Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013
It is Tuesday morning, and Irish is curled up in a ball on her pillow under the window, and we finally have a home… of our own. We have no internet, no cellphone and the fridge is a wee bit bare. We have everything we need though.
I found a place right at the heart of one of the best little neighbourhoods in London. Grocery store, Drug store, Variety store and a Pet Store right near by, all within a short walk of my door. I’m still pinching myself to make sure I’m not dreaming, as I have wanted to live in this neighbourhood since I first moved to London at 19. For almost 20 of my 46 years I hovered around the outskirts, but could never find my way in. I was lucky to get this place, and places like this just do not come up often. I guess the stars finally aligned for me.
Irish and I went for a stroll around after dinner last night. Every house here is a unique gem, with beautiful gardens and many with front porch where friends and family may sit and enjoy the each others company. The area is filled with houses ranging in age from 125+ years to a few rare recent builds. Huge old Maples, Walnuts a few younger Tulip trees, Gingko’s and Oaks line the sidewalks. And dogs are EVERYWHERE…even wandering with their owners round the local Home Hardware.
This morning I am sitting here, on the antique green velvet settee, type type typing away on my new laptop MsB and Dad bought me. For atleast awhile, this beautiful black beauty may be the only means I have of getting online to post. I hope to pop into the local library down the street tomorrow morning and use their free wi-fi.
Wednesday, September 4th, 2013
Arrived home last night from work to one extremely happy dog. Holy cow batman, was someone ever glad to see me. Cant imagine what she was thinking all day. I’m suppose to ignore her when I’m coming and going, which on the going is easy, but the coming home part is rather difficult. Therefore I decided the next best thing is to feign indifference, and not let her see how happy I was to see her. Man oh man, you know I worried all day that she would be barking and making a big fuss, or have to pee and go all over the carpet. I worried for nothing though, and I bet she slept most of the day away.
Once in the door, after my exuberant greeting, figured my best bet was to just turn around and take her for a nice walk. Even at night this area has a charm. With the quiet sidewalks aglow in the occasional amber light, we made our way around, avoiding the darker streets and the ones with raccoons waltzing in their zig zag pattern down the road…moving from house to house on their nightly foraging campaign.
Wednesday, September 11th, 2013
It has now been a week and a half, and alls well in my new world. Have had the desire to write, just no words. This last year has been such a journey …from my lonely four months at the cottage this last winter after Tim’s death, to the six months with my family at the homestead… and now here I am again alone, although not lonely. I am sad, but I’m now at the brink of a new life and I can almost now see the future; shining there ahead of me, beckoning me forward.
This last weekend I took Irish out for a long walk around, meandering down streets I had not seen in more than a decade. Rain was imminent and so it was not as long a walk as either of us would have liked. On the way back I came upon a garage sale next door, so I dropped her off and grabbed my things and headed out to see what wares were to be had. Tim could never resist a garage sale, so I went over as much in memory of him, as for myself. I bought a book for .25 cents, Late Nights on Air, by Elizabeth Hay.
The book tells the story of a group of characters working at a Radio Station in Yellowknife, Canada in what was then still called the Northwest Territories, in 1975. I am entranced by it and don’t want it to end. It has transported me to a place in Canada that has always intrigued me. Four of the characters are currently on a trip together following in the footsteps of an explorer from the 1920′s who died of starvation in a small cabin up in the barren lands. The story of his life was made into a radio play, taken from journal entries of his nephew who came with him on his journey. For each of the characters, this trip carries a significance beyond merely the desire to see a place few will ever be able to.
How fragile and beautiful is life, as we follow the paths set before us. Moving through and past our mistakes, travelling on frozen lakes and past barren grounds, trading our securities for hardship in order to find something we know is deeper, and more real than the reality we see in our present. Somehow foraging forward, even though it seems as if the elements that surround us would have us turn back, and give up; we struggle forward though. Off in the distance we know is the destination our heart desires, and that gives us a strength against the biting winds of change.
Here I am now, 3 hours away from that little cottage on Irish Lake. I am almost 11 months now on this journey through grief…tap, tap, taping away at this laptop, again sitting on my green antique velvet settee of my Grandmothers, trying to untangle the many myriad of thoughts and emotions that bubble up.
I wonder where this journal will go now that things have changed, again. I suppose they will carry on much as they have … and perhaps some day soon I’ll be able to share these thoughts with you. The thing that will change will be the scenery, the backdrops, for the words.
Thursday, September 12th, 2013
My living currently is made as a Customer Service rep for a Telecom. I sort out the many issues that arise, calm the irate, and assist them in bringing a semblance of understanding and knowledge. I often think of myself as a bit of a counselor, as so many customers call in and really just want someone they can complain to…after all, who calls customer service except when they are having problems. Of course, it would be refreshing to occasionally have the caller who just wants to say hey, you guys are doing a fantastic job, love your service, keep up the good work.
Yesterday was the same as any other day, same issues (more or less), I heard from the irate, the merely upset, the confused etc…but at the end of one call somehow it came up what the date was, and what had transpired on this date in 2001. For me though, this date holds a personal significance, as it was the last time I spoke to my Mom. Nine days after 9 11 she had a stroke, and she was never the same again. Eventually she lost her voice, when another stroke occurred a few weeks later…but before that the cruel particles of cancer had swamped her brain and already taken away the woman I knew. On October 31st, 2001 at around 6 pm, she died, in the livingroom at the homestead, surrounded by her family.
October for me is filled with sad things. Beginnings, endings, and it is a month that has come to represent the winds of change. I have long ago realized I have no recourse, no weapons against the sadness; yet one…the resolution that I will not let it claim me, will not let that sadness rob me of hope and joy and the memories that I hold dearly.
This year I add another sad goodbye to the month of October…another date on the calendar to pause and reflect over what has been lost. Tim died October 18th of last year.
Another anniversary passed last weekend. Last year Tim whisked me away to a quaint local Inn. It was so important to him that we go. Sick as he was, in such pain, and merely weeks away from death, he insisted. I protested and tried to talk him out of it…but he would have his way…and for 3 days and 2 nights we almost pretended all the awful cruelty of our days was a thing of the past. We sat on our balcony and enjoyed a few drinks, we ate delicious meals at the restaurant on the patio, overlooking Walters Falls, with the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape. He had arranged a spa day for me, so I had a pedie and a massage and for the first time in weeks, even months, I almost felt every drop of stress washed away.
The last couple days I have felt a certain melancholy, and I can not shake it. Even just last week, I thought I was moving forward. Yet, I dread the month of October, and perhaps that is all it is. However, as one of the characters in Late Nights on Air remarks… I too am going to be the kind of person who keeps trying.
Saturday, September 14th, 2013
This morning I took a little journey back in time. Back 15 years to when I was married, and where I spent almost 8 years of my life. I’ve been past the old place before, and I knew that at some point someone had taken my garden out that once filled the tiny front yard, and replaced it with grass. However, I had not seen the back yard, and I caught a wee glimpse of the Pyrancanthus vine I had planted that last summer of 1999, and saw it had travelled as I imagined down the fence and up onto the shed. I was delighted.
Yet that was not why I went, my destination was past that old house, and down towards the path I used to take our dog Mogan on. In those last months after I had kicked my ex out, it was just Mogan and I. I’d take her for nice long walks through those woods, and down the path to this beautiful little valley that lay on the banks of this hidden cove. I loved it there, and as soon as we hit the woods I would let her off leash and off she would race ahead of me. Irish isn’t allowed off leash yet, but I hope to one day allow her that same freedom; but we have some work to do before that day – I with trust, and her with listening to me when I call her back.
The area is now all wild and and I barely recognized it. It was BEAUTIFUL. It is a rare thing to hold a spot so close to your heart, and to return years later and find it has been left alone to grow and mature and become again what it once was, before humans scraped it bare.
Mogan was my ex’s really, I had suggested we get a dog since he had never been able to have one growing up, as his father was a violent and abusive man who had once thrown there only dog up against and wall and killed it. So R had never known the unconditional love a dog can bring to your life. Mogan was therapy. I couldn’t have taken her back then anyways though, as I had my two 10 year old cats, Gizmo and Shoe and I couldn’t have afforded to care for a dog as well. I knew my ex loved her as much as I, but to turning my back and walking away was hard.
Fifteen years later, I imagine Mogan has passed away, I don’t know when as I haven’t spoke to R in more than 10 Years. She would have been almost 20 years old by now. I shed some tears for her today, and my memories of those times we shared on our walks on that woodsy path came back vividly as I took my first steps once again on that well-worn path through the woods. The area had changed so much I could barely recognize it, and the path by the coves that we walked on back then to go over to the apple orchard is long overgrown. The shrubs that back then were thin spindly things, have grown and filled out and become a shelter for all sorts of native species. As we made our way through the underbrush, we paused, and Irish and I stood on the banks of a new little and took in the wild and quiet beauty. The song of the birds and smells on the breeze, the wild flowers and gentle babble of the stream filled me, and I savoured the moment.
As I continued on the trail, I heard the call of a Hawk over head, and that to my ears felt like a call of welcome home. There had always been a Red-tailed Hawk that lived in one of the trees, and I wonder if this one is the offspring of that Hawk from all those years ago.
This small woodland is nestled mere blocks off one of London’s busiest roads, and was created when this elbow of the Thames was cut off when a dam was put in after the massive flooding in the 1940′s. In order for diversity to exist, adversity must first be given it’s due. In all of nature, living things will always strive to return to their wild, natural state.
Saturday, September 21st, 2013
Its been almost 3 weeks since those first days, and I finally made the time to stroll down and check out the local library & upload everything. Other than that, things are good. Its been quite the journey. Poor Irish spends so much of her days alone that I feel guilty sitting here finally getting this uploaded. Really need to get some internet setup, but so many other priorities have taken centre stage. I love this though, so I will not be long disconnected to my blogging world. My heritage book group has also been put on the back burner during this move. Ah well…all in good time…all in good time.
Life is good though, and I feel especially blessed to be here, in this place, tap tap taping away in the free world of WiFi
Guess that’s it for now. Take care all, and thank you so much for sticking with me through his lag in posting.