Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Canada Day & Winter Woes

Today, my Scotsman on-line told me this:

"Canada's first prime minister, John A MacDonald, was born today in Glasgow in 1867. Among his many achievements Mr MacDonald: drafted two-thirds of the provisions of the British North America Act which provided the constitutional foundation of modern Canada, established the famous Canadian mounted police and opened up Canada's west for expansion."

Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, especially since my one ms is based on the RCMP. The Dark Side of the Force. (There's a title, MG!)

And, in truly Canadian fashion, it has snowed. Lovely. Well, usually it is. Except for this annoying thing the village (yep, I live in a truly classified village) did something last summer that seemed good to them at the time.

They decided to pave the road in front of our house.

Now, we live on a corner lot. Our lot is 130x100 feet. I was going to say that if you laid me end to end it would take...but then I remembed John R reads this blog. Anyway, I had one road paved on the 100-foot side when we moved here, and as of last summer, the road on the 130-foot side got paved.

More importantly, they put down a new sidewalk on the 130-foot side.

That seemed like glorious news initially, because the old one was put down when the Romans invaded Britain. I had to buy a solid steel shovel so that it wouldn't break on all the cracks and gaps.

But the Village People decided to move the location of the sidewalk. See, originally, at the edge of our property there is a row of lovely hedges (berry bushes) that hem us in. Then, a foot out from that, the old sidewalk. Then there were about five feet between the edge of the sidewalk and the old dirt road. The new sidewalk is right beside the road now.

And they narrowed the road, because what they did was put the new sidewalk down where road used to be. So we used to have a really wide road there, plenty of space between the resident maniacs quading down the roadway at super-high speeds and the innocent pedestrians navigating the cracked concrete.

Not now. Nope. And what makes it extra special is that when they plow the road, great heaps of snow get piled up on - you guessed it! - the sidewalk!

Now I have extra feet of sidewalk I'm required to shovel, the lovely joy of being expected to mow the grass between the edge of my property and the new sidewalk, and rake the leaves there, and as soon as I remove the snow, the town comes along and replaces it.

This keeps up, I'll have the upper body strength for pro wrestling.

What's worse is, without the town even doing a bloody thing, there was so much snow I couldn't find the edge of the sidewalk at the turn, and discovered after about 20 feet I was shoveling the road! (Did I mention they also made the sidewalk barely an inch higher than the road? With a sloped edge to boot.)

Welcome to my village, run by all the Village Idiots!

And what does that say about me for living here?

12 comments:

JamesO said...

I may be misunderstanding your description, but it seems a bit harsh for them to expect you to clear the snow from a sidewalk that no longer abuts your plot. Surely there's a wide strip of land that belongs to someone else between your berry bushes and the sidewalk now. It should be there responsibility.

And how come you're so dismissive of Lethbridge when you live in a place almost as small as here?

JamesO said...

Oh, and please excuse the embarrassing typo.

Sandra Ruttan said...

LOL James! Blogs are like casual speech - typos and bad grammar sneak in, no worries!

I mean, have you ever read Stuart's blog?

I've actually never been to Lethbridge. But everyone I know from there calls it Deathbridge. And quite a few other people, besides. I've never been to Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump either. Or Vulcan, though I doubt I'm missing much. I live in a big country, ya know! I can't go everywhere.

That big strip of land between our property and the street belongs to the village. And they will send the bylaw officer to fine us if we don't cut the grass and shovel the walk. And at the fine rate of $1 per square foot for a stretch 130 feet long it's a wee bit pricey!

Sandra Ruttan said...

Incidentally James, I live between Calgary and Drumheller. Did you go to Drumheller when you were here? If not, you should have.

M. G. Tarquini said...

The Dark side of the Force? About the RCMP?

nononono.

Men in Red.

Re: Sidewalks - don't you folks get assessed for building the things? That's what happens in the states. Government decides to put in sidewalks, they assess the homeowner for the cost.

What a country.

That's why I won't buy a house that doesn't already have a sidewalk.

Sandra Ruttan said...

mg, that's what property taxes pay for! That, and the idiots that run the village!

Men in Red? I once thought of "Beneath the Serge" - a cover with the back of a woman slipping the mountie uniform off her naked shoulders.

But they have an image policy and I don't want my claim to fame to be a lawsuit...

Mark Pettus said...

Shovels, sidewalks, and snow. There's not much to like about Florida, but I don't remember the last time I used the words: shovels, sidewalks, and snow.

"...a woman slipping the mountie uniform off her naked shoulders."
Publish it in the states. We don't respect anyone's image.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Aw, c'mon Mark! Don't you guys all love Hilary?

You look like a country music fan... if that's you.

M. G. Tarquini said...

I love Hilary. You mean Clinton, right?

Property taxes here pay for schools and sewers and...other stuff. Sidewalks are the individual homeowners problem, though not their choice. The government decides where and when they go in and issues an 'assessment'.

nobody said it has to make sense.

E. Ann Bardawill said...

Only upscale people get real sidewalks.

I live in a swamp. I once lived in town, but we didn't have sidewalks then either. We did have a real live Mountie living on our street tho. He performed in the musical ride, and in his spare time he restores a birchbark canoe in his garage.

I am not making this up.

Blow a kiss to Jann Arden for me, will ya?

BTW, MG sent me.
;-)
Timbit?

**plods off to vote early**

Sandra Ruttan said...

Birchbark canoes - no doubt! LOL! You rock! And with the MG tip, I think I know who you are...

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