Still snow? S’no way!

We finally had our home inspection done a few days ago – more than two months after putting the offer in on the house.

It took so long because we asked to have an inspection done on the septic tank as well, and instead of paying to have the inspector come out twice, we opted to save our money and wait for the snow to melt so he could get in to the yard to see the tank.

So we waited, and waited, and extended the waiting deadline, then waited some more.

Snow kept coming.

Finally last week, our real estate agent let me know that they would be going ahead with the inspections. Makes sense, I though – it was almost May, after all. Of course the snow was gone.

No. False. Incorrect.

The snow was definitely still there and definitely still thick enough to impede the inspector’s ability to do his job. That’s right, my friends. On April 25, a snow removal company had to go onto our property to allow professionals access to part of our yard.

Did I mention that we actually want to move to this place?


The angry black bear down the street

Before our week-long camping road trip extravaganza last summer, my husband and I were a little curious about bears.

We both wanted to see one on our trip (only he was successful – I was reading a pamphlet about spotting wildlife while one darted across the highway in front of us), and I wanted us not to get eaten. I think he would have been okay with one of us (probably me) getting eaten, though.

He saw one news story from the Spring that stood out. In May of 2013, a 30-year-old Toronto man was attacked and mauled by a 400-pound black bear as he sat on the front step of his remote cabin eating breakfast. The man’s German Shepherd ran to his defence, and the man ran into the cabin for shelter. The bear killed the dog then tried to get through the cabin’s window. The man ran back outside, got about 30-metres, and was tackled by the bear, who started chewing on him.  Two women who were camping nearby scared the bear off and drove the man to hospital, where he received more than 300 stitches.

The part that resonated with my husband was the man’s quote: “He knocked me down and I covered my head. He took my shoulder apart, then he peeled the skin off my head and started biting my skull… I could feel his teeth rubbing against my skull. That was the worst feeling ever. I jammed my thumb into his eye and so he went back to my shoulder… I was just screaming. I could feel my flesh being pulled by his teeth.”

Yeah. That’s the kind of thing that will probably stick with him (and now me) forever.

But this incident happened way farther north than we were considering going, so neither one of us really thought that much more about it.

(As a side note, it’s amazing how much one’s perspective can change in a relatively short period of time. We made it “all the way up” to Sault Ste. Marie and decided to go even further into the wilds. We drove to Chapleau, looked at a map, and briefly considered visiting Timmins before laughing off the ideas as absurd because “we’d never live so far away.” Just a few weeks from now, I’m sure a trip “all the way down” to Sudbury will feel just as extreme.)

Once firmly planted back “down south,” our fascination with black bears came to a standstill, and we’ve barely broached the subject since.

(Polar bears have been another matter altogether.)

But when Mr. B looked up Ontario Provincial Police and Cochrane under news, he came to a startling discovery; that attack happened near our new house – just down the street, actually.

I am a little aghast. He is a lot delighted.

When we relayed this information to my mother-in-law, her reaction was a bit more practical: “I guess this means you can’t leave the baby outside unattended.”

I think she may be right.

On the position of doors

Every time one door closes, another opens. It’s a pretty common (lame?) saying – in fact, I saw it on a church sign yesterday, just as it seemed to be at its most applicable to me.

On top of being a mother – which, if I understand correctly, is a job where you do very little but receive a great deal of appreciation (or was it the other way around? No. That is definitely the right order. That’s why I signed up for it, after all) – I am considering a handful of other possibilities to occupy myself after the move when I have that overwhelming amount of ‘free time’ I hear parents talking about so much (again, I think I’ve got that right. Parents are rarely busy, correct?).

There are a few writing avenues I would like to explore, and I’m also interested in getting to know the polar bear down the street on a personal level, for example. Lots of open doors.

But before I can get to those doors, I had to close another one.

Yesterday was my last day of work. I finished all my assigned tasks in the morning, and by early afternoon, I had written out a super-duper professional letters of login information and pointers to my replacement, who I assume actually exists and will start in the near future, despite hearing very little from my superiors to support the theory.

Once that was all done, I packed up all my personal affects, cleared the browsing history on my computer (no one needs to know how many cute puppy videos I watch in a day), got a few last-minute belly rubs from a couple women in the office, and ducked out as quietly as I could.

I haven’t had a lot of time to really reflect on my three-year career, but I will tell you this; that door is closed rather firmly. As sure as I am that there’s a mole on the back of my right hand and that the Toronto Maple Leafs will not win the Stanley Cup next year, I know I will not return to that same position in that same capacity.

That is, in part, due to the soul-draining energy required to do the job well.

On a less dramatic note, though, it’s because of Little Parasite. Because here’s the other thing I know; there’s an opening in Cochrane for my exact position that I’m fairly certain I could get hired for simply by walking in the front door (because they’re desperate, not because I’m that good).

But again, that door is closed. LP will change things, and I won’t be able to handle the exact position I had here.

Or, as my husband so delicately put it: “I gave you a career-ending injury.”

Food confession

The other day, my husband went out to do some yard work.

He came back in less than a minute later to get the garage door opener and found me in the kitchen. The tub of ice cream was on the counter, the lid tossed aside, and I was lifting an overflowing spoonful of mint chocolate chip ice cream to my mouth.

He paused – just for a nanosecond – to take in the sight, and then opted not to acknowledge the situation but instead continue on with his self-assigned task.

Thank you, Mr. B, for allowing me to keep a shred of dignity.