back to the city

belleville train station

this morning, i’m headed back to ottawa on the train. it’s been a really long week. i can’t believe only 7 days ago i was running that half marathon… in retrospect it seems like about a month!! my dad’s been doing better – every day he seems to be a little bit more like himself, but it’s the start of a long road. all things considered, it would be unreasonable to expect anything else.

my sister dropped me off at the train station bright and early. can i just take a minute to say she’s the best? seriously this girl does it all: three kids, massive dog, and she’s so, so close to being a midwife – only about a year left of practicum and she’ll be catching babies all on her very own! i’m so very proud of her (in case you couldn’t tell.) i should note that i’m proud of both my sisters, but being around sarah and seeing her daily crazy hectic life for the past week has renewed my appreciation for all that she does over the course of a 24 hour period.

so here i am sitting on a train. it brings back so many memories of a trip i took out to the northern part of quebec (the gaspe region to be specific) when i was 13. it was a with an exchange program called SEVEC and you were paired up with a family in that part of the country that spoke hardly a word of english. the train ride was about 30 hours long and i remember there was this one car that had a clear bubble for the cieling. it was a double decker and in the night i snuck up there and watched the open night sky. i associate so much of that summer trip with the train until this day.

train rides are a funny thing – they have that knack for being romantic. Maybe it’s because it’s one of the older modes of transportation.

when we got to the train station in belleville this morning, we found out a new one had been built to replace the old one (old one pictured above). the little station that had been used for so many  trips to and from home still stands beside the new one – in my memory it’s that place for departures and homecomings, that small little antiquated building with just one room and one ticket window. the overhanging roof that covered you while waiting for the train has that scalloped trim. it’s just a shadow of the past. and because it’s still standing there, the new station looks so huge and modern and unnecessary.

i don’t know why i got all sentimental about a silly old train station!

i’m excited to get home for a few days, see my puppy and mike and catch a bit of a breather before heading home again this weekend.

hope everyone has a great start to the week!


Welcome to the Peep Show

Breaking news sports fans! According to my father (Thanks Dad!) the spring peepers are out in full force… and you know what that means!

NO not those kind of peepers (give your head a shake people… that was very disappointing.)

I was referring to the Spring Peeper… as in:

Spring Peeper (Hyla crucifer) noun: A tree frog, having an X-shaped mark on the back and voicing a shrill call commonly heard near ponds and swamps of eastern North America in the early spring.

Doin' his Peeper thang

My family’s folk lore dictates that once the spring peepers have left their muddy hibernation, it is Officially Spring [capital O, capital S] time in this part of the country. Twiterpainted and ready for an active few weeks, its (note: Shrill) mating call is what give it the name “peeper.”

I have probably heard hundreds of thousands of these guys in my lifetime, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen one up close. I say they are elusive and mysterious. But it does stand to reason that if you were busy getting your magic going, just a mother nature intended, you would probably be pretty elusive too…. at least to potential predators. (Come to think of it, maybe this is a bit of a “peep” show.)

Trust me, you don’t need to see them to know they are there. These things light up the night.

Given the fact that the closest river to my place is a concrete highway of cars, I don’t get to hear them the same way as I used to when I was growing up. I have to satisfy myself with youtube videos (God Bless YouTube). When I played this soundbite on extra loud the city boy I lived with yelled from the other end of the house thinking something was wrong with the cat.

He also didn’t seem to understand why I like the sound…. and so I tried to explain the fact that it’s one of those sounds that can transport you back to a different time and place…. falling asleep to the spring peepers is one of my most fondest memories of spring.

I’m told this year it was a record breaking year for the first chirps of the peepers. Usually they make their debut around the first week of April, but in my home town they were up and at ’em by the middle of March! Normally a development like this would be a cause for concern over Global Warming and it would have me tweeting: “CLIMATE CHANGE!!! SAVE THE WORLD”!!!

but…. I just can’t fit a Save The Peepers campaign into my schedule at the moment. Plus… I’m kinda happy they are back and Spring is here.