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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The Word on the Street

The Word on the Street is an outdoor festival celebrating  books and reading. It promotes literacy and provides an opportunity for adults and children to interact with book and magazine sellers and publishers. It has been held in downtown Toronto for the last 22 years and has grown from a small number of booths to well over 200.

There were representatives from libraries, writers’ groups, poetry writers, sci-fi writers, romance writers, Giller Prize winners, Booker Prize winners, and arts organizations. I met several romance writers who invited me to come to their next meeting to be held in October.

Part of the crowd at Word on the Street, Toronto, 2011.

 

Many authors were on-site to sign copies of their books.  We received many free books, a few of them signed copies. There were many stages set up for author interviews where the audience could ask questions.  I saw an interview with Guy Vanderhaeghe, a Giller Prize winner and  Chef Michael Smith, who is well-known through his cooking show on the Food channel.  There were over 200 volunteers at the fair, who ensured that everything ran smoothly.

We took the GO (Government of Ontario) train to Toronto and then the subway to the fair. It was the most amazing sight!  The day was warm and sunny with a cooling breeze and the tents were set up down Queen’s Park Street and onto the Queen’s Park grounds, behind the Ontario Legislature.  Children, parents, grandparents, and  young people milled around.  Some tents were swarmed with crowds of interested people but everyone was patient and polite.

A view of Lake Ontario from the GO Train. The footbridge in the foreground is part of the Lakefront Trail.

We had both brought bags with us and they were full by the time we left the fair.  We walked down Wellesley Street all the way to Edwards Street where we had a beautiful lunch at Red Lobster.  It was almost the best part of the day!  I had grilled salmon, steamed broccoli, a garden salad, and a baked potato.  I truly enjoyed every bite.  The restaurant was busy but quiet, the waiter polite and funny, and the food amazing.  John had half of my salad, sole stuffed with cheese and rice, broccoli, and a baked potato.

Where do you think we went after that?  To the World’s Biggest Bookstore on Edwards Street.  I browsed through the Art Department and John almost bought a book by David Baum on Quantum Physics but decided we had enough books for the day.

We walked over to the Eaton Centre where we could hear music and clapping.  There was another celebration across the street in a square and we could see a group performing on a stage.  It was amazing all the activity going on, all the happy people, families enjoying being together, and all outdoors in the sunshine.

We proceeded to walk back to Union Station and we caught the GO Train back to Oshawa, a 45 minute ride.  We had such a nice day, enjoyed each other’s company, and got lots of books to read.

An interesting view of the CN Tower from Front Street, Toronto.

 

The only thing missing at Word on the Street was any reference to ebooks.  I wonder why the e-book publishers and sellers were not represented.  Anyone?