March 20, 2012

Homeowners in Canada


(The above picture is neither of me, nor of my family)

Homeowners in Canada – it’s a special type, clan, class, department, or order of people – call them what you will – united by one noble and very important idea; to find joy in this process, despite all the time, effort, energy, and material expenses that having a house takes up. I would define this process as a mission.

Really, what could be more important than maintaining relative order in the space whose walls, floors, and roof can be called your own? Another addition to your private property is a little piece of sky above your head.

Homeowners in Canada are special creatures, which are different from apartment dwellers because they have to take the change of seasons very seriously.

A person who lives in a condo can just symbolically switch warm socks for a pair of less warm ones when spring rolls around, whereas homeowners have to journey to their temples – the home improvement stores. Some of them will go there hand in hand not with their spouses, but with contractors.

The homeowners on our street have declared that the winter is over. All the front yards (except for ours) are now free from last year’s leaves, the tree branches are trimmed, and all the trash is packed away in bags.

Why is it, you may ask, that we haven’t yet joined these activities? We have a very good excuse. At the moment, we do not yet have a) gardening shears b) a rake c) large plastic bags and d) a sufficient speed of movement. Besides, on Saturday, we were busy shopping for a mattress for our daughter, which is a whole other story. And on Sunday, we had to visit some friends.

I can already see sarcastic smiles on the faces of our neighbors – a multitude of reasons and excuses will not hide the fact that our front yard is untidy.

At least on Thursday, we are going to have our  water meter installed.

Yes, we are slowly mutating and transforming into homeowners.

22 comments:

  1. Funny. After being a homeowner in American suburbia for the past 15 years, I can't wait to go back to a [spacious]condo downtown once my son is in college. Congratulations Olga, you have now joined the ranks of all the folks who slave away on weekends and breaks to maw the lawn; paint the fence; pull out weeds; and the list goes on. In France, I love that most houses are private and hidden behind hedges and fences, so who cares if your front yard does not look immaculate? Here in North America, it's best for everyone to enjoy an unobstructed view of your sprawling estate. Good luck, and do get those tools. You will need them!!! ;-) Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

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  2. I have never been a homeowner but it was funny to read your summary!:) The same here - living in a house requires more effords than just living in an apartment. I prefer the second:)

    Life and travelling
    Cooking

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  3. Hello Olga:
    Oh, the responsibility which comes with home ownership. How well we know having for the greater part of our lives lived in houses. It is only now, more recently, that we see all of those things which, inhabiting an apartment, one is liberated from, not least the look on the faces of the neighbours when something does not quite conform to their expectations. Happy days!!

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  4. Haha, yes - now when it´s getting warmer I´m suddenly seeing neighbours I haven´t seen all winter, fixing in their gardens like crazy. I´m in NO hurry! :-D

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  5. You will soon get into the run of things. The garden can wait a bit longer, the house and yourselves must come first. That photo at the top - my clothes pegs would never be strong enough to do that, the child would have a broken skull in seconds!! Keep well and keep going, you will get there very soon. Diane

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  6. Фотография говорит о том, о чем я подумала: на своем дворе что хочу, то и делаю:-)) - захочу и собственного ребенка прищепками к веревке прицеплю :-))
    На самом деле, Оля, все у вас будет, все образуется и вы будете получать от приусадебной работы массу удовольствия, всё у вас будет очень хорошо!!!

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  7. I have always been a home owner. Actually in my mind's -eye, a land baroness!! I love being in my home no neighbours for miles. Big open sky over head, trees to walk about in at my leisure, the hayfields to walk through!! I am sorry, but this country gal can't imagine any other lifestyle!!! If you love being outdoors Olga, you will probably enjoy your yard work!! Embrace you patch of land and be free!

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  8. So funny, off to the DIY shop for your garden tools asap before you let the neighbourhood down. :) What is a vote meter?

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  9. I think that I have been full circle and we live as we live, because we want to. Go some way along the 'perfect homeowner route' but don't lose yourself on the way. Just take the example of the small boy and 'chill out sideways' every so often ... to really give the neighbours something to stare at!

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  10. Hahaha that good image!
    If your house has a little ground, I recommend you make a small garden, then eat some good tomatoes.
    a kiss

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  11. It all depends on people. I loved being brought up in an apartment in Paris. Now we have a house here in Georgia, but we decided not to be in a “subdivision” where there are rules. We have 1 ½ acre and many trees around the house. The house can hardly be seen from any sides. My husband is a professional environmentalist – we don’t have a lawn. We have wildflowers, local trees and shrubs. We only have flower planters near the back patio. I can see the good in both type so housing.

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  12. All of us in Greece are home-owners!!Even of departments!! It is the first priority, each of us to have his house,usual.I wish you be happy in your own house!!!kisses from Greece.

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  13. Olga
    Your blog interests me very much. The sarcastic and funny story made me smile many times. We are also sensiteive to change of season, but maybe in different way. In passing seasons we see beauty. I love especially these expressions " we are slowly mutating and transforming into homeowners." Your photo is great, after reading your blog, this photo gets to seem for me to depict symbolicaly homeowner.???
    Have a nice week,
    keiko

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  14. So, you've gone to the darkside then, have you :). Love my tiny apartment life!

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  15. I was hoping for some pictures of your untidy front yard.;) lol Well I feel for you. I hope the mutation is a good one. I have lived in all sorts of dwellings. I suppose it's up to the individual how they like to live n'est pas? We live in a townhouse in Las Vegas. It feels like a cross between an apartment and a house. We live in a gated community(common in Las Vegas) w/a community pool and an HOA with rules. We can only be creative inside our place. It's somewhat of a transient neighborhood. Mostly retirees, entertainers from the strip, and part-timers. I'm not sure what category we would be under? We haven't had any problems...it's a good home base for nomads. ;)

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  16. It seems like a lot of work. Like having a large family or something!

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  17. Hi Olga, always good to read a post of yours and what a photograph in this one! I'm sure the people who owned are place before us did a lot more work in the garden and drive than we do but I'm not fussed what the neighbours think. If it's a choice between going out for a long walk and a chat with my other half or keeping up appearances the latter will lose every time in my household!

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  18. Hello Olga,
    The picture is great! I'm curious how they managed to hang the little boy ...
    The black and white was very happy with the picture style 'press'
    a hug

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  19. Well, at least you have a space defined in the boundaries of your home, and taht is a good thing regardless of how neighbours look at how you made use of it. Most home here are just four walls in what some people called the "lonely Planets"

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  20. Hi, Olga! Don’t rush but enjoy the process of making your home to your full taste little by little. Home and garden shows the personality of its owner. Personally I like a random, seemingly untamed and haphazard quality in the garden, which might sound my excuse though. I look forward to seeing the seasonal beauty of your front yard or the likes when you fully get mutated into a homeowner.

    Yoko

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