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Feb 23, 2010

There has been a lot of activity just down the road from us, for the past year. A hotel has been built, and we have witnessed the process from start to finish. About a year ago, the construction crew 'broke ground' and started digging and moving earth. Then came the foundation. The big cement mixers came in to pour and pour until the amount of cement was just right. Each afternoon, driving my children home from school, I would deliberately take a slightly longer route which leads right past the hotel site. My kids would ooh and aah at the machines, and the changes that were taking place. Soon the walls went up, stage by stage. Just opposite the building site is a restaurant with an outside seating area. We sat there on a few occasions, eating icecream and watching the progress: machines coming and going, the large crew of workmen nailing, hammering, carrying, and cutting. At least half of the time there was plenty of yelling going on, and most of the time it was in a variety of different languages. It would have been good to film the work from the beginning to the end consistently, and then show the film in fast motion. I'm happy to say that the ordinances or rules for new buildings here is that they must have good landscaping around them: trees, shrubs, and grass. So, the hotel won't look like a big, boring, box of a place. It actually has an attractive design with some architectural interest, some natural stone, and now the landscaping. I'm sure that, in true American style, there will be a grand opening celebration. There will be balloons, free coffee, and perhaps a raffle. Once, when a department store was having its grand opening, my husband and I happened to be in a parking lot nearby. Suddenly, there was the sound of explosions. I ducked, not knowing what on earth was happening. My husband just laughed at me and pointed to the building, "It's just the grand opening fire works, babe. I know," he admitted, "we tend to overdo it here."

Grammar notes.

Practicing the use of 'would' using related vocabulary: to break ground, building site, ordinance, to duck.

1. It would have been better to break ground in the Summer; the ground will be frozen soon.

2. I wouldn't mind the building site next door, if the crew wasn't so rude.

3. He memorized the ordinances and would always quote the rules.

4. You wouldn't have bumped your head if you had ducked.