Thursday, 24 May 2018

4 days to no car

Oh boy, it's really happening. I found someone to buy Big Mama for parts. At least it's not the scrap yard for her.
I got a supply of toilet paper, dog food, a step stool, a new toaster and other bulky and heavy stuff. 
I bought some Sharkskin paint and brushes for my outdoor projects.
I found some plants for my deck. 

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

5 days to no car

I’m writing a list and checking it twice.
A list of all the things I need to do before there is no car.
Tonight I'm bringing blankets home from the yoga studio to wash and fence dry them and get them returned before time runs out.

I dug out earphones from my last phone purchase and used them this morning. They are awesome. These new ones nestle in my ears perfectly. I can still hear birds and car horns so I'm good. Music beats listening to cars and there's a rhythm in my step.

Last week I asked Don to get a pizza for lunch from Both Hands Pizzeria. It's walking distance. I suggested he get a small one thinking that it would be way easier to carry home. I said I would make a salad to go with it. Well, as I'm coming home he wizzed by on his bike and waved at me. I don't see the pizza but he has his backpack. I get home and there is the pizza being pulled out of the backpack. Oops. He puts the box upside down on the table and says he took the bike so the pizza wouldn't be cold. I don't know if it's just a guy thing......... Anyway, the pizza was all curled up at the edge of the box. We just unfolded it and ate it with gusto.

I can feel a little anxiety now.
I'm wondering if I can do it.
Here is Alice sitting on a strangers' stoop.......resting during our walk in Montreal.
Maybe this will be me?

Monday, 21 May 2018

6 days to no car

I spent the weekend in Montreal with the kids. 
I took a cab to the house and back to airport but otherwise we used no car. 
We had lovely adventures as everything was fairly close in the neighbourhood close to downtown. 
This is me riding a rented bike around downtown Montreal. Yes, that's the bike path. It goes right 
through the city core. This is the new section and it is wonderful and easy. If you look close it is between the walkers and the cars. Safe and lots of people using during the week especially to work and back. This was early Sunday morning so ever quiet! The bike cost me 5 dollars for the day.  They are everywhere. Pick one up.  Drop it off. Pick up another and bring to any drop off spot. Very cool!

At home today and I used  the car to get hanging strawberry plants, a white rose bush, basil plants, and seeds. And brought a bag to the thrift store. 

Friday, 18 May 2018

10 days to no car

Yesterday I walked again. Big mama sat in the driveway. I'm just practicing being without her. And I had a wonderful day! I met an old classmate on the street and we chatted about books and how days go so fast. He has been gobbling history books borrowed from the Waverly library. He recently read about C. D. Howe and how we should have some more memorial to this astounding man. He makes me want to look him up. 

I remember a class I was in with my friend at Lakehead University. We were already older students but we giggled like crazy people over a mistake in vocabulary of the professor. We absolutely couldn't stop. And we were weren't polite enough to leave. Or would that have been more rude? We just snorted and kept giggling. We couldn't look at each other without bursting. It was a Sociology of Medicine class. 

I'm leaving for the airport shortly. Going to Montreal. Don is driving me. Big mama gets out and about today. And I think of this being the last trip with the car. Taxis after this. I wonder if I can count on them to be on time. Or when would I call them? The night before? I leave awfully early in the mornings. How much do I tip? Do they take cash? It might add a bit more stress to traveling. 

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

12 days to no car

I decided to walk to work this morning. It was drizzling. I scurried for my umbrella under the winter hats and mitts. It seems we are needing both for the time being: umbrellas and mitts. I shared a few words with a fellow down the street about how we need rain. I happened to meet up with a friend near the corner coffeeshop and we chatted as we walked together the rest of the way to the yoga studio. No stress.
On the way home another friend/neighbour/student and I stopped in at the coffeeshop below the studio to pick up something for lunch, strolled home and shared life happenings from the previous week. I watched someone pulling weeds. I watched someone painting stairs. As I neared home I heard my little Felix barking at the door to get back in the house. Don was cooking so he didn't want to miss any scraps in flight. No stress.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

13 days to no car

Happy spring!
After a lot of thought, I've decided to get rid of my car. Big Mama is old and ailing. Rusty brake lines, leaky gas line, finicky locks, gas cap needs a screwdriver to open, rear door sometimes refuses opening, awwwww, she's just old and grey. My mechanic said "now, it's time".

This means there will be no car in the household. I feel excited. Life will look different.  I might lose some belly fat. Save money. Have adventures. Meet new people. Maybe spend more time at home. I'm not all sure what it's going to look like. I can always get a car later if I can't do it.

I'm not completely understanding why I want to do this. Don hasn't owned a car since the late 70's. So he is an inspiration. He rides a bicycle or walks. But I've had a car for visiting and hiking and groceries and trips. I plan to rent a car occasionally. I'd like to bike more. Walk more. I live a 10 minute walk away from work and restaurants and the best coffee shops and the bus network and the marina.

I've noticed that when I walk somewhere for a chore like going to the bank it's more fun and doesn't feel at all like a chore. When I take the car, well, it is a chore. Go figure.

I have a polka dotted bike helmet that says Nutcase above my forehead. This should be fun!

Friday, 30 March 2018

Regret

I was looking through my dad's, my mom's, and my old photo boxes. My mom took lots and lots of photos. She wrote me frequent letters and always some photos of her life in Australia: holding baby crocs; eating fluffy worms on a trip to the bush; eating Christmas dinner in a sundress; trees with enormous flowers; and miles and miles of sandy beach. I never appreciated those letters. I was too busy with something to sit with them. Too preoccupied by my own "special" thoughts.

I'm listening to Ed Sheeran's love songs while I look at these photos and letters. Oh man, tears.
I have been looking at my life and what I would like to do, to see, to be. What would I regret if this was my last day on earth? I would regret not loving enough. I regret that now, today,  but hopefully I have time to live differently. I regret not telling my mom how wonderful her letters were, and what an awesome life she lived, and how she helped me be who I am, regardless of her circumstances, what a good mom she was, how hard she worked, and thanking her for her just being my mom. And I regret all the mean and nasty things I have said and done and not done to people because I didn't see love. I didn't know. I didn't know. And my mind explodes into regret of more and more. But it's all because I was ignorant (as in didn't know) that love was important. That praise and gratitude are what lead to love. I only ever needed to appreciate what was right in front of me. All of it. Appreciation would have lead to thankfulness and it would have led to love, simply because that's the way it is. It's a good thing it still works that way and will always work that way. Believe it or not.

May you love with all your heart!