Sunday, January 3, 2016

Substantially right and wrong

A personal update

By Geoffrey Dean

Back in October I had been amused to hear my uncle, who owns a home in the nation’s most affluent zip code, characterize what I consider to be our very modest property in Salt Lake City as “a substantial piece of land.” I have since thought often about his assessment, and at times I have been inclined to agree with it. One such was following an early December day of unabated snowfall. Watching my neighbor with his snow shovel, conscientiously clearing a foot of snow from the “substantial” length of sidewalk on his corner lot, opposite ours, I had a terrible thought – what if his were not merely an act of good conscience, but actually one mandated by the city?
    And so it is, a visit to the city website revealed. I had 24 hours to clear that snow from our own sidewalk, if anything more substantial in length than our neighbor’s. The true extent of our property then revealed itself.
    Subsequent December snows have been lighter, and I discovered the benefits of sprinkling even a seemingly small quantity of salt (you know, the chunky kind sold in big bags). Any snow and ice covering the sidewalks would “magically” disappear the next day, although the absence of additional snowfall and the presence of sunlight probably helped.

Having spent the last two weeks, in part, watching the first three seasons of Road to Avonlea, I can now admit that I had a “substantial” number of facts about the series wrong, most notably the names of the two young lovebirds. Sara Stanley is the main character, but it is actually Felicity King who falls for, not Sam, but Gus. That’s Gus Pike, estranged son of a villainous pirate.
    The real love story up to this point is that of Olivia (Sara and Felicity’s aunt), who begins working at the local paper and engages Jaspar Dale, a “confirmed” bachelor and village outsider, to do the photography for her stories. Along with Olivia, we delighted in discovering Jaspar’s many hidden talents and strengths of character, and rejoiced when Jaspar gets up the nerve to declare his love and engage Olivia, so long in the shadow of her domineering older sister Hetty, to be his wife. To see these two suppressed individuals come into their own, together, is heartwarming and inspiring. In each succeeding episode, we hope for more Jaspar Dale, and celebrate every time he makes an appearance.

Copyright © 2016 by Geoffrey Dean

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