My wonderful summer job

August 26, 2018

Screen shot 2018-08-26 at 8.17.48 PMJust a brief note about my summer job. I write this on a Sunday evening while I wait for Coco to finish gnawing on the T-bone that we gave her in the back yard after we ate the steak. I can’t walk her until she’s finished her gnaw.
I have a great summer job.
Of course, fall is here, and with fall comes the return to real life; I feel almost like Cinderella when the coach turns into a pumpkin. I am going to need to find a real job when this Master’s in Forest Conservation is complete, in December.
That said, it’s been a great summer.
I was reflecting on it just now because I fished around in the laundry basket at some clothes that I just took off the clothesline, and selected a short-sleeved shirt, a pair of shorts, a pair of underwear and socks, and put those, plus my belt, phone, wallet and keys on the ottoman down in the living room.
I put my stuff in the living room because I get up at 5:20 a.m., when my sweetheart is still trying to get some sleep, to go to work. In the silent house I brew a cup of Earl Grey Tea. Then I put some yogurt and granola in a bowl with the fruit of the season. Earlier in the summer, when the days were even longer, I went out to the back yard in the gloaming and picked fat raspberries off the bush in our garden, and ate my quiet breakfast in the back yard.
But now it is darker in the morning and it is peach season, so I slice a fat Niagara peach into my bowl to eat in the dining room while the National Post’s headlines (Trump/Bernier/Scheer/Trump/Trudeau) wash over me like a cold shower.
Then I board my bicycle. In June and July I didn’t need to flick on my lights when I set off. But now it is dark at 5:45 a.m. and so I put on my front and rear lights, and my helmet, and board my tattered old faded Simcoe bicycle for the 3km ride to the Women’s College Hospital.
Once upon a time, under Mike Harris, Women’s and Sunnybrook were merged; later they got a divorce but maybe it was amicable since there is still a shuttle bus that takes Sunnybrook staff up to the hospital in North York.
Joanna, my coworker, boards the bus at 6:20 a.m. at Wellesley Street and then we whiz through the quiet streets, often gawking at the wealth and opulent greenery of Rosedale and Moore Park, as the shuttle bus driver whisks us up to Sunnybrook.
We arrive at the quiet hospital grounds at about twenty minutes to seven, and we sit at a picnic bench made of recycled plastic, outside the Grounds office, and have our “morning meeting,” Joanna and I, which is generally a discussion of what trees we plan to assess that day.
And then just around 7 a.m. the other Grounds staff show up with the key and let us into the kind of garage in which we keep our equipment, my steel-toe boots and my high-viz vest. And we start our day.
It has been a good summer job. I like to have an outdoor summer job.