Yeah, its been awhile,
How bout you
—-England Dan and John Ford Coley
It has been awhile since my last post. I was here and then gone to Toronto for a couple of weeks on my first long distance travel post-stroke. And now I am back in my little piece of heaven in the mountains.
I have lots to say and nothing really planned so I will just begin at the beginning and go on till I come to the end and then stop, as the King tells Alice to do in Wonderland.
Since leaving my childhood home when I was seventeen, I have lived in a succession of cities and houses or apartments but have not really called any of them home, until now. My husband feels the same way. We are recovering wanderers. We used to call ourselves agile because we would easily adjust to whatever life threw at us….and we re still agile in that respect but we are also finally settling down, to our home sweet home in the mountains.
He loves it here, I can tell because he smiles alot more than he used to. And so do I.
First some notes on travelling:
- You can request wheelchair assistance in getting to and from the gates, which I highly recommend. I can walk and maybe so can you, its just a very long way in some airports. Do not be stubborn! Do not risk it! Air Canada was quite fantastic on this trip. Helped me every step of the way to the gate, on the plane, to the washroom and back. Small things that when uneventful, make for a very pleasant trip.
- Do pre-order a meal, which my husband did for me. No hassle. The staff know, and locate you straight away when service begins. So you eat first, for which I was very grateful.
- Do not over-pack. You surely do not need so many clothes. There are laundry and dry clean facilities everywhere. Make your life easier, bring half as much as you originally intend–be ruthless and cull that extra sweater. Consider it a fine opportunity to buy a new one should it prove necessary.
- I packed all my liquid or cream items in large zip locks, which worked just fine, but now I am on the lookout for a good travel makeup and cleanser case. I bought one in Toronto but had to leave it behind as I had over-packed clothing and had no room for in on my return trip. I will post a picture once I source a good one.
- Travel sizes. Try not to bring big jars or bottles of stuff with you. If its not available in a travel size, make your own by transferring product into smaller containers. This will leave more room for shopping, especially since I am planning to bring back quite alot of local pottery from Portugal in the Fall.
- Air Canada helped me get my suitcase from the carousel and then straight to the limo line to find a car to take me to my destination!
Toronto was great, one of my favourite cities. Lots of good meals at my old haunts and a reunion with old friends and colleagues from BMO Nesbitt Burns. We call ourselves The Lofters as we worked out of a commercial loft in the old Fashion District in Toronto at King and Spadina, what is now called the Entertainment District. So great to see everyone Thanks to Fran for organizing. Everyone looks great and not a day older yet it has surely been 15 years since some of us last met. Good to hear what everyone has been up to with work, marriage, children, life in general. This was truly a highlight of my career, we didnt know how lucky we were at the time…but we sure do now, having lived through jobs, bosses and co-workers and various other players in our lives since then. We played pool, drank cappucino, walked or biked to work, had Doggie Day Fridays, experienced 9-11 together that awful morning in our common room watching the events unfold on TV and worried about our colleagues in Chicago. A bunch of us went for lunch at Shoeless Joes that afternoon before we called it a day and sadly headed home in a world changed from the one we woke up to just that morning.
And of course, the best thing that ever happened to me , I met my husband at the Loft. We called him Super Dave! (or maybe that was just me……) Later that month and into the Fall our romance continued, the next year we were engaged, two years after that we married – and we are staying that way.
In Toronto, I stayed with my good friend Ann, my mother Ella and my sister and brother-in-law Donna and Daryl. Navigating someone elses home can be a challenge and you need to be very careful. You may want to consider a hotel for part of your trip – just to feel like an independent adult again -do something on your own.
Best thing – Donna bought me a pair of water shoes that I wear in my shower back home all the time now- greatly reduces fear and chance of slipping. It has added another level of independence to my life — I dont fear any shower. This will be great when travelling in the Fall as it eliminates the need for shower seating. Be careful to inspect all shower and bath set-ups and think through what could go wrong – plan ahead! I will pack a small plastic step stool with me for emergencies. And dont get too cocky- its ok to ask for help if you need it.
So here I am back in my office looking out at Mount Fernie in my front yard. It is another beautiful day in my little town and our house guests have just left this morning to continue their cross-Canada adventure. I will wite about this and other news tomorrow.
I am strong, I am beautiful.
And I can walk and talk just fine.
(As an Aside: I found out on my trip that some people thought that since I had a pretty bad stroke, I was still unable to walk or speak properly.) As was suggested, I will post a short video of me walking sometime soon.