A little over a year ago we moved from a 3 bedroom, 1 floor condo, west of Toronto, to a 3 bedroom, 3 floor house east of Toronto. The move was a little over 100 km. With Toronto being in the middle it might as well have been 1000 km. When I lived west of Toronto it was nothing to “run home” to Niagara Falls for a couple of hours to visit family and friends. That drive across the top of Toronto can add anywhere from 1 – 3 hrs. (depending on the traffic) to my trip home now. Needless to say those visits are much less frequent.
So, why did we move? Well, our business was in the Durham Region and those treks from west to east on a daily basis were damaging us and our business. I really liked our condo. We had been in it for 8 years. It was, however, beginning to look less and less like a home. Everywhere I turned there was business stuff. Not just in the office. It was in the living room, the kitchen, the dining room, the bedroom and yes, even the bathroom (don’t ask). We found this house and I liked it right away. But, the thing that sold me was when we opened the basement door and went downstairs. The basement had already been made into an office space! With cupboards and a sink and plenty of room for our business! I was so happy as we brought everything in, because if it had “office” written on it, it went downstairs. I now had a living space and a working space and I could come upstairs at the end of the day and close the door and that was that.
A recent visit to Dr. A had her a little concerned with my well being. I have gained weight and have been struggling with getting rid of it. I have a Gazelle exercise machine set up so I can take breaks from the computer and get some exercise, but doesn’t seem to be helping. The good Doctor suggested we run some blood tests and that I should walk for 20 minutes every day. I looked at the sheet she handed to me to see what she was testing. As I drove home I did some thinking. One of the things she checked off were my Vitamin D levels. Hmmm, if I am not mistaken (it happens on a rare occasion) Vitamin D is the “sunshine vitamin”. It then occurred to me that I actually rarely see sunshine. The first 6 months we lived here I would accompany He-Who* on the front porch or the back deck for some “fresh air” (as we call it in my family) otherwise known as a smoke break. In January I got really sick and stopped doing this. I stopped going outside. By the time I got home I had figured out that although I had a great working space there was something missing. Windows. All the windows were in the laundry room side of the basement. It was lovely and bright in the laundry room. It was dark and dismal in the office part. Could it be I was just not getting enough sunshine and fresh air?
The first day I tentatively walked around the block. It took me 15 minutes. I was not that familiar with the territory so I kept my head down and went a little further each day and then would see how long it took me. I went to 38 minutes, then 45, then 50 until I finally made it to just a little over an hour. An hour is my goal each day hopefully picking up speed as I carry on. I have also incorporated it into other things I have to do. I needed an oil change so I drove my car to the shop, dropped it off and walked a half-hour in one direction and then a half-hour back to my car. He-Who does the grocery shopping, so the other day I went with him. When he went into the store I started walking towards home. An hour later he picked me up on his way home from the store.
We live in the downtown area. It is a little rough around the edges and sometimes a little intimidating. The other day I accidentally lifted my head while walking the usual route and noticed these…
A brazen glance to the left and I saw these…
…then to the right there were these…
It was head up and eyes all over the place after that. How could I have been walking past all this and not noticed it? I walk with 1 piece of ID and my cell so I started taking pictures with my phone…
There was a lot I was missing as I scurried along my route. We have lived here a year and I find myself coming home and saying things to He-Who, like, “Did you know there was a big city pool behind us? With a big park behind it? I saw families playing!”
I am not Anglican but I have to tell you this sign made me stop. I read it twice before I took the picture. I quite like what it has to say.
I walked past several fire hydrants that were hand-painted. I will have to do some investigating to find out the story behind them. This one was my favourite.
This is a General Motors town. I have passed this place every day. Several years ago I worked on a documentary about GM in St. Catharines. Some day when I am not all hot and sweaty, I will go in.
Last weekend I heard music, people laughing and a lot of activity (of course this was “pre-looking up” walking). It turns out there is a beautiful bandstand with seating and a lovely park.
The sides of the bandstand are made of these panels…
and there is this wonderful monument beside it.
I have blisters, bites and sunburn but I feel better than I have in months and as it turns out there is lots to see on my walks. All I had to do was get up, go outside, get some sunshine, fresh air and move again. Thanks Dr. A.
*Recently a friend referred to He Who Shall Remain Nameless For His Own Protection as He-Who because as she stated, “I can call him that because we are on a first name basis”. Well, I’m on a first name basis with him too (at least for the time being) so He-Who it is!