Things We Keep

Today's thought

I miss my house.

 

As I sat on my apartment balcony, drinking my morning coffee, I looked at the vast blue sky as I drank in the sun’s unseasonably warm rays. The trees in their russet and crimson colors stood calm in their beauty, and I heard a few birds singing. I found it odd to still hear the birds chirping away at this mid-November time of year. I wondered if they had perhaps become confused by the extreme weather changes we’ve been experiencing these past few weeks, from seasonably cold to mild and spring-like; hence, not signaling winter’s near arrival.

 

 

Although the weather hasn’t been consistent, the now empty flower pots lined up against the wall on my balcony, remind me of the cold winds and temperatures we’ve had in late October causing the flowers to shrivel and die. I began thinking about the flowers I so lovingly tended to in my old house –  the home I moved away from only 10 months ago. I recalled that with every change in weather, my flowers and plants would react.

 

By this time of year, I’d have already prepared blankets of burlap to wrap around the feeble trees and shrubs to defend them against winter’s onslaught of wind and snow. I couldn’t help but wonder if the new owners would do the same.

 

I thought about the beautiful shed my husband built with his brothers that housed all of our garden tools and furniture. And then I thought about how we have given all those things away because we’d no longer have use or storage for them.

shed

No longer would I carry the groceries from my car directly through the garage door into the house. It’s now become a long walk through the underground parking, through the building corridors, up the elevator and back down the corridor to my door after bundling my groceries into an old shopping buggy I’d kept for decades.

 

It’s strange how I kept that shopping buggy from the days I lived in my little apartment – the one I moved into when I left the family home and my childhood behind. That buggy has been with me for over 35 years.

 

When I met my husband and we built our first home, he wanted to toss the shopping cart. I told him we never know when it may come in handy. He laughed as he shook his head and called me a packrat.

 

We threw the cart up on the storage shelves he’d built in the garage and there it sat until we moved 3 more times, and by then he no longer threatened to throw it out, but stored it neatly at the back of yet another shelf in each consequent house we moved to.

 

When we moved here this past winter, the handy cart helped me carry numerous loads of items back and forth up from the house to the car to the condo. And then I reminded my husband about how convenient this little cart had been and how handy it will be for bringing up groceries from the car.

 

Sure the old buggy has lost its shiny, silvery, luster, and one of the legs is missing its rubber capped foot, but I’ve had it for decades and it’s served its worth thousands of times over. Besides, they don’t build things the way they used to; built to last.

 

DGKaye©2015

Downtown, A different day and Memory Lane

Today's thought

Today was different. I have been so accustomed to working in my comfy writer space day after day as the days turn into weeks then months. I had an annual doctor appointment downtown and I decided to kill two birds with one stone and make an additional appointment while down there to see my Osteopath to try and put (me) Humpty back together again.

My hips and lower back had been aching for days and somehow locked up on me, making it painful to sit or sleep or barely able to lift my foot into my underwear (tmi?). Anyhoo, going downtown for me is like a day visiting another city. My friends often joke that they need to bring their passports just to visit me. Yes, I live in suburbia! Don’t get me wrong, it’s lovely here and it’s like a whole other hustle and bustle city up here in the northern end of Toronto. There is everything here including traffic, only it’s not downtown, but my doctor is. So when I go downtown once or twice a year, I make a plan of things I need to get while there and plan my route accordingly.

Now, getting there is a journey in itself, Lordy, no I will not drive downtown! Somewhere through the years I have lost my brazen ability to drive far, on highways or at night. Besides the anxiety that strikes me on these jaunts, I’ve had lots of trouble with my vision over the past few years and I cannot read signs in unfamiliar territory or on fast-paced highways quick enough to avoid missing an exit…again, causing anxiety. I don’t drive at night unless I’m absolutely stuck being the designated driver when my husband and I go to a party and that is only if it doesn’t require highway driving as I have a problem with night vision due to some laser eye surgery I had years ago when I had pin holes lasered into my iris’ to alleviate pressure to stop me from going blind. TMI again? Sorry. Yes, so the halo effect occurs from the oncoming headlights and this is just not a good thing. So, I have my perimeters.

So, my plan for going downtown is as follows:  The subway is about a 40 minute drive from my house. My step-son-in-law works at a car dealership 5 minutes from the subwayI drive there and he drives me to the subway and takes my car back to the dealership and picks me back up when I’m heading back north. Sometimes I even have anxiety on subways! Perhaps I’ve watched too many movies and always seem to be leery if I spot someone unsavory looking. Maybe it’s even my imagination and maybe being a writer exaggerates these anxieties? Imagination serves me well as a writer but sometimes it can get a bit over-active. I don’t exactly know when I became like this because I never used to be afraid of a damn thing!  I like to blame it on…..do I dare say….middle age? And so, it’s another 25 minute ride downtown on the subway and a few blocks walk to my doctor’s office.

When I’m downtown, I always feel like I am somewhere else, like I am a tourist. Today happened to be fairly cold outside, minus 5 celcius and very windy and with all the buildings downtown, made it feel all the more windy. I finished my appointment fairly early and had decided that I wanted to pick up a few things that I can only get in a particular store down there and I debated with myself if I felt up to the long walk to get there.

After being worked on for 2 hours by my Osteopath then taped up like a human mummy all around my hips, I decided to tackle the mission.  As I walked in the wind (against my face), bundled up good, I really enjoyed it. I walked about 5 subway stops and it felt so good to be outside and walking instead of on my ass in front of the computer. As I passed various landmarks (those that had meant something to me in my life), I began to reminisce about so many things in my life that had pertained to them. I passed the hospital where I had my heart surgery (tumor, not coronary), I passed the hotel where I worked as an executive secretary to the general manager for some years – some of my best years. I passed the many shops I’d wandered into on my lunch hours when I worked down there. It was almost as though I was revisiting my past and the memories evoked were all different -the hospital memories and the happy memories. A real trip down memory lane. After I hopped back on the subway and began writing this post,

My hips and back are killing me, it hurts to sit. Apparently I’m no longer allowed to sit on my comfy couch and work there on my laptop. I love it in my open family room to the kitchen with the TV on in the background. My doctor told me that my body had been sitting for so long this year that it tightened and jammed my hips. Now I have to work in my lonely office and sit in a proper chair when creating and surfing. Well, I will see how long that lasts! My husband is on me like a cop for this as he had heard me complaining about my aches and pains for so long. Hmm, I once wrote a post here on Do Writers Suffer Vanity? Now I am wondering if writers suffer injured hips, backs and bums?

DGKaye©2013