Wednesday, December 23, 2009


With the For Sale sign pitched out front, I am able to see things differently in my local environment. Instead of cursing my neighbors’ muffler-challenged pickup trucks and the five-year-old who stands in the middle of our street yelling four-letter words (and I swear my cursing didn’t influence him; perhaps vice-versa) , I can focus on the forest that the road backs onto, the fresh snow dusting the mountains and the view of the water. Yes, the scenic beauty that attracted me to this area stands out again.

It’s not that I had a tree trimmer come by and hack away at all the trees and hedging on my property. The view has always been stunning. It’s just that there have been times when all I wanted to see was city lights (even though it drives me crazy that entire office floors remain fully lit through the night). I am surrounded by young families and retirees and that same demographic exists in the nearby town. I’ve always been an odd duck, but here I’m stranger than Daffy and Donald combined—I’m more like that whacky “Disco Duck” that even 70s radio stations shun.

Since that sign went up, I’ve been like a tourist as I’ve driven into town, taking the longer scenic route to enjoy the peekaboo water views and to see the quaint knickknack shops decked out for the holidays. I’ve stopped and gazed at the sleepy harbour and the even more remote island enclave across the strait.

This afternoon the sun is scheduled to make a rare December appearance and I’m planning on walking the dogs along the hiking trail only a block away from home. We seldom go there as I’m usually in a hurry and more inclined to stick to the roads. (I also tend to lose all sense of direction and have gotten miserably lost back there so we won’t go far. I’ll kid myself in saying it’s because of my older dog’s weak legs. And it’ll work—sad how easy it is to play with my own mind!)

When I take the ferry to the city on Christmas Day, I might even give up my usual perch in one of the “business work station” carrels and stake out a window seat to do nothing but take in the soaring gulls, the choppy ocean water and the smoke seeping from cottage chimneys on islands we pass.

There has been no action on the house listing. It’s a far cry from Vancouver when both my houses sold in a week. I’m telling myself people are too busy with gingerbread houses to look at real ones of the plain brown and white stucco variety. Maybe some overspending on Boxing Day will humble home buyers into considering properties with a little less curb appeal. Buy those plasma screens! Scoop up the whole lot of hideous sweaters, still overpriced at 75% off!

This is a waiting period for me. Could last for months. I may nervously resume my childhood habit of gnawing on my fingernails, but I will also take the time to appreciate the charm and beauty of the present. Indeed, it shall be the holiday present to myself.

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