Sunday, October 23, 2005

lessons from TLC

Robbie and I watched a couple of documentaries on TV tonight *more on those in a bit*. . it was an icky weather day today. . a time for cocooning and generalized vegetating, which I find makes me feel gross, but hey, clouds roll in and clouds roll out again. We had SNOW yesterday, very briefly. This didn't do much to improve most people's mood!!!! BAH!!! I went downtown on foot yesterday. . took the short cut away from all the main roads, cut through the pioneer cemetery, down the foot path, through the Presbyterian church yard, past the Queen's Square fountain, across the bridge over the darkly and certainly cold Grand River, to the market!! The air was cold, my breath hung in little, cloudy puffs as i walked. I had contemplated not going, after less than a block, the chill had driven me back home to put a vest underneath my denim jacket. I was determined that I would not let the weather push me around! So, I just hoofed it, to stay warmer.

The wind blew my hair all over. It felt great to move my muscles. My lungs were drawing in that cool air. Several people had their fireplaces going. . I smelled that gorgeous, burnt wood smell all the way along. I passed the old, stately homes, took in the look of the changing trees and enjoyed the display of burnt orange, red, yellow and warm brown. "How fantastic is this?" I thought as I continued my walk with purpose and anticipation. Time disappeared, I don't wear a watch, so that makes it easy! I walked by the empty outdoor bistros and the busy java joints. I ATM'd first, then set out in the direction of the 100+ year-old farmer's market building in the centre of town. I trolled the people-packed aisles, poking my head in at the display cases filled with meat, baked goods, cheeses. I settled on some foccacia (herb flat bread), some asiago cheese, then headed to the outdoor stalls, full of earthy-looking offerings. I nabbed 'carryable' things since I have no cart. Baby zucchini, 2 bunches of gorgeous, fall-coloured flowers, which drew comments galore from every shopkeeper I visited on the rest of my trek! I clutched my floral prize in the crook of my left arm, while all other bags swung jauntily from my right hand for the first few blocks, then seemed to hang progressively more heavily with every purchase - which I tried to remedy with bag and load shifting. Actually most of the weight was my purse, which was slung across my right shoulder - it definitely bogged me down. . i hate purses. *I was a 'backpack' girl for the longest time until my youngest daughter bugged me so much about looking like an overgrown teenager*

I managed to visit the chocolate shop, the stained glass store, the lingerie store, the home decor shop (where i nabbed some cute ghost candles and teeny decorative pumpkins) and threw in a stop at a 'junktique' store - could have done without that. . . blech. .

Walking home was good, a bit tiring but a good, well-earned fatigue that comes from fresh air and exercise. The rest of the day was spent doing house work, hanging with my daughters and grandkids. . working on the last bits of kitchen renos with Robbie! Pictures are forthcoming!!!

Tonight we made the trip to bring our youngest back to uni in the early evening. . when we got home we headed for the recliners to watch some TV. It was rerun city, so we flipped to see if there was anything worth watching. We landed at TLC and were transfixed by the stories of 2 families struggling with all the things we just take in our stride. . . breathing, eating, talking, having skin, a face . . .. living. Julianna was a sweet, honey blonde 2 year-old who was born without a face, Johnny was a 36 year-old man who had been born with an excruciating skin condition. We watched segments of their tortured lives with shock and compassion and tears (okay, the tears were mine!) I could not believe the things they were called upon to endure. I felt so strange. . why am i living this privileged life? I can do anything i want. . but often don't. I can walk downtown, Johnny couldn't walk at all. I can talk and eat and hear - Julianna has surgery after surgery to be able to do those things - 'eating' for her is liquid tube feedings. We had beautiful, 'normal' babies. . these families had severely abnormal infants with all the attendant suffering, stress, heartache and uncertainty that accompanied them; but they took it all and they shone. What a contrast. . our lives and theirs. It was really sobering to watch, but I suspect that as the days pile up in the near future, their stories will be filed in the recesses of my mind; that's what always happens. I only hope that I will make a conscious effort to live well and appreciate the life that's been given to me, not wasting or squandering it. I'm sure Julianna and Johnny would do that if they were me.


Tracy said...

Gees Kathy, you make me want to go freeze my buns off and take a walk! LOL

Kathryn said...

LOL!!! well bundle up then. . . ha ha!!!

Lindsay said...

Good post! The farmer's market is in kind of a bad location, right on the corner of a busy,narrow intersection! I bet it was the perfect place for a market when it was first built, though! I kinda like walking on cold, overcast fall days, everyone's got their fireplaces going and it smells really good!

Kathryn said...

yeah, i bet it was in a great location in the 1890s!!! imagine what it must have looked like then on a busy Saturday a.m.???! cool!

You can feel the history when you're in the building. . love it!

yes, cool fall days are great for walking, you girls are right!

The Phantom Piccolo said...

It's ok - I am still a backpack girl myself. :)

Kathryn said...

good for you, Piccolo!!! I am still one in spirit!!! I have a little purse that LOOKS like a back pack!! I should have taken that one to market instead of struggling with that other stupid one!!!