Years ago, I owned these shoes that were so beyond repair that Matt used to call them my “broke down palace” shoes. “Oh no,” he’d moan, when he saw me putting them on, “please not the broke down palace again.” He was sick of hearing me whine about the pain the broken shoes caused me, and I was so reluctant to let them go. “but I LOVE them” I’d say. “But they’re BROKEN” he’d retort.
Since then, anything broken, defective, malfunctioning or damaged in our lives is referred to as “broke down palace.” Like the toe I busted a few weeks ago, smashing it on the side of our banister, causing me to show my little baby what mama means when she yells MOTHERFUCKER really loud. Also, like our car that chose to die its final death in the Loblaws parking lot recently – in the middle of a heat wave, with 2 screaming kids, bags of groceries, and one pissy husband, I might add. And finally, like my basement, which became the ultimate broke down palace a few weeks ago when a giant rain storm ripped through Toronto. The already crappy drains were pushed to their limit and let in a river of backed up sewage under the sub floor of our basement. (You see? I’m not joking about the shit storm). Once the plumber got in and took a look at what was going on down there, he very forcefully encouraged us to vacate the house immediately because of the risk of inhaling methane gas. (note: these kinds of warnings do wonders to a panic-prone mother who immediately upon hearing said warning by the plumber will burst into tears because she is sure her new baby has now been damaged somehow by the days he spent breathing in methane gas. She will proceed to pack up all of their belongings in 15 minutes and lay them all over the front lawn, giving the neighbours a good show in the meantime).
And so, we hightailed it outta there, rented a car (remember, ours was broke down palace), and drove up north to my parents’ place. It was decided that I would spend a week or so there with the kids while Matt returned to Toronto to “deal” with the basement (read: contact the proper people while also enjoying nights out with his friends). Now, I’ll be the first to admit I am lucky: my parents retired to a lovely little town called Southampton, just north west of Toronto. It’s small and idyllic, and many many people cottage up there in the summer. And while I tend to go a little crazy up there sometimes (the clean air, the niceness, the leisureliness of it all somehow can GET to someone after awhile), I was able to leave broke down palace life behind and see this every morning:
Nothing like a view of beauty to make you forget (for the time being) the river of poo at home.
(full disclosure: this picture is not my own, but one taken from a public tourist site for Southampton. I would have inserted my own picture, but alas the camera is also living the broke down palace life. Of course).