Hugh sent an e-mail with a list of things he needed at Costco.

“Auntie” he beseeched, “could you pick me up these things. Thing is, I don’t have a car, so even if I have my own Costco card…”

I miss my empty nester, so I agreed, the next time I went, I’d pick up his list of goods.

I’ve been spoilt lately. Nephew Ron washed my car with the help of Franc this afternoon. I drove across town in my shiny, beautiful looking car into the district where we once lived and where Hugh now lives in an apartment above one of the trendy district’s stores to deliver his goods. I hadn’t thought about being a grocery deliverer when I went through my plans for retirement. I made a mental reflection that this couldn’t happen too often or the whole purpose of Hugh getting his own apartment and becoming independent would be a mockery if I got in the habit of doing his big shopping for him and delivering it besides.

Hugh was having his housewarming party, but even though the time set for the beginning of the party was seven, no one had arrived. His room mate and another friend had been preparing all afternoon. He and his two mates came to carry up the groceries just as Clara arrived. Clara is his new sweetie. So he took off to help her put her bicycle in a safe location while the other two slavies carted the goods upstairs.

Franc was at home cooking up mussels in wine sauce and asparagus for dinner, so I didn’t linger. Talk about being spoiled. I headed right back.

On my way home, I took Dunbar then Sixteenth, down to MacDonald which turns into Larch at Thirty Third Avenue. I chanced to pass by a home where Mom, every time we passed it, had pointed out the house she and dad almost bought but it was a bit too small for a growing family. It was a gentle house with the appearance of one floor from the front, although it was built into the hill, went down two more floors, and had a magnificent view over the entire city and the port.

Only the house was gone!


In its place was a huge two storey house, coated in slate grey stucco, finishing touches waiting to be added, landscaping not yet done. Unlike the other house that had been razed, one could not see beyond this black blockhouse on the landscape. It blotted out the view of the mountains, the inlet and the city at its feet.

Another part of our history was gone. The city is changing from a garden city to a grown up metropolitan where only the rich and ostentatious can afford houses with views, and their houses must be grand to match.

“Ma belle, my little butterfly, my princess,” I thought, “just as well you didn’t live to see this one go.”


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