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When Miles entered the vault toilet time collapsed. It was the smell of it that sent him back to beginnings... although it is difficult to understand beginnings and scent inspired remembrance. The fact was that MsDee and he found themselves no-longer in the center of east and west between their daughters, sons in and out law, and; grandson. They were on the east end of things. The scent of it was out west and long, long ago when there wasn't much language only a vague memory of a fear of falling into the wooden vault toilet which was, in Chinese tradition, The Muck Raker's fearful domain.

The iron bars preventing accidental drops into the Monkey King's demon friend's lair didn't exist in that Old West of the early 1950's on his uncle's ranch in the Rocky Mountain foothills of log cabin Alberta.

Now there was no horror of fear falling or failing. Miles called it...

 

The Migration

They were all gone west to The Tri-Cities of Ontario two hours of 12 or 6 lanes of rushing traffic away from Toronto.

His old studio was, after a month of packing, a rapidly fading memory.

It was surprising how 52 years of work could be compressed. The art of painting and printmaking had evolved to accommodate shipping and storage. In the beginning Miles had pictured himself as a sculptor but, sculpture cannot be compressed, it takes huge amounts of space even as tiny sketches in wax or clay. Thousands of 3 dimensional pieces would have filled many vaults. He had taken this expanding two dimensional collection of mementos from Calgary to Montreal to Vancouver, back to Calgary and then to Toronto.

The month of searching for a new home, meeting Realtors, loans officers, had practically disappeared from his memory.

Thirty years in Toronto and it's suburbs faded fast. There was nothing to hold him there except a handful of finger counted friends; some he would never see again. The only thing that could outweigh the draw of family would have been the entanglement of friendship, society, and business; a bond which never formed. It was a chilly place for art. Miles had become accustomed to rejection over 30 years of Toronto. It had become a part of his personality until he didn't bother "submitting" to any art authority.

Which was, a shame, but; a soul surviving necessity.

Miles and MsDee had retreated to their Base Camp 02 unit and had upgraded it to Base Camp 01 status while the bank and the government financial institutions applied measures to "cool" the "hot" housing market.

In the meantime they had decided to enjoy the Southern Ontario fall colours near the headwaters of the Grand River, the power house of their new homeland.

They had the money to make the migratory move immediately but were not willing to pay many thousands of dollars tax to liquidate their retirement savings to cover the cost of a new, smaller, less fashionable, less valuable home in a more secure, less polluted, more stable economic zone.

Unlike the calm, industrially dumped great lake city with it's gas and nuclear energy driven economy they had chosen the constantly flowing, age old, fluid mill river hope of the Grand.

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