Home Again

When we returned from Italy to Toronto Pearson Airport last week, we were greeted by the customs agent with a friendly “welcome back.” It was heart-warming. While our trip to Italy had been wonderful, it was nice to be home.

We six travelers had a few tearful good-byes at the baggage carousel – and Not because we had lost our luggage! We all felt a certain sadness that our holiday was over and it was back to our usual routines. As well, both of the other families were facing doggie trauma. James and Glenda’s dog, Venus, had been homesick in her boarding place, had eaten very little, and had lost a lot of weight. So they were on a mission to fatten her up. Even worse, Jen and Richard’s dog, Teidi, who was only 2, had collapsed and died suddenly while we were in the middle of our trip. His parents had held up pretty well around Italy, but now they would be facing the cold dog bed, the empty food dishes, and the dormant toys they would find at home.

Peter and I hugged them good bye, knowing there was no such trauma waiting for us at home. We knew that CUPE was on strike and the battle with Doug Ford was raging. We also knew that our neighbours in the USA were facing a potential threat to their democracy with the mid-term elections. And we knew that mountains of leaves would be covering our driveway and lawn, waiting to be raked. But otherwise, things would be fine. Wouldn’t they?

Leaves waiting for us on the driveway

As the taxi drive navigated down the street towards our house, we began to see a lot of orange signs, Construction signs. How could this be? The road crew had been working industriously when we left, covering up new water pipes, and preparing to lay the asphalt. Surely we would be driving on a new street by now. Wouldn’t we?

Well basically NO. Our street was in even worse shape than when we had left. Instead of buried pipes, we had wide gaping holes, with only orange plastic cones to keep drivers from tumbling in. Instead of new tar, we had deep ruts and dangerous ridges in our path. At least it was a Sunday and there was no work going on. Somehow the taxi driver managed to weave his way around the hazards and into our driveway, where we gave him a big tip. We hauled our suitcases through the mounds of leaves and into the house. Phew.

Gaping holes with only cones and yellow tape to protect drivers.

Monday morning, after a restless night on Italian time, we were awakened at 7:00 am by the sounds of bull dozers, gravel trucks, and steam rollers. The work went on, non-stop, all day. The steam rollers were the worst, pounding down the gravel and shaking the house so hard I figured our wine glasses were all done-for. During all this, of course Peter and I had to go out. We had drug prescriptions to fill, appointments to keep, and groceries to buy! We spoke to a road worker who managed to stop the truck traffic and get us out of the driveway,

Driving back home again was another matter. We live at a 3-way intersection, not a busy one but one that had to be navigated. When it was time to return with our groceries, we had no way to contact the road workers so we played a kind of game that you may have seen on TV: which of the 3 doors/streets has the prize/driveway behind it? After 3 tries and some melting ice cream, we finally hit the jackpot.- an opening to our driveway! We were so stressed that we sat down in the kitchen and ate the ice cream. All of it.

Ah… home sweet home. Come and visit if you dare.


4 thoughts on “Home Again

  1. That is wonderful writing, Sue. Your comedic timing is sensational. Always entertaining and enlightening (yours is the only blog I get, but it is most welcome).


  2. How did the ice cream compare to Italian gelato? It’s lucky that you’re both retired and don’t have to leave the house regularly. I hope that they finish work soon so that you can enjoy being back home. Otherwise you may gain a lot of weight!!


  3. No wonder it is called “sweet home” (someone else must have had an ice cream experience too). LOL.
    Sorry to hear about the dogs 😦 and the construction on your street.


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