Spiders and Bell lines and bears. Oh my!

Before I get started here, I’m going to say, “Yes I know…first world problems.” Ok? I get it!

When I last lived at the cottage full time, my niece said I was a pioneer. Chopping wood, living in the bush, hunting for my food…ok not the last bit. But it’s sort of true. Up here you learn to live with nature, and live without the convenience of multiple plumbers and mechanics to choose from when something goes wrong. You learn pretty early not to feed the birds sunflower seeds on your deck in the spring and summer.

Three bears on deck
Three bears on my deck

This past week, my parents had a few challenges up at their cottage. Here’s what you have to know about this story:

  • My parents are 87 years old.
  • My mum uses a walker.
  • They don’t have cell phones.
  • They don’t have internet.
  • Their cottage neighbours aren’t always around.


Their phone line crapped out. No, not exactly, they could usually call out, but anyone calling in would get a couple of clicks and then dial tone. They got the Bell guy to come the day after they called it in. It was fixed. For about 18 hours. They called again and the Bell guy would be there in two days. He didn’t show. Bell couldn’t call them to tell them, so they called again. Bell said they would be there in 4 days. 4 DAYS!

The Bell guy came that day. Jiggled a few wires and it was fixed. For about 18 hours. UGH!

Meanwhile, I noticed my dad’s car had a slight flat. yep, turns out a slow leak in one of the tires. Luckily, there’s a gas station close by so he was able to fill it. But I told him to monitor it in case they had to go somewhere in an emergency.

Like a bear breaking into their shed and eating their garbage!

Yep. That happened. To my 87 year old parents with no neighbours, a dodgy phone line, and a semi-flat tire.

So they called Bell for help again. This time the guy showed up early the next morning (after the bear incident.) He looked at the jacks inside the cottage, the jacks that the two other Bell guys had fixed. He went outside to the main Bell box on the street and said the problem was there. He said the two guys who came before must have been new or inexperienced.


So he climbed the pole, jiggled a few wires, and my parents’ phone line is working. Which is a relief all around. Imagine them not being able to call 911, my parents with their walker and cane rushing to the car that has a flat, running away from a bear.

I can’t even…

I know such things could happen in the city…but likely without the bears.

Oh shoot! I was supposed to say something about spiders! That will be next time. In the meantime, here’s a picture of a dock spider just to give you the heebie-jeebies. You’re welcome.

Dock spider on a dock near a towel
Dock spider