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Posts Tagged ‘suburbs’

Brrrrrr! The alarm screamed in my ear and I stumbled over to switch it off.  The sound still evokes ‘a pounding of the heart’ that transports me back to years of responding to the demands of a school bell.  It is strange how the bell symbolizes all the conforming that was required of me during my teaching years. But it is so different now. The alarm now heralds in the start of my new day. I have the choice to do more or less as I please. Wonderful! Once I have all the motherly tasks under my belt, I am free to go out and play!

What can I say? I have become a ‘Lady that Walks.’ I prefer it to the pastime of ‘doing lunch’ although the idea of a spot of lunch would probably also grab me. In fact a dash of shopping would also go down well. But the one that really gets me up and out into the ‘just above zero’ weather is a brisk walk! I don my ‘North Face armour’ and a pair of leg warmers. Then the fur trimmed hooded jacket is thrown on along with a thick scarf and a pair of woolen gloves. It is all I need to face the chill of the north wind across the lake.

The Ladies that walk

The Ladies that Walk.

 

Up until now, walking has been a solitary activity along with Josh, my Jack Russell. We have clocked up some mileage around the suburbs, chased many a squirrel and avoided skirmishes with raccoons and skunks. Other dogs have always been a challenge and Josh certainly does not fall into the category of being a ‘polite Canadian dog.’ So he gets his own private walk at the crack of dawn when there is little canine traffic. Once exercised, he is happy to settle down.  I, however, return to pound the pavements once more.

The group huddles under the town clock as we wait for the last few stragglers. The air is crisp and the steam of our breath wafts up as we greet each other. News is exchanged and the whereabouts of regulars is checked. We are the “Ladies that Walk.’ This does not mean that this is a singular activity, as our chatter can be heard around every corner. There always seems to be so much to talk about! So we live up to our name and the front few set the pace. Hats are pulled down as we brace ourselves against the cold. We always make our way down to the beautiful Ontario Lake. It is changeable and has the unpredictability of the sea. Some days it is serene and still and other times stormy and cold, but always fascinating.

One of the historic homes along the route.

One of the historical homes along the route

We pass along through the historical streets of Old Oakville. The cute cottages and stately homes blend in side by side. The different flags flutter proudly in the wind. They remind us not only of our heritage but of what has brought the group together…. we have a common bond:

We are all embracing change and our new lives here in Canada.

 

 

 

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The garbage truck trundled around the corner.  The tell tale piles were perched outside every door on the curb. The trays of recyclables, bags of garden refuse and kitchen waste have all been sorted. It is 6.30am and bleary- eyed bundled figures have deposited their piles. None of us even give each other a sideward glance. The whole process is just too painful! We just want to rush back indoors to the warmth and the smell of coffee. Josh watches me from a window perched up on a chair. He is eager to get out there for his morning stroll and is undeterred by the freezing weather!

Garbage Day!

And so another day begins with the mundane and the chores that need to be done. I conquered a pile of laundry yesterday and felt the sweet taste of success as I packed away the 20 freshly ironed shirts. Oh how simple life’s pleasures sometimes are! Today the cupboards need to be filled. Vegetarian pasta just does not make the grade in this household of men! It is all about ‘carbo loading’ and plenty of muscle building protein. A big juicy steak and piles of chips makes their eyes twinkle! I try to keep this in mind as I am drawn to the whole wheat breads and what they term as ‘rabbit foods.’

Administration is another facet of this ‘stay at home’ wife. Today it is to be another ‘form filling in’ day. Two of our visas need to be renewed. We have to travel down to the US and re-enter Canada in order to do this. I will be wading through paperwork and trying to make sense of it all. Special travel documents need to be completed too. I search the websites and make sure so that we comply with the US requirements.  All I need is for us to be stranded on the other side!

But please don’t think that life in the suburbs is all about drudgery and mundane. There are the highlights too……walking out in the woods and wading through the streams, meeting a friend for a chat and a coffee in a cosy restaurant and watching all the Christmas preparations down town. The shops have put out all their decorative pots all glistening in white and silver to beckon us in. The bare winter trees have been given new life with the twinkling lights that run along their bark. The starkness of winter has a bright side too!

 Christmas time just seems to bring out the joie de vivre in people. We experienced a taste of this last weekend when we attended a Ball in the city. The evening started with a ride in a shiny white limousine. I felt like a princess….albeit an old one! Our hosts were warm and welcoming and we chatted over our sundowners as we chased along the highway into town. It was a glorious evening with good music, elegant food and interesting conversation.

I am constantly reminded of the pleasure with a bit of the pain…….

A night on the town……

 

 

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