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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Cage Fights

We are caged into our house.

Literally, we are caged into our house by the road construction hazard fencing that runs parallel along our street, for our safety. You see, our lovely street is getting new water lines installed which means our entire street is now about ten feet deep instead of a normal, paved roadway.

Most people on our street have alley access or access to their homes through their backyard via a park. Not us! We are one bunch of housemates in a small cluster of houses on the corner that cannot access our home while this is happening, without some intervention of some fantastic people.

Either we get a helicopter to drop us in and out of our driveway daily, or we start taking risks by walking in and out of said construction site at least twice daily.

Or we continue to walk through our neighbour's yard to the park while the construction seems to never end.

Thank God (or whatever life source to which you pray) that they are OK with that. I don't know how patient I could be dealing with walking through a muddy construction site every day, twice a day. 

As it is, driving through a construction site, traipsing through a park, finding the seemingly secret door on the fence, walking through someone's back yard, and across another person's front yard makes me feel like a Batman / Fred Penner type of person, so I don't want to add anything else to this list. When I got to my truck this morning and found it frosted over, I felt like my world was just crashing all around me after my adventure to get to my vehicle. And it was only 8am. I had to make a conscious effort to stop the dramatics and histrionics and let it all go.

When I got home at 4 after reversing all of the above, the construction worker lady met me in the driveway and asked me if I had water. My heart sunk, because over the past two months, our water and electricity have been on and off due to this construction. I told her I just got there and didn't know, and the owner of the house wasn't home yet. Then a very pushy young man with saggy pants came over and told me he could check the basement water doodad if that was ok with me. 

And you know what? For the sake of having water, yeah, buddy, have at 'er. Check the doodad. Even though you are pushy. And your pants are saggy, so you need a belt, which I really think is a safety hazard considering you are a construction worker.

So I got Harley, and we went outside. The guy who lives with us was there and we chatted about the whole situation for a bit. Then this guy who we decided to call Super Newf came over and met Harley. He said he has a dog like H, and told us a story about her. I had to concentrate on what he was saying because he had a really thick accent. I'm from Newfoundland, and I had to watch his mouth so I could make sure I understood everything, so I can only imagine how difficult it would be for someone who isn't from NL to understand him.

Then the lady worker came over and told us a story about her dog and how he needed a Thunder Shirt because he is scared of loud noises (this is a comforting shirt, apparently).

Super Newf came back and launched into a hilarious (to him) story about his "Sat'day" and "phone" and "bone" and "sad" and "best friend" and "wife" and "dog" and "snuggle" and "crawled up the bed" and "that's as far as you're gonna get!" but the story was much longer than that, and despite how those words make it seem, it was not X-rated. Plus there were a lot of head movements. Tyler caught the head action and I got the words. We pieced it together after.

The gist (I think) was that he was home on Saturday, and then came back here. The next day he phoned his wife and talked to his dog, too, who directly went and got her bone, but was sad because her best friend(i.e., Super Newf) was gone. He said the first night he got home, he and his wife went to bed (yes, we were that deep into the conversation that quickly), and the dog crawled up between them, snuggled in, as much to say, 'That's as far as you are gonna get!' I think he also said he missed them. He seemed really nice but Lord Almighty, his accent was thick. It's nice that he misses his dog. I'm sure he misses his wife, too.

So we watched the road stuff for awhile and I think we made them self-conscious because they all came over and chatted for awhile. We were just kind of amazed at actually how good they are at what they do. One guy operates the big scooper machine (I don't know what it's called but it looks like it's got a big fist / hand on the front that scoops stuff) and he is pretty brave because sometimes his machine perches precariously over cliff-like drops (at least, it seems so, to me). In addition, he picks up stuff like massive pipes and places them down exactly where they are needed, e.g., that 20' pipe needs to lay on that 4" piece of metal and across that bucket. And he just does it. And if he is off by an inch, he just taps it into place with the scoop, as if the scoop is a broom. No big deal. I can't even do that with a broom. If you don't know anything about heavy machinery, let me educate you: that guy is a big deal. He knows what he is doing and he does it well.

We asked about various worst-case-scenarios regarding the weather and hold-up time regarding getting the work finished, but it looks like the end of October before our road will be normal again. I am going to start wearing colour-blocked shirts and a black cape so that I can really be like Fred / Batman. Maybe I will sit under our front tree with my guitar, too.

Anyway, they got our water all straightened away and we came back into the house, since our curiosity was kind of satisfied. I'm trying to be patient; no fighting, no dramatics and no histrionics although I truly hate having to walk though trees and mud and grass in order to get to my vehicle before I can drive it through a construction site in order to go to work.

I also hate having to search for parking in a field since it kind of feels like I am in 1969, at Woodstock, waiting for the crowd to arrive. But who is saying anything about that? Not me. I'm being patient.

Also, I like having no electricity and no water sometimes. It makes me appreciate them all the more when I do have those luxuries. Who cares about drinking water, heat and bathing, anyway? They are overrated.

But I am not fighting. I am sitting here, caged in, not feeling claustrophobic at all, just hanging out on my couch, on my caged-in street. Where I have to run three houses down and through a back yard and through a park to get to my vehicle.

No big deal. They'll be done in 6 weeks.

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