Thursday, July 26, 2012

Dark, dank and dripping...

The name which my four nieces use for me is “Auntie Lou” –this past weekend caused me to ponder a revision to become “Auntie Move”…A wearying and strenuous effort to assist as best I could with the relocation of my youngest niece from one apartment to a new one just a block away!

After travelling several hours with my brother to a small northern city, we arrived after dark in inclement weather. It was immediate that my niece’s reasons for moving were well-founded – the apartment where she had been living was a basement cave. 

There had also been two floods from the upstairs apartment – and the overflows were not dishwater. ‘Nuff said about that one..And lastly, as the rain continued to pelt down, inside windowsills overflowed and the exterior walls were slick with wet, seeping onto the already-reeking carpet.

Parents who search out Accommodation to Rent for students are often at a disadvantage from the get-go. Unfamiliar with the proximity to whichever school, college or university can result in a trek that’s simply too far. Arriving on site with a truck full of dreams can turn into a nightmare of despair – with no alternatives.

With nobody to stand up for their human rights, students away from home often have to endure dark, dank and dripping rentals with the most unholy of neighbours, fouled surroundings and an overwhelming sense of despair. Boarding kennels can sometimes feel closer to heaven!

Talk about taking advantage of unsuspecting and unprepared tenants – slum landlords have no excuses! If you hear a sensible young person complaining about their living conditions while at school, check out their story – it may be that they too are living in a dark, dank and dripping rental!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Light In The Window...

Everyone who’s been out after dark and wends their weary way home has traditionally been cheered, even from afar, by a light in the window beckoning.
In days of yore, more often a candle – but nonetheless a beacon.

Front porch lights are a thoughtful gesture when flicked on before retiring, especially in a rural area when someone may be in need of help. I was thinking of this recently when my youngest niece recounted a hair-raising tale of a nighttime walk from New Liskeard to Haileybury…stranded when her ride left unexpectedly.

Every snap of a branch or unfamiliar murmur of “something” out there gave her goosebumps galore and when she and her girlfriend arrived at their apartment they simply fell onto their beds with exhaustion!
I admonished her gently, suggesting they should have knocked on someone’s door….

Driving back to Muskoka from a weekend visit to the Tri-Town communities known as Temiskaming Shores, I gasped with incredulity when I saw a unique fixture mounted next to the front door.
Not immediately recognizable as a light in the window, or even near the window, it was a stuffed bear head! And that was hair-raising!

When in the dark, personally or professionally, tread lightly!!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

"Your name's on it"...

On a recent jaunt to beautiful Manitoulin Island, it was a coincidence to see a vehicle with company logo and contact info parked in the next space to mine at the motel where my friend and I had reserved. It would be usual for me to introduce myself as hailing from Bracebridge too, but the driver and occupants were elsewhere at that moment.
After our dinner, we climbed to the second floor and found that the lounge chair outside our front door was occupied by an already-impaired lout, who scarcely moved his feet to allow us entry to our room. Two younger fellows, presumably travelling with this person, had also commandeered an extra chair so the three were in a cluster on the verandah.

The volume of conversation increased as the evening turned to night – and I was glad my friend had removed her hearing aid devices…the profanities, vulgarities and truly shocking inferences that percolated the man’s speech were appalling.
However, amongst the grandstanding, it became clear that this particular person was the job supervisor,  he knew his work, and was passing along his experiences to the younger men. Included in his sermonizing was an urging that they take pride in their workmanship and be accountable – because “your name’s on it”.

By 1:30 a.m., with the security-chain in place, I opened the door just a smidge and very politely greeted the group with a “Hey fellas, would you keep the noise down please. It’s late…”. The two young men were relatively sensible, and in fact had spoken in low tones from the start – but the boss man was more drunk than anyone I’d ever seen; and a slurred apology which held no merit was spewed forth.

In the morning they were stumbling and bumbling down the metal stairs – and off to a head-pounding nail-driving day in the sun. I was muttering still – but did remember to write down the company contact information and identifier from the side of their van. Guess the bozo forgot that “your name’s on it” and I’ve got it……

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Tugging Mom...

A good friend of mine has been a REALTOR® for over twenty years, and at this point in her life her children, while still in elementary school, are grown enough that she can see her way to the future and increasing her business again.

It’s tough sledding – Mom’s taxi service is a feat of endurance that can be observed from the very early hours of the morning heading out to hockey or swimming practices or beating the highway homeward with the athlete in the back seat fast asleep!

The many other routine duties that most Mom’s perform result in a long list that requires agility and stamina to accomplish. Whatever the woman’s occupation may be outside of the home, all Moms are faced with decision making that sometimes tears at their heartstrings and creates an internal sinister and simmering probability that they’re a “bad Mom” if their response is the least popular.

Two decades ago many husbands who became fathers did not participate in any tasks they had not previously been responsible for. Changing a diaper was an absolute and emphatic “No!” – and pushing the baby buggy was nearly as distasteful. Nowadays it seems nearly the reverse – and yet, manipulative tactics still exist.

Observing the travails of my friend in balancing responsibilities and work I today wish I had a hank of rope to noose around her partner’s thick neck! My father always knotted his necktie with a Double Windsor style configuration – I’m sure I can remember the how-to!