The Choir

When we bought Mist Cottage, it was considered a “tear down”, not worth the effort of renovation. That is why it was on the market for a very long time, the price dropping regularly. No entrepreneur who was “flipping” houses would touch it, too much wrong it, too much work. It was worth barely more than the worth of the property, but of course, with a little house on it, the price never went that low.

When we bought Mist Cottage it was not worthy of a mortgage. We used several lines of credit to buy it. We made the initial renovations that would qualify the house for a mortgage, then took out a mortgage, which we will probably be paying off for the rest of our lives. No matter, we have a home to call our own.

When we bought Mist Cottage it was on a little dead end street, with a wetland at the end of the street that was protected by zoning. It was quiet, and peaceful. Neighbours knew one another, forming a little community.

The the mayor of this small town, and the council, sought development, to increase the tax base, or so they said. I suspect there was more to it than that, but that is only my opinion. They, despite multiple protests by our small street community, decided to rezone the wetland to allow over 50 rental units to be built on it. They also decided that the developer, probably to allow an increased number of units, could use our narrow little street as the only entrance and exit to the whole new rental community. The developer could have used a two lane, paved, county road for access, but no, they had bottleneck the whole construction process, and future population, through our narrow little street.

Since construction started the whole neighbourhood has changed. At first it was a constant stream of heavy construction equipment, gravel and sand and road material hauling trucks, and worker’s vehicles, up and down the street, seven days a week. And the noise! Every day of the week banging, beeping, clanging, shouting.

Then the first tenants moved into the first ten or so units in the complex. A lot more vehicles up and down the street. And now people walking up and down the street, their only way to get out of the complex. More tenants have subsequently moved in, so that now the street is a hub of activity, cars streaming in and out, congestion with heavy trucks etc. as the construction continues, along with all the traffic and noise that entails. And pedestrians are now constant, as it seems to be mainly a community of retirees, who walk for health, walk their dogs, walk to nearby amenities. It is a bad mix, construction traffic, domestic vehicle traffic, and foot traffic, on this narrow little street, lined on both sides with deep ditches, so that pedestrians are walking on the narrow road, sharing it with all the vehicle traffic.

Now we live in the city, when once we lived on sleepy little street in a little town.

And something new since the last bunch of new tenants moved in. Dogs! Dogs barking. Dogs howling. Not one here or there, once in a while, oh no. When one begins to bark and howl, the other dogs are inspired, and they form a choir. They sound to me like the hounds of hell, but perhaps I am going through an adjustment phase. Hopefully I will become accustomed to barking and howling, and it will fade into the background of life so that I don’t even notice it.

I can say that the choir has no effect at all on the rabbit population, or the birds, or the mice, or the squirrels, or the insects that visit our garden. Maybe our garden visitors are here to escape the concrete jungle at the end of the street.



Date: 9:00 AM EDT Saturday 7 September 2019
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.1 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 14.5°C
Dew point: 14.1°C
Humidity: 98%
Wind: NNW 18 km/h
Visibility: 24 km


“… he says anger is like milk. It doesn’t keep. It becomes sour, bringing sickness and death to anyone who tastes it when its time is passed. Grief, she said he likes to say, ages better than anger. it is eternal…
When we don’t understand this, when we trade our Grief in for anger, bad things happen. No, they don’t just happen. We do them. We do bad things to each other.”
Nafisa Haji, The Sweetness of Tears, page 351.

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Stubblejumpers Cafe

Whoa, that sounds terrible. What a disappointment to have that happen. It’s what scares me about living in a town or city: you never know what kind of neighbours you’ll get. I guess that’s life, too: you never know what’s going to come your way. -Kate


It sounds as if the only saving grace is that most of the residents are older people and perhaps less likely to be speeding down the street when they do drive. Perhaps when the development is fully built out and occupied, there will be enough seniors to create pressure for other access and safer walking. We are still in the majority.


The answer, of course is that you need a dog! I yearn for a dog – a collie dog, of course — but any dog would probably do at this point! I am unable to take care of one so I am dogless — but you aren’t! You both seem fit as fiddles and a dog would be so wonderful. I used to love hearing the dogs talking back and forth with Belle, out the front door. I don’t hear them much anymore, even though they still live around here. I think she was the Communicator-in-Chief!