My jobs have always involved writing in some capacity and over the years I’ve become adept at hunkering down and getting the job done when deadlines loom. Since beginning my foray into creative-writing-for-myself-and-hopefully-a-paycheck-one-day, however, my capacity to write whenever and wherever has been severely stretched.
Working from home (part-time with flexible hours) while taking care of my kids (double-time with sucky hours) does not an easy writing day make. For instance, this post is being written in bed at seven o’clock on Sunday morning. My husband usually takes the kids to let me sleep in, but lately I’ve been hiding up here to write for thirty precious, uninterrupted minutes while he thinks I’m sleeping.
When my mom was visiting last week I would drop my son off at school while she watched my daughter and I’d pick up a coffee for her on the way home. Guess who was hiding in the parking lot of Tim Horton’s, madly scribbling on a napkin?
During our New Year’s celebrations I had my iPhone handy throughout the night, not because I was afraid of missing a call from home if something went wrong, but because I needed to take notes (good thing, too – mama had a few cocktails and events were blurry).
So if we ever go for lunch and I disappear into the bathroom for twenty minutes or longer? Never fear – chances are good that the only thing I’m cranking out is a revision on chapter six.
Imagine a place that is close to everything yet away from it all. A place bordered by the Niagara Escarpment, the Royal Botanical Gardens and acres of lush farmland. This is where we live. We are situated just close enough to blow kisses to city folk from our front porch—yet far enough away to wish upon a star.
We are a neighbourhood of thirty-or-so homes with our very own distinctive sense of place in the urban collective memory. We shop at the farm across the street, even if Tim Hortons is only a hiccup away. We roam the Bruce Trail and enjoy the picturesque waterfalls that spill from the Escarpment edge into the valley town below. Our children enjoy wagon rides, tire swings, and mini golf. The sun rises on our radicchio and sets on our solar lights. We share this setting sun with wild turkeys and coyotes; birds of prey and bunnies.
Our homes are simple, yet they hold the imprint of more than one generation. Our neighbourhood is blessed with character and characters—and we know the footpath to each other’s castles. We are a modest and conserving group of neighbours, complete with weeds and well water.
As neighbours, we ‘catch up’ over the fence while sharing a cornucopia of tomatoes, pears, apples and pumpkins. We recount drought stories, war stories…and love stories. We are writers, rock stars, farmers, teachers, veterinarians, and skygazers; we are all kinds, all cultures and all ages. Garage sales, corn roasts and outdoor movie nights keep us connected and preserve a sense of belonging. The place we live contributes to our wellbeing as individuals as well as to the vitality of our little community.
We live in the simple and in the sublime. We’re a little bit country, and a little bit rock ‘n’ roll. In the words of Steven Tyler of Aerosmith: we’re livin’ on the edge; you can’t help yourself from fallin’—in love with this place we call home.
Living on the Edge
Note: This post is a recent submission to the Royal LePage “My Great Neighbourhood” Contest. Please vote for my submission here! P.S. Great places make for great writing. Do you have a place you are fond of?