Sunday, August 8, 2010

A Few Midsummer Thoughts

Summertime is a time when City Council activities slow to a crawl. For reasons that I'm not sure of, we only have two real council meetings in summer - one in July, one in August, which will be tomorrow afternoon. It does allow those who take their holidays in summer an easier time to do so without missing meetings. And for those who have cottages, they don't have to bother coming in for meetings.

Andrea and I don't have a cottage, nor are we lake people. Which is odd, now that I think of it, when you consider that we met in the summer, when we worked for a canoe outfitting company in Algonquin Park, living right beside a lake. We prefer to take holidays in the fall - crowds are smaller, and since we usually go to Ontario to visit relatives, the weather is more tolerable and the fall colours are an added attraction. In summer, our favourite relaxation spot is our screened side porch - a great place to relax with a book and a beer, without all the work that goes into having a cottage.

And summer is now on the downward slide, with the usual signs. Days are getting noticeably shorter, and in the early morning there's that slight chill in the air. And the Exhibition is over for another year. Councillor Miller, Councillor Whitehead and I walked together in the parade this year, which was a pleasant way to spend the evening, greeting people and giving out candy. Fortunately it didn't rain, although it looked threatening earlier. Not only was it good exercise, but walking the route brings you closer to people than being in a vehicle, and you have a little more flexibility to pause and chat. It was warm, and we neglected to bring water with us, (add that to the list for next year) but fortunately we were able to replenish our fluid levels afterward, as we socialized in our backyard.

My major renovation project this summer was replacing our bedroom windows - the old, rattling single paned sash windows have been replaced with triple-paned units which I lucked into at the Recycle Store. With the major wind storms that we've had, we've noticed the decrease in rattling, and hopefully the winter time drafts will be a thing of the past as well. I've also ripped out the carpet in the living and dining rooms, and found that the original fir flooring is in not too bad shape. The fun of a century house - never an end to the projects.

Weather-wise, it has been an odd summer, not much heat, lots of rain. Those July wind storms have really done a number on city trees, which is a good reminder to Council that we need to have an ongoing plan for our urban forest, to remove aging trees before they become a threat, and also to replace them with long-lived species that perhaps won't rot out as quickly as a species such as Manitoba maple. And we will also need to look at replacing a number of the green ash which suffered winter kill and have dead and dying tops, particularly in the downtown.

But for these next few weeks, I'll try to concentrate on enjoying the last half of summer.

"Summertime, and the living is easy." - DuBose Hayward

1 comment:

Thomas said...

Lee, driving around the city I am thank full for warm weather. It gets those projects completed as we are running out of nice weather quickly. But I wonder when bylaw will crack down on the yards where weeds are taller than the fence. I see no activity in some neighborhoods. Surely they have not taken holidays. Hello bylaw folks start in one neighborhood and drive, take some pictures and let's get the city cleaned up. PLEASE!!!

Can anyone tell me why we have cameras at 15th Avenue East and Muzzy; 6th Avenue East and Marquis; 15th Street and 2nd Avenue West. Whose watching us and why?

One last thing maybe some can tell the citzens when River Street West will be finally finished. Drive down and look at the new pavement. You'll see it from your car but if you are a resident in the 500 or 400 block you can not as the weeds are so tall. I guess there is always next year to finish the boulevard!