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Posts Tagged ‘responsibility’

I went for a walk yesterday with Mr Man. The weather is beautiful, and while unseasonable warmth is disturbing in an “oh crap, climate change” kind of way, it was really nice out. We headed west, basking in the warm sun, gazing up at the blue sky, enjoying the birds and the breeze and the… Ouch, what was that?

A giant hole in the pavement, that’s what. All that looking up at the sky made me trip over what was right in front of me, a foot-sized hole in the tarmac next to a storm drain. Cracks radiated out from the hole. Retreating and reassessing, I peered into the darkness and realized that the hole was more than a trip hazard, it was a portal to the underworld.

Runoff had eaten its way through the pavement, then undermined the street around the drain cover.

That looks dangerous, we said. Someone should do something about that, we said.

In my mind, one important measure of adulthood is the acceptance of responsibility, for self, family, community, country and planet. 

We took a photo of the hole and sent it to the city with a location and a repair request.

Because that “someone” was us.

* * *

Photo by Jovis Aloor on Unsplash

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A City truck is outside, parked next to the fire hydrant. The hydrant has a long arm attached to it, one that goes up every Fall and comes down in the Spring, so workers and fire fighters can find it even in snow. That’s not good enough, though, not up here where ploughs pile drifts that can be my height or more, and so this worker is outside in −25C weather, digging out the hydrant.

This is my neighborhood, it’s my house, and it’s my hydrant. If I have a fire, or one of my neighbors does, that’s the hydrant we’ll need to put it out. The City takes care of it, just as they take care of the sidewalks. Cute little plows buzz up and down the walkways after a storm, pushing aside snow and spraying ice melt as they go, keeping the pavement clear for pedestrians. I love that.

Every other place I’ve lived, clearing sidewalks is the homeowner’s responsibility. That’s all well and good except for the years I spent climbing over and sliding through other people’s lack thereof. Responsibility, I mean, snow was in abundance. The danger of twisted ankles, sprained wrists, shattered hips, all because someone didn’t do their shoveling. Here, keeping pedestrians healthy and on their feet is considered a public good, benefiting all, and as such is taken care of by the City.

My tax dollars at work, and I’m all for it.

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