Thursday, July 30, 2015

The road to distraction

By the very distracted Mary Jane Maffini

As a writer, my worst enemy is distraction and yet look what was happening right outside my window for the past two weeks! How unfair is that? Yes. I know. We desperately needed that crumbled road surface replaced. No arguments.  But I am trying to finish the first draft of my seventh Camilla MacPhee mystery.  At the rate I'm going, you'll have plenty of time to catch up.

Our Eastern Ontario winters are brutal with their minus thirty temperatures and the freeze and thaw perioids are brutal and the salt plays havoc with the roads as well. Our section was eroded beyond belief.

You practically fell into the ditch if you ventured out for a walk. With two schools and a number of seniors on the street, this was a priority. But who knew it would be interesting? Not me. I expected noisy, smelly operation that snarled traffic, while workers stood around chatting. Instead, I find myself checking regularly to see the progress.

Rather than chaos and mess I found an operation that would fascinate any little boy. All those giant Tonka trucks. Yes!

We enjoyed seeing the yellow umbrella too. Very festive and there's a brutal heat wave here.

 The top coat has gone on after about two weeks and they are finishing the sides. As we were unsuccessful in getting a sidewalk (didn’t work with the rural nature of the village.Yikes!), we are still counting on a line clearly defining the walking area. Let’s see if our meetings with politicians and municipal staff will pay off. Of course, each one can blame the other if it doesn’t. The workers at the construction company have been cheerful, pleasant and helpful. Who knew?

We have learned that the guys with the white hats are the supervisors. My husband has lots of questions for guys in white hats. The men seem to have the ‘fun’ jobs and the young women ‘flagmen’ get the boring job of holding the SLOW and STOP signs and hoping they don’t get flattened in the process. Still, they’ve got pretty good tans and this smiling 'flagman' had long green hair to match her hard hat.

  I think I’ll be a bit sorry when it’s all over and we’re back to our regular life of peering out at dog walkers, cyclists, people carrying kayaks, school buses and ordinary traffic. We'll love strolling to the community mailbox without taking our lives into our hands. Plus I think I'll miss the steamroller.

And don’t be surprised if heavy equipment doesn’t show up in one of my mysteries some day. It seems a shame to waste it and surely there's a cozy murder weapon in there. Nudge, wink.

How about you? Road paving experience or something else silly or practical to distract and entertain you this hot, steamy summer?