What a Difference a Year Makes

It is a year today since we moved from the Toronto area (Oshawa) to the city of Ottawa, our nation’s capital.

What a year it’s been.

The biggest pluses for me? We are living in the same city as two of our four daughters and we are only two hours away from another one. The fourth is across the country, living on the west coast, in Vancouver, so it is still a plane ride away.

We live very close to seven of our eight grandchildren, and despite the fact that I love my daughters, this one should have been first because I just can’t get enough of those sweet children.

We have been getting reacquainted with Ottawa as we lived her for two years, forty years ago. We are using the “free Wednesday” buses to explore a new area of the city every week.  The bicycle trails have become a constant and ever-changing source of joy and wonder to us as well. Just outside our front door we have the Greenboro Trail, filled with trees and flowers. I just can’t explain how we are amazed every time we walk or bike on this system of trails.

One of my three sisters lives just outside Ottawa and we see her frequently. Another sister moved here in March, from Vancouver. We took an art class together which we love and are taking another after Christmas. My fourth sister lives in Bermuda, which is a good thing! I also have three brothers who live in Ottawa and we see them often.

My cousin, Ninette, whom I grew up with and went to school with, lives here and I see her once a week. My friend from university, Colleen, lives here and we just reconnected after 47 years! What a joy!

All the activity means that I am getting healthier and I am 15 pounds less than when we moved here. Isn’t that amazing!

I can tell you that every morning I wake up and am so happy I can hardly believe it. I love our little house and I especially love my bedroom which is bright and sunny even on cloudy days! LOL. God has blessed me indeed!

Today we put up our mini Christmas tree and decorations. We are sitting by our (fake) fire and I am sipping tea made by my very attentive husband.  Does it get any better that this?

YES! Our daughter, Lindi, is coming from Vancouver for Christmas with Emil our grandson who turned 8 last week. It will be the first time we will all have been together for Christmas in at least 30 years. I can hardly wait. They are arriving on Tuesday.

Merry Christmas to all my blogger friends!

 

 

 

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It’s My Move – Part 4 – The Final Day

Today is the last day in my old house.  We have lived here for twenty years and we are moving to Ottawa to be closer to family.

About a year ago we started downsizing.  We organized closets and found things to donate to charity.  But it was different!

A month ago we found a house we liked in Ottawa and the race was on.  We have gone through the entire three-bedroom house and have probably got rid of two-thirds of the contents.  We have been busy from early morning until late at night.  We didn’t take a day off, but we did take several mini-breaks a day.

Not even once did we become angry with each other and we worked like a well-trained team.  It was exciting! 

Our daughters (4 of them) are all thrilled for us.  Their children are looking forward to having Grandma and Grandpa living closer to them.

Yesterday I said good-bye to my dear friend, Roz.  She was my teaching partner (we both taught grade 4) and was always there for me.  She gave me good advice and several times was able to talk me through a tense situation.  I hope I was able to do the same for her. 

We went through the marriages of all of our daughters and the births of our grandchildren.  She is kind, funny, and down to earth.  I’ll miss her but I know she plans on visiting me soon.  Still, there were a few tears as we parted.

Today I said good-bye to my wonderful friend, Eleanor.  I taught with her husband and she taught at a school nearby.  We were art partners, taking watercolour classes together, and critiquing each other’s work.  We both managed to produce a few items that we framed and put on our walls. 

Every fall, we spent our Saturdays going to Church Bazaars.  We would enter raffles and buy used books and hand-sewn items.  She once found me the perfect little Christmas tree for just $3.00, including decorations and lights!  I once sold her sewing machine for $3.00 at a garage sale!  You don’t quickly forget moments like those.

We were tea drinking buddies.  We discussed everything from what was in the news, grandchildren, school happenings, husbands,  fashion, art, and especially books we’d read. 

Eleanor was born on a farm in Saskatchewan and her children are way out in Alberta.  Her husband is a computer nerd geek person like mine and we used to have Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners together. To say I’ll miss her would be an understatement.  I hope she comes to visit soon.  A few more tears were shed today when she left.

We are winding down.  The books are packed, the food in the freezer has been eaten, the shelves are bare, the bathrooms have been cleaned, the floors polished, the carpets vacuumed, the walls and ceilings dusted (really!), and we are finding we have already packed things we still need.  LOL.

So it is down to a few hours.  The movers are coming in the morning and we will drive to Ottawa tomorrow afternoon.  Our new adventure is just beginning as an old one comes to a close.

It’s My Move – Part 3

Every morning for the past month, I’ve woken up with a feeling that something good is happening.  Then I remember – we’re moving to Ottawa, to be closer to 3 of our 4 daughters.  One lives in Vancouver, but I figure with all the money I’ll save NOT visiting these three, I’ll be able to fly out to Vancouver more often.

We also have eight grandchildren and we’ll be living near seven of them.  It will be very different for us, and we are looking forward to the adventure.

Here’s what we’ve been doing for the last week.  We have made numerous visits to the Dump, where the guys who work there now greet us and we exchange pleasantries.  Did I tell you my husband owns/owned a gazillion books?  He has told the moving company he will be taking only 1,000 books with him and we have been donating the excess to the library and to local charities.

Today we drove by Value Village and he wanted to stop in for a quick look around.  I think he feels like he has visitation rights to those books and he wants to check up on them.  I let him go in by himself.  I think he’d like to be alone with them.

We went to The Moving Store and bought cardboard boxes and packing tape.  They have a showroom with displays set up of all the different boxes and what they are used for.  Book boxes, dishes, lamps, mirrors, paintings, clothing, and wardrobe boxes to name a few. 

Took them home, put them together, and started filling them.  Needless to say, tomorrow we have to go back to get some more boxes.  We have more magazines, etc. for recycling tomorrow and we are preparing for next week’s Large Garbage Pickup #2. 

Daughter #4 is coming next weekend to give us a hand and I’d like to have most of the house packed and ready to go.  Moving Day is only 10 days away and there’s still a lot to be done.

I’ve made a list of all the items still in the freezer and posted it on the fridge door.  As I use them, I check them off the list. I’m also cleaning as I go, so there’s not as much to do on the last day.

Hydro, water, gas have been notified of our moving date, and we’ve set up the same to be started at the other end.  On|December 16, Daughter #2 is driving up from Montreal to Ottawa to give us a hand with the unpacking.  She’ll arrive the day after we do.  It’s only a two-hour drive and we are looking forward to seeing her.  Her help will be welcome.

On Wednesday evening a couple of friends are hosting a dinner party for Hubby and me to say good-bye to all the friends we’ve made in our twenty years in Oshawa.  I know I’ll be crying but a few of us are already planning visits.

The weather is still holding out.  No snow yet and we are praying for good weather for the whole move.  After December 15, it would be nice to have a little snow!

Another busy week ahead, with so much to do.  I am so excited!!!

 

 

 

It’s My Move, Part 3 -The Dump

When I was a child in Nova Scotia, our town had a Dump.  Dad sometimes took some of us kids on a trip to drop trash off and I can tell you it was an exciting experience.  Things were happening there!

When my little sister was a teenager, she had a couple of friends who went parking and necking at… yes, the DUMP!!!  How romantic can a guy get?  I mean, the smell alone… But to each his own, I guess. 

We have been downsizing, gradually, for many months.  But in the last couple of weeks, it has taken on a new urgency, because we found a house and are moving to Ottawa in December, just days before Christmas. 

In less than two weeks, we have gotten rid of about a quarter of the junk stuff in our house.  We have made eight trips to the Waste Management Facility (The Dump) and got rid of scores of computers, computer parts, and other assorted electronics (not that my husband is a hoarder or anything). 

I still love the dump!  Things are hoppin’ there!  There are bulldozers and tractors everywhere.  There are men, young men, working and flexing their .. oops, I got carried away for a second. 

And it is so organized!  You drive in, get weighed (your car, not you, thank God) . You drop off your stuff and get weighed again on the way out.  There are different “stations” for each type of trash. 

Wood goes in one area, styrofoam another, cardboard, paper, hard cover and soft cover books others.  There is a section for oil, paint, hazardous household waste, electronics, appliances, and there is an area all by itself, in a far corner, for … Toilets.  There is a mound of them about twenty feet high. If you brought your toddler there, he would want to explore and use every single one.

All of the young men who work there are amazingly cheerful.  They  greet you with a smile, wish you a good day and actually thank you for visiting and bringing your grungy toilet or whatever.  They comment on the weather which has been unseasonably warm and sunny.  

People are running around, dropping off a stack of cardboard here and then running across the road to drop off styrofoam in the little building over there.  I saw a young woman, blond, fashionably dressed, pick up a couple of heavy computers from the back of her truck and toss them in the electronic bin like a couple of  paperback books.

I saw one of the young workers today and I commented to him, “I love this place.”  He answered in a booming voice, “So do I.  I love it so much that I come here almost every day.” I left there happy.

We have also taken several loads of used books to the library and many, many things to Value Village.  We have sold a few items on Kijiji and have actually managed to pack a few things.

We hired a moving company this week, so that is a load of our minds.  We are too old to be loading  and unloading  a truck.  Our daughters will be happy to hear that since I know they worry about us.  Things are going well and we are progressing as we should.

The next challenge will be Monday’s large garbage pickup.  How are we going to get the heavy things down to the curb?  I can picture us, two 66 year olds, pushing and pulling, and grunting, and hopefully not expiring, as we manhandle the old heavy floor-model TV set or the heavy oak desk that is 5 and a half feet long, down the driveway and onto the grass near the street. 

We’ll probably be on YouTube next week!