I hate Canada Day…



Okay… I don’t hate Canada Day…. What I hate is having to drag my ass down town on the bus and wade through 1/2 a million people hoping to actually enjoy myself…. which I invariably don’t.

Yesterday, my mother wanted to go to see the festivities. I had been hoping to go and meet up with my sister, wander about, have a meal, and come home. I didn’t want to leave Mom at home but I knew Mom wouldn’t be up to the amount of walking required. So we decided on a modified plan. Shirin and Gabby were going to eat and meet us and just sit at the War Memorial and watch the crowds walk by.

You can’t park anywhere even remotely close to the activity so it required taking the bus at least part of the way.

My niece, Ange, had asked if she could borrow some camping chairs for the day so I decided that we would go to her place, drop off the chairs and park near there and take the bus. We left for Ange’s. Ange wasn’t home… Luckily, when we left home, the bus was just leaving so I anticipated that we would be able to park along the route it takes, get the bus, and then pick up the car on the way home.

While we were waiting for the bus, I discover that Mom has removed the bus tickets that she keeps in her wallet and we have no tickets. Since I hadn’t been to the back, planning on going to the bank machine right near the bus stop right down town, I had a $5 bill and no change on me.

Right. The bus comes and we have to let it pass. Just as well, because Mom also took her pain pills out of her fanny pack and put them in the glove compartment of the car…. Why? I don’t know…

So…. we head back home, get the bus tickets and the pain pills and take the bus from near the house.

The bus we had planned to take was nearly empty. The one we ended up taking was jam-packed and I gave my seat up for an elderly woman who spent the entire ride glaring at me. My arm was aching from hanging on for dear life on the twisting route. We arrive down town and I mistakenly got off one stop too early which put an extra 4 blocks on our walk to the War Memorial which is where I normally meet my sister. This means an extra several stops for my Mom to sit for her hip to stop hurting.

While my Mom took a breather across from my bank, I went in to go to the cash machine. Long line, of course.

My sister called and said that she and Gabby would walk over to where we were sitting and I knew that would give Mom a little extra recovery time.

Shirin and Gabby arrived and moments later, Mom said…. “I’m feeling dizzy”… which is ALWAYS a sign that she is about to pass out.

With the help of a very nice young man selling t-shirts, we got her lying down with her feet up, gave her some water and, thank GOD, she did not actually pass out because that would have meant a trip to the hospital. Finally, after about 10 minutes, she was feeling back to normal and I decided that we should go back home.

Luckily, it is just two short blocks to the bus stop and we were able to walk down there without incident.

Shirin and Gabby left and I took Mom in to the bus shelter where there was a single seat left on a bench but just as we get there, another woman took the seat. Both were seniors but both were much more able than my Mom and I asked “Would it be possible for my Mom to sit?”. The woman who had grabbed the seat before we got there ignored us and the woman who was already sitting glared at us, looked my mother up and down and said “I’m probably as old as your mother is…”. She did get up but she was loudly remarking about “what nerve” I had in “expecting” her to give up her seat to someone.

I said “Oh Heavens! I wouldn’t want to deprive you of your seat!” and we turned away. Meanwhile, she was loudly informing all her friends about how rude I was and how my mother shouldn’t expect to get “special treatment” (what “special treatment” this was, I don’t know. I simply asked if she could sit in one of the only four available seats).

When we turned away, two ladies on the other bench gave up their seats quite cheerfully. I sat Mom down and went back to the woman who was still ranting on to her friends and said “My mother is 85 and recovering from a broken hip. But thank you so very much for feeling it necessary to be so rude”. She was still standing and you could see that she was perfectly fit. She had runners calves for Pete’s sake! She was surrounded by a group of women and it appeared that she was obviously the “leader of the pack”.

How is it that someone who is a senior, herself, could not understand when another senior isn’t as well as herself? She should thank her lucky stars that she has her health and has the luxury of being fit at whatever age she is. Many seniors aren’t so lucky. I could have pointed out that Mom had nearly passed out barely 15 minutes before… I could have pointed out that she has dementia… I could have pointed out that she was just lucky that she wasn’t in my mother’s shoes. Instead, I waited until our bus came and went over to her and said “Thanks for being so fucking rude!”

Not my finest hour but it was better than punching her which was what I felt like doing. She must be some prize at the seniors home.

We are buying a wheelchair.

When we got home, I was still seething so we took the car, Mom, and Mom’s friend, Selene out for a drive to Kemptville.

We had a terrific time.

We stopped for hot dogs at the chip truck/ice cream place we love, and then stopped to see how some of the Osprey nests were doing.

The first one, the adult was out of the nest preening on a nearby pole, allowing me to get a number of really good photos.

Adult Osprey at Nicholson's Locks

Adult Osprey at Nicholson's Locks

Then, instead of going back along the main highway to Kemptville, we took the River Road and found another Osprey nest that I didn’t know about. An adult and two babies on the nest!

New Osprey nest, River Road

New Osprey nest, River Road

We stopped in Kemptville to get gas before heading home and I spotted a large moth lying on the cement at the pumps. I thought it was dead but it was barely hanging on to life. I put it over in the brush on the toher side of the parking lot. It is a Pachysphinx modesta or Modest Sphinx or Modest Sphinx moth. So beautiful!

Modest Sphinx moth (Pachysphinx modesta)

Modest Sphinx moth (Pachysphinx modesta)

Then we headed home, after stopping to check on the Osprey nest on the East shore of the Rideau River. Parent, and two young actively bobbing about the nest.

We went out to the Rideau Falls to watch the fireworks and it was a terrific show. I managed to get the entire thing in photos, as well as one short video. 500 or so photos!

Fireworks By Moonlight

And that fricking bird is out there AGAIN today chip, chip, chipping!


  1. Bella said,

    July 8, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    Jeez! That sounds like a day and a half!
    How incredibly rude by the “old bag” at the bus stop! I think I probably would have reacted the same way you did…People like that infuriates me!

    Is that a genetically modified moth? Blimey! I have NEVER seen a moth that BIG! If that flickered around the light on my balcony I’d be terrified! 😉

    • mudhooks said,

      July 8, 2009 at 8:47 pm

      Nope! Just a BIG moth. Apparently, they had seen some Luna Moths in the same area in the last week or so. However, I hadn’t seen any.

      I have seen a Luna Moth once (I am hazarding a guess that I saw one another time but don’t recall clearly). They are even bigger and so beautiful.

      I am guessing that this one is called the Modest Sphinx Moth because the plum coloured underwing is generally hidden.

  2. July 3, 2009 at 5:56 am

    This is exactly why I didn’t go out on Canada Day when I lived in Ottawa (minus the elderly mom): it’s such a zoo! Way more pleasant to watch the festivities on TV, IMO. The one time I did venture out to see the fireworks on Parliament Hill, it was 9C, windy, and the event was eventually cancelled.

    I’m glad you spoke up to that rude woman!

    • mudhooks said,

      July 3, 2009 at 7:44 am

      I do like to go down and meet up with my sister and niece and sort of wander around until the crowds get off Parliament Hill. We usually go for lunch and then I head home.

      I wish I had had the presence of mind to say to the woman something I once heard someone on the New York subway say to some ass who was being really rude…

      “Just because your shit shines doesn’t mean it’s made of gold…” I always thought that was hilarious.

  3. sledpress said,

    July 2, 2009 at 11:14 pm

    This is why I never “do” anything… especially with people. (At the risk of sounding sweeping.) At least, I get out of it whenever I can.

    No one ever makes the effort to make a plan and follow it — people propose an idea and then just blunder around expecting everything to work (plenty of people with all their brain cells seem to do about as well as your mom with dementia), and these “fun” expeditions always melt down into a Purgatorial pilgrimage of futilities.

    I’m dreading the upcoming Fourth of July crap in the DC area. We have the big national fireworks display, which can be partly seen from an overpass a five minute walk from my house, but the boyfriend is wheedling me to DRIVE to the high-rise where his company’s offices are at the river’s edge so we can see them from the top floor. Last time I gave in to this the only other people there were a couple with an abominable rude child (which is really a redundant phrase, I guess). This way, after the display, we can run frantically to the parking garage to try to get out of the area before the roads clog up with 400,000 people all doing the same thing.

    Maybe I’ll just break up with him.

    I’d like to go look at moths with you please.

    • mudhooks said,

      July 3, 2009 at 1:54 am

      I avoid like the plague the evening events before the fireworks and stay away from the downtown core for those.

      The last time I went for them, I swore off after working my way thorough the crowd, over the Queen Alex. Bridge (which is a metal grille to the river below and I am terrified of heights), wearing flip-flops which kept catching in the grille, and following though no choice of my own, a bunch of 20-something keg-heads carrying a fallen member on a door (where they stole that from, I do not know) who was steadily discharging all the beer he had drunk all day over the side of said door (the ONLY reason I was glad that the road-bed was a grille).

      No, I go where the families go. My only problem is that I forgot to buy bug spray and know my ankles will swell up over the weekend.

      Next year, we go for a drive in the country and then take in the fireworks.

      Here is a question… Why do people think that HAVE to bring their dogs with them to the festivities?

      Why do they bring their pet and bring no food or water for them?

      Why do they not look at their dog once in a while to notice them expiring from the heat and humidity?

      Do they think they give a damn that it is Canada’s 142 birthday? Do they think they will hate them if they don’t?


      • sledpress said,

        July 3, 2009 at 3:27 pm

        I just hate people bringing their dogs places because they don’t pay attention to what the dog is doing, and it always wants to come over and bother me, or even shove its nose against me when I’m not expecting it.

        All dogs have ever done is bite me, so I regard this as tantamount to carrying around a loaded gun off safety and jostling it up against people.

        And if you go where families go the screaming kids are usually just as out of control as the dogs, so you can’t win.

        Grille bridges are a bit creepy, though a perfect choice if someone plans to vomit. I also used to get terribly spooked by stairs with no risers. I was absolutely sure in some recess of my mind that I was somehow going to end up with my foot slipping through and get trapped in them.

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