Metropolitan Homesick Blues

Southampton Stories & Other Stuff

Archive for July 2010


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The moon at dusk from the Doll SIde Road

I went to the harbour to catch the sunset. It was brilliant. Clouds drifted in front of the big red ball that sat just above the horizon almost touching the lake…your usual shot. That’s when I realized I left my zoom lens at home. As I raced back to get it…the moon sat big in the sky…orange and so much more enchanting than yet another sunset.

Thankfully it just sat there…high, orange and erie. I chased it out of town to get as much of a clear view as I could. Past the town dump to the openness of the Doll Side Road until I couldn’t go any further. And there it was.

Perhaps not the greatest shot in the world. But not bad for a beginner’s first moon rise.

Written by metropolitanhomesickblues

July 26, 2010 at 4:53 PM

Southampton North End Sewer Project!

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There was once grass, greenery and trees where you now see piles of dirt and puddles of mud from the rain that fell last night and today.

I live on an easement that belongs to the town. They, until now, paid no attention to it. For the last 5 years I’ve spent time, energy and money in turning it from a place where weeds flourished to a reasonable lawn that compliments the rest of my property.

We have no idea how – or when – they will make this right…whether they will seed it or let it weed. I suspect they will quickly grade it in some fashion and forget it.

I’ve sweated the summer sun cutting the grass, seeding and fertilizing – at my own expense as my neighbours have. We’ve done the town’s landscaping and paid taxes at the same time. They did nothing.

Now one of the ten construction crews with excavators, back hoes, rumbling dump trucks, pipes and lots more have destroyed everything, mature trees, plants, the deer run and foliage… in the name of sewer expansion…a project that doesn’t benefit me but residents of Southampton’s North End. I’m not happy about it. But, I guess that’s my problem.

And even they don’t want it given the taxes they will have to pay.

A lot of our town’s North End is an ugly shambles due to the construction.

Stimulus Funding from Mr. Harper’s Action Plan and Provincial coffers dictate that the project must be completed by March end of 2011. It should be an interesting winter.

Progress in the name of urbanization can have a negative effect…particularly on nature.

Written by metropolitanhomesickblues

July 24, 2010 at 9:17 PM


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Organizing a Garage Sale is akin to rummaging through your past.

You gather everything you’ve packed or shelved for months, even years; things you’ve forgotten about, have no use for or stuff you’ve ignored and don’t really want to remember. Every item is a memory, though. Be it a good one or otherwise, you force yourself to decide – keep it for another year or sell it. Once decided, the other dilemma is – for how much? Stuff that you remember most fondly usually carries the higher price. The rest – well – whatever it takes to get rid of it…even when…at the end of the day…you’re giving it away gratis.

‘One man’s junk is another man’s treasure’ as Unknown once said.

And what is it about Garage Sales that brings out the beast within some people? I’m talking about individuals that look at a price and immediately take offense that you have the audacity to charge so much. “I’m not paying a dollar for that thing!” they say in a tone so rude that you immediately decide not to even haggle with them. Then there are those that want to delve deep into an item’s past. As if the history of an old lamp will help justify them giving you what you’re asking. “What will you take for this?” is a tactic some seemingly gentle customers ask, hoping that by cloaking their question politely, you will ignore your sticker price and grant them a deal. The drive-by-shoppers are fun to watch. They slowly cruise by, windows down, casting a critical eye over your merchandise, then pull away without stopping. Sometimes they brake suddenly, reverse back to the driveway thinking they might have missed something, then, with their second thought satisfied, tear off again.

Grant was the most interesting customer of the day.

He came silently on his battery powered cart, drove on to the driveway as if he were home and parked. His cart was red with a wicker basket on the handlebars. He wore a tattered old ball cap. His red and blue windbreaker was zipped all the way up to his neck on a day when the temperature hovered around 26 Celsius. When he dismounted his stature showed him to be slight and bent with age. Grant looked close to ninety. He kept pushing his big-framed glasses up off his nose and smiling constantly.

We had an air conditioner that we didn’t need. Grant bought it. Now before you ask, ‘how did he get it home on his cart?’, he didn’t. We delivered it to him later that day.

When asked if he had anyone to install it he replied that he bought it for a friend. Grant smiled when he said the word friend.

‘It’ll get me in their good books,’ he continued with another broad smile. One can only wonder what he was up to with this friend of his.

Every Garage Sale should have somebody like Grant in their driveway.

Written by metropolitanhomesickblues

July 6, 2010 at 3:18 PM