Canadian Thanksgiving 2021

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What is there to be thankful for eighteen months into the COVID-19 pandemic?

You have your health.

You are double vaccinated.

You have the privilege to visit restaurants, theatres and gyms – if you actually wanted to.

You have a place to call home.

You have family and close friends, still reachable on various platforms.

None of your family or friends have succumbed to the virus.

You still have a job.

You still are able to work from home.

You are less stressed because you aren’t forced to use unreliable public transportation two hours a day.

You are more productive, creative and relaxed when you aren’t forced to conform to the visual expectations of some corporate culture.

You have the freedom to get outside for walks around your neighbourhood for fresh air, to pick up provisions, and engage with community acquaintances.

You found a new network of like-minded folks, opportunities to rekindle that sense of purpose, of contributing your time, energy and skills.

You have remembered that you have the right to set boundaries with family, friends and others.

You have had plenty of time for quiet reflection on life, your values and priorities.

You have let your inner child emerge during bouts of creativity.

Basket of kittens for the Grand kids

You continue to review your list of accomplishments, and many things to look forward to.

You finally have opportunities to warm the home by using the oven and stove top to cook delicious meals.

You can still afford to buy groceries and necessities.

You can share your thoughts with others through a talk radio show this evening, using various platforms.

https://www.cbc.ca/radio/checkup/what-are-you-thankful-for-this-thanksgiving-1.6204049

Happy Thanksgiving.

Thanks for dropping by.

T

Art appreciation during a pandemic

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I ventured into crowds outside of my community willingly last week for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic.

I don’t experience wanderlust nor do I rebel against science-based protocols and restrictions on personal movement. I bite my tongue in passing judgement on others I know who have been travelling across country and borders for pleasure this summer. It has been two years since I have seen my grandchildren.

A friend and I made plans in June to aim for attending an arts event in town this summer after we got our two COVID-19 vaccinations. We had hopes for a pleasant time considering the circumstances.

We needed to experience the beauty of art during a social outing again.

A Van Gogh self-portrait painting image

The exhibit: https://vangoghottawa.com/

We navigated with her car through summer road construction to Lansdowne Park. We navigated the underground parking facilities. We respected protocols by waiting with masks on, ground level in the time slot visit queue of art lovers then followed slowly at a distance through the maze of digitized art displays and meaningful quotes that led to the immersive experience.

Boats on water at night – Beyond Van Gogh exhibit in Ottawa, ON

The venue was warm with very little air flow. In general, the immersive experience was entertaining and enjoyable. All the while though, the risks associated with the pandemic were on my mind. Even the beautiful images of Vincent’s Starry Night and floral arrangements struggled to calm my concerns.

Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night painting image in a digital display
Van Gogh Irises and Sunflowers

After 45 minutes of that, I made sure to purchase a souvenir at the boutique on the way out, an over-priced notebook with reprint images of his popular paintings.

Lunch out was a challenge with filling out the electronic contact tracing form before being allowed into the restaurant. Management made safe distancing arrangements for diners. It seems that trendy restaurants are still playing background music way too loud for my preference in enjoying a conversation. Half-way through my salad, I declined the offer of dessert. I just wanted to go home.

There are other art gallery and museum exhibits I want to see this summer. My desire is dampened by reports about the COVID-19 variants spreading about.

I am okay with delaying the satisfaction of my selfish desires for a little while longer, and finding safer alternatives.

I would rather be deprived than dead.

Thanks for dropping by.

T

A walk in my shoes

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It’s the last weekend of July. Not being a summer person, I am not sad to see us enter into August then the cool, crisp days of the Canadian autumn.

New discoveries

This is the type of weather perfect for hiking or just taking long walks. Who knows what you will find if you explore a little farther in your community. Last Friday night I discovered an Indian Supermarket in one of the plazas. I entered, mask-on with intentions to satisfy a craving, to purchase prepared Butter Chicken and Korma sauces, but came out with a few extras including cookies and snacks.

Indian cooking sauces and snacks

In the moment

On my way home, I felt joy when I stopped to witness the evening sun’s rays bursting through trees in a nearby park. It was magical. It was bliss.

I was in the moment, stopping to appreciate the evening sun bursting through the green foliage.

Seconds later I encountered a neighbour from the old apartment building who was approaching along the sidewalk. We stood at a distance to chat, share news of our respective families. I had to cut the conversation short to scoot home in time to watch one of my favourite TV shows.

If you are venturing out by foot around your communities this long weekend, here are some projects you can participate in:

Protocols and Gratitude

I continue to work from home. I have almost everything I need within walking distance. That suits me just fine as we are still navigating through this COVID-19 pandemic. My household is taking no chances; we are content with staying close to home, away from crowded places and careless individuals. There is no wanderlust or protests about freedom here.

This pandemic and government restrictions have provided us with the opportunity to evaluate our needs, our values and appreciate the time for reflection.

Now if we could remind people who also are walking on streets with no sidewalks, that you are supposed to walk facing traffic! As my dear old Dad used to say, “Walk facing traffic so you can see what’s going to hit you!”

Thanks for stopping by.

Stay safe. Be kind.

T