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

Putting your house in order

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Thank goodness for extra long weekends. Since I don’t have a cottage to travel to during a pandemic, I invested my time continuing to organize our new home.

  • Yesterday I unpacked three suitcases from the move; two contained the remainder of my seasonal wardrobe. It feels like I am clothes shopping in my closet after cycling through four basic outfits for the past month. Bonus!
  • I spent the sticky, humid half of the long weekend sorting through boxes of books, finding appropriate spots for them in the limited supply of bookcases. You can read about it in this blog post written by the Tabby Cat.
  • The excess boxes with questionable historical value have been tucked away for later inventory. They may have to come with me during the next move to an even smaller rental. Either that or my adult children will have to deal with them after I die.

This may sound morbid but I think it’s important for adults to consider the eventuality of one’s death and make preparations to alleviate the burden on others.

It becomes more of a consideration during a pandemic.

Thanks for dropping by. Stay safe. Be kind.

T

Evaluating the historical value of our junk

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There’s nothing like moving into a smaller home to challenge one’s ability to skim off the excessive possessions.

Of course, this is not to lessen experiences of people leaving their homes due to civil strife and natural disasters.

Moving during a pandemic provides enough limitations and extra costs – even within the same community.

I recently had to make difficult decisions: I had been holding on to nicnacs, family portraits, letters, Christmas cards from years gone by and artwork my children made many years ago. I had to get tough with my sentimental leanings and those “what if” situations where we would need extra dishes, linens, towels and sleeping bags. It’s not like we can accommodate house guests or invite people over for dinner any time soon.

Family history

I embrace and cherish my journals and albums tracing the family activities through good times and bad. To me, these are important memoirs, accounts, photos documenting the children’s growth, the reunion with my oldest child, meeting his wife and my beautiful grandchildren.

What about the doodles and whimsical sketches I made to keep my sanity during the quiet evenings of the many COVID-19 stay at home orders in 2020 and 2021? I like to think they will also have historical value some day. The people at the Ottawa Archives may think so too. I wouldn’t want to be the entry level Archivist who has to sort through and categorize thousands of boxes. We can be sure that by now, most Archives will accept digital copies of memorable documents and pandemic artefacts.

Downsizing questions

  • At what point do you justify paying monthly rent for a storage unit?
  • How much effort are you able to put into getting useful items to local charities?
  • How much are you willing to pay for a service that will take your junk away, and promise at best effort to redirect useful items to charity?
  • How many wine boxes does it take to pack your beloved books and other delicate items? How many bottles of wine would you buy in exchange for the Wine Shop staff putting boxes aside for you on a bi-weekly basis? How many of those bottles do you consume or gift to others who are helping you in the process?
  • When can I unpack my books and place them on the limited bookcases in our new home? Am I willing to make some difficult choices? Haven’t we been through this before?
  • How long until I decide to move again? Will I have unpacked all of the boxes or piled some into a cramped corner?
The Tabby Cat squeezed into a temporary hidey box after we moved in the first truckload.

Resources:

Distractions

You can spend another five minutes reading a humorous account of activities surrounding the recent move.

Thanks for stopping by. Please excuse the mess. I am trying to unpack one or two boxes per day now that we are settled in. I should be done by Thanksgiving.

Stay well. Stay safe. Be kind.

T