” he said smiling. “Let me get you a smaller one.”

He turned around and went into the parking garage and brought back the proper dolley. ‘

“Here, let me.”  He lifted the heavy box up and plopped it down on the dolley effortlessly.

I could have kissed him.


Portable unit chillin’ the bedroom

I went upstairs and emailed by neighbour, who came by about 40 minutes later and helped me get it the thing off the dolley and into the bedroom.  We stuffed the hose in the window and voila!  Nice cool boudoir.

I had thought of only getting one, but had second thoughts.  I HATE being hot.

“Could you come back with me to Rona’s to get the second unit?”

“Of course,” my nice neighbour said.

“And install it?” I asked guiltily.

“Of course,” he said again.



New Window unit–note that the sheets are losing a valiant effort to block heat from the heat register.

So here I sit in my apartment on a 90 degree day, with two A/C units blasting, thinking how much poorer I am (those suckers are expensive!) but inevitably richer for having such nice people living just down the hall.


Status Check

It’s been two months since I moved into my apartment and, except for a couple of wrinkles, things are going pretty well. The following is a list of pros and cons of apartment living, in no particular order:


  1.  Not having to climb stairs to go to bed, or carry an overweight dog up the stairs to bed, or go up and down the stairs over and over because I can’t find my glasses.
  2. Being able to pick up dog poop per dump (on a walk) vs by the kilo (in the backyard).
  3. Having a cleaner home because now it takes a few minutes to clean vs a few days.
  4. Being able to do multiple loads of laundry at once rather than one at a time, thereby decreasing your chances of forgetting a load in the machine which, if not retrieved soon, will smell funky and need another wash.


  1.  Having to stop to speak to people in the lobby when you’re in a bad mood or really have to pee.
  2. Realizing you have the wrong set of keys after you’ve gone all the way downstairs, necessitating a trip back upstairs only to discover that the elevators are in service and are stuck on the 10th floor.
  3. Walking down the stairs to the terrace and from the terrace to the pool, only to discover you forgot your sunscreen/towel/drink/hat.
  4. Realizing you are the pool nazi by virtue of complaining to the lifeguard when kids take up the entire pool playing “marco polo.” (All the adults thank me. )

Is That The Sea Calling Me?

It’s March break in Ontario, and the weather is a balmy 68.  Not typical for this time of year.  I sip my morning coffee and hear the rumblings of the ocean.  Crossing the room, I open my sliding door and hear the birds singing outside.  The ocean sounds odd this morning; its usual soft rhythms are jagged and piercing.

I hear the sound of voices, and they’re not the sounds of happy children playing in the sun.  Wait a minute:  it sounds an awful lot like rap music.  It IS rap music.  My ocean view morphs into my neighbour’s backyard, his patio door wide open and his questionable taste in music blaring from outdoor speakers.  Bloody hell.

Clancy watches his neighbours.

My neighbourhood used to be very quiet; mostly a community of empty-nesters and retirees.  Then, one by one, those folks moved (probably to Bora Bora or Belize) and the yahoos took over.  Any day it’s balmy, they crank up their stereos and play their crappy music so loud my pictures bounce off the walls.  Last year, on July 1 (Canada Day), they had a 48-hour party, and throughout all of it played to worst music imaginable.  God help me, it’s happening all over again.

Buddy awakened by music.

Buddy the dog and  Clancy the cat are sitting at the sliding door as I type this, looking perplexed.  What’s that racket? their eyes ask me.  Buddy is especially annoyed; what passes for music across the yard woke him up.  Clancy starts grooming.  Nothing much really bothers him, except baths and his dog brother deciding to use him as a Frisbee.  However, Clancy is intrigued;  he’s never heard such a cacophony of noise coming from OUT THERE, the great beyond that he knows as Buddy’s toilet.  (Clancy thinks dogs are dumb because they have to go OUT THERE to pee and poo; in utter amazement and a keen sense of superiority, Clancy peers behind the drapes every night to watch Buddy perform his ablutions before bed.)

I wonder how they will adjust to hearing the ocean symphony outside their door, instead of the crappy music of their crazy neighbours.  Buddy loves the water, but not to wade in; he loves chasing the low waves as they ripple on the shore .  He’s convinced he can catch them with his teeth.  (He does the same thing with faucet water, sprinkler water, etc:  moving water looks solid to him, and therefore edible. ) Clancy, on the other hand, would die a happy cat if he never saw water again. Like his dog brother, he loathes baths.  As a kitten, he successfully escaped the watery grave that was his first bath by using me as his personal Mount Everest, scaling up the front of me and then hitting the summit of my head before jumping off and running behind the couch.  (It took a week for the claw marks on my chest and shoulders to heal; it took even longer for Clancy to decide that this new, hairless Mother Cat wasn’t really trying to drown him.)

A sweet little chunk of real estate in the cayes.

Sigh.  I return to my computer, and review the beachfront properties available in Belize for a fraction of what one would pay in North America.  I can see myself there, with my fur babies, enjoying the sweet Carribean air.  I see my little hut surrounded by hibiscus and sweetgrass.  Oh, the dream of it.

I think I’m going to turn my neighbours on to the steel drum.  If I’m to be invaded by outdoor music all summer, I rather it remind me of the tropics and not a couple of dummies with no taste in music.

I leave you with the sweet sound of the steel drum.  Could there be any sound happier than this?