IntrepidWoman's Journey

Another letter from (the) home . . .

Posted on: July 16, 2011

So, I’ve lived in the home (condo for over 50s) for over a month now, thinking I really had it figured out. Everyone’s lights are off by 9 pm and some start walking the neighborhood as early as 5 am. The road thru the 3 buildings is private, (says ‘no thru road’) and the speed bumps keep the senior lead foots from gunning it in and out.

People are friendly, and when I arrive home after a grueling day in the right-brained work-world, I am greeted in the hallways then I enter my oasis of serenity, fresh air and complete calm.

Yesterday I worked a 14 hour day and could hardly wait to get back to ‘the home’. After a hard night and several painkillers, I awoke at 5 am this morning, drank fresh coffee, then went back to sleep on the couch.

The cool air was waltzing in thru the screened windows and I fell sound asleep.

Then it happened. I started hearing the sound of clomping feet and they were getting closer and closer, louder and louder. It must have been a weird dream because Clydesdales did not frequent ‘the home’, so I willed myself to stay asleep. A few minutes later, I heard them again, getting closer and closer until they were right outside my window and then they faded out again. Okay. I didn’t care what it was. I was tired and I was not going to wake up and look out the window. On about the 4th time, I had to.

Wagons of people with balloons and cotton candy were touring past my windows every few minutes. Then I heard the sound of a fellow talking into a mic. Oh joy! There was a stampede breakfast, hoedown, cowpoke and hay-chewing event happening a block away by Safeway.

All the years I lived in Calgary I stayed away from the stampede. Never liked it, never set foot at it, but it found me here in the Ok corral, at the home, where I thought I was safe amongst the retired middle class.

It lasted all day. All Day. Those poor horses and two wagons kept coming past every few minutes for hours. The fellow on the mic was yee-hawing and I could only imagine the hat and boots and checkered shirt with snaps that he must have been wearing.

I had a miserable day. It was too hot to close the windows so I had to let the western ‘you-all’ invade my space all day. Finally, finally it ceased, only to be replaced by a second event at the George. My pub, my place for Caesars that I had always wanted to live within walking distance of was hosting another stampede event that started in the afternoon and went on to the evening. They had live music, cuuuuuntree music and mics and amps and …. They had it all.

By the time Michael and Laura arrived for their ‘two sleeps’ at Nana’s, the cow-roping and corn-chuckin was finally over.

The folks at the home sure loved it though. They were out there in herds with cowboy hats and cotton candy and were really enjoying the whole western action.

But for me, all I can say is humbug.

If this means I am going to be visited by the spirits of stampede past, present and future, I can only hope one of them is John Wayne ’cause I think I would not mind that too much.

All is quiet as I type this. The wee ones have finally settled and there is not a sound outside. Lights are out at the home and I am going to catch a few winks now and hope that the stampede spirit of the present does not arrive in a wagon pulled by Clydesdales. They leave such a mess…


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