Thursday, July 7, 2016

If I'm Happy (in the city) and I Know It, Tell My Blog. . .

 I've already written so many words this week that I think it's time for some photos. In fact, I hesitated even to post these, because I'm always conscious that once a new post rolls up, the conversation on the preceding one risks being slowed down or stopped, and I'm really enjoying that conversation (well, with one small exception, and I guess even that's a good check to my ego, ouch!).  If you haven't already read through the comments on that post, I hope you'll find time to browse them -- such a rich resource emerging there on friendships at this transitional stage of life. We are women of a certain age either still very busy in late-stage careers or newly entered into retirement, trying to sort priorities, or retired and also having made a significant geographical move fairly recently. For me, at least, and it seems some of you feel this way as well, hearing from others at different stages of this process or with the perspective of different personalities or circumstances helps make our own journeys easier or our own choices clearer.
 To reassure those of you who worry about how I'm doing with the transition to city life, I will say that I'm enjoying the different pace of life. I'll write a bit more about that later -- interestingly, it's both busier and, somehow roomier, at once. There are so many easy options for day-to-day activities and without the time hog of commuting logistics, we're finding time for items on a list we'd never dared make.  For instance, after years of saying we wanted to get together with a brother and sister-in-law, we met them for breakfast on the weekend and then cycled a route along the beaches together. We're going to try to make it to Salsa Dancing some Sunday afternoon, again something we've talked about for years (and yes, there's a chance that was more me than Pater, but now he has even fewer excuses for avoidance. . . ). I've invited two adult nephews for dinner next week -- we live within a few blocks of each other now.
 And biking! We've been out four times already this week -- the photos here are from our ride out to Burnaby Lake this past weekend.  As you may have read, if you follow my Instagram account, we finally managed to do this trip without squabbling. . . turns out, although I didn't know it until recently, that's been a goal of my husband's for a while now.  It's important to have these aspirations, no?

 Above: We made it to Burnaby Lake (below, a precious resource in the heart of an urban centre -- wetlands are so crucial to the ecosystem)


 Another joy since we've been in the city is the easy access to three of our grandchildren. We got to hang out with the seven-year-old for three days this week, and that's been so great. She learned to weave on the Brio loom (which now has to have the warp re-strung, so Nana is going to have to learn some new skills quickly!). We watched a very short video about Picasso and Cubism and the difference between Realist and Abstract art, and then headed off to an exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery where she got to check out the master's work for herself and try her hand at some scrambled facial features and body parts.
 And later that day, halfway through our bike ride together around the Stanley Park Seawall, she took her sketchpad up to the perfect perch while she waited for Granddad to source some refreshments. . .
Never a dull moment, I tell you . . .

As for friends, since that's what the conversation at my last post is about, let me reassure you on that score as well. Yes, I do my thinking, my worrying even, out loud, or in writing publicly. But I'm feeling quite sanguine on the friendship front. In the last two weeks, I've had a sketching get-together followed by a visit over beer and appies with a new city friend; a lovely lunch date with a friend from the (big) island;  a good friend (and fellow dissertation survivor) is visiting from across the country in the next few weeks; and plans are underway for another lunch/gallery visit/sketching get-together with a friend from the little island we used to call home.

The space is still confining, I won't lie, and there's a huge road re-construction project right outside our condo. I mean, right outside, right below our windows which are a decade or two too old to be very effective at sound-proofing.  And I could come up with another grumble or two if pushed. But overall, only a month into this move, we're both very sure that we made a good decision.

As always, your comments are very welcome, although I'm also happy just knowing that you're reading. . . 

26 comments:

  1. On your bike four times this week... that is impressive. We try for two a week... together. Retirement... there's just so danged many things to do, eh?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Our rides are not as long as yours, and the fourth was one too many for me, to be honest. . . but I'm definitely enjoying the novelty of being able to get out so quickly and easily onto safe cycling routes. . . And yes, retirement's not so tranquil! ;-)

      Delete
  2. The scenery is lovely....I remember Deer Lake in BBY when we lived there in the mid 1970's...biking without squabbling sounds good!
    Having the VAG at your doorstep must be such a gift...I love the food in their cafeteria and the gift shop has so many tempting treats!
    Life in the big city with your family close sounds like it agrees with you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Deer Lake is pleasant as well. Burnaby Lake has more surrounding trail access and a really cool habitat -- a wonderful facility.
      And yes, I think the cafeteria terrace at the VAG is one of the best lunch spots in town!

      Delete
  3. It sounds as though you are taking full advantage of the city and surroundings.
    The proximity to an assortment of family members would be a change for you as well. There is so much construction everywhere. The noise must certainly be an adjustment for you. 4 days on the bike is great. Your biggest little girl is certainly
    looking grownup. Did you know that there is a Bastille Day celebration at The Roundhouse?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A Bastille Day celebration so close by? I'll have to check that out, thank you!

      Delete
  4. Mater,I have only to add the favourite sentence of all our children :-) "What did I tell you?" See?
    You and Pater are so happy cycling duo! And Nola is quite a lady! It is so good te have Nana near
    I am a city girl although love the nature
    Any chances for (old) Inspector Burnaby on the beautiful lake? Please,send him here!
    Are there any changes in your travel schedule for September,moving and all?
    Dottoressa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You told me so, yes you did! ;)
      I'm missing the reference to Inspector Burnaby? Is this from a TV series or mystery?
      The travel plan for the fall is beginning to shape up, but you're right, first the moving has to be managed. . . .

      Delete
    2. Both,books by Caroline Graham and Midsomer Murders series :-)
      D

      Delete
    3. I'll add that to my library list . . . thank you!

      Delete
  5. The plants on your photos look very familiar to me. The flower in nr. 2 grows along the ditches all around here, and the reed on nrs. 3 and 4 evokes the excursions my sister and I used to undertake along the shores of "our" lake to find a specimen. We called them "lamp cleaners" because of the shape. They were quite scarce when I was young, so it was strictly forbidden to cut them and take them home. The protection has paid off, now your photos might have been taken here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here, we call that plant Fireweed, and I've seen it before in photos posted by European blogger friends. Its Latin name, I've learned, is Epilobium parviflorum, and in Britain it's known as WillowHerb. Here, it's well-loved as a food source for bees, yielding a beautifully flavoured honey, but, otherwise treated as a weed, sadly.
      We call those lamp-cleaners (great name!) cat tails or bullrushes. Wonderful that you've managed to bring back their populations near you.

      Delete
    2. Fireweed/Rosebay Willowherb is rampant in Scotland. I remember my late grandmother wanting the government to do something about it. It's called Fireweed because it grew abundantly on WW2 bombsites in the UK.

      Delete
    3. I've heard that it also gets called "bombweed" -- a rather sobering name. We call it 'fireweed' here for its propensity to grow in areas that have been cleared by forest fires, but really, I think it will use any ground-clearing as an excuse -- railway expansion back in the day, inner-city demolitions, etc. etc. I wonder if your grandmother would be reassured by, rather than irritated at it now. . . I think I am...

      Delete
  6. I had missed your previous post so popped back to read it. Goodness what a lot of reading! Interesting and I thought your response to the "one comment" was spot on. I also saw it as confirmation that things are going well which is the theme of this post. Glad for you Mary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Mary. Isn't that a great conversation! ;-)

      Delete
  7. Here's something super fun for you to do, now that you're a city girl: http://canadas100best.com/canadas-100-best-restaurants-2016/#1466432789451-bf59a5a8-fb8d (Go to all the restos in your proximity!) Also, Nola is such a doll. You're going to have endless memories with her. Oh, and I'm sure you've already done this but go to a knit night at your new LYS. There are some hardcore knitters in Van. You can teach them a thing or two :-)

    On the more sombre topic of endless urban noise, Honey, I feel you. I wish I couldn't commiserate but they are actually tearing up ever road within a km of me (to do some really nice upgrades) and in the meanwhile it's a constant crush of traffic and thuds. Thank God it's not parties cuz that throws me over the edge. What I can offer is that you will adapt. It'll take a while and you might feel like you're going crazy. But a nice glass of wine and ear plugs can do the trick. Also, construction moves. It won't be there forever. xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That would be fun -- and expensive! I've been to about eight or nine of them over the years, some fairly often. We've been mixing it up with restaurants, mainly ethnic, at the lower end of the price points. But I have to mention that recently, Pater got to eat at the Fogo Island restaurant getting rave reviews for food and architecture. He did send me a photo -- yeah sure, that counted!
      And I do think I'll do a knit night, or maybe more likely, find somewhere to help me set up the warp on this little loom we're playing with.
      Yeah, urban road construction -- plus just summer traffic when you live two minutes (seriously!) from the beach. Motorcycle motors and ridiculous bass in goofily expensive automotive stereo systems and construction - but I got P to grab a pocketful of earplugs last week when he took a seaplane, so I'm good for a while. And then, yeah, wine with my whine. . . xo

      Delete
  8. Yes - you are really doing it! I think you will love, love, love your city life as much as I love my village-in-town life. What I get from this post is how important it is to actually DO those things that one thinks would be fun to do in the city. YES - ride the bike every day, sketch, indulge in the grandchildren. You're writing a new story and every day offers new material.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's it! We've been in the city quite a bit but so busy doing the family stuff. Now doing all the city stuff that is actually fun, that we've been on the verge of doing for years, it makes such a huge difference. (I love your village-in-town life too, though -- you're in such a perfect blend of the two geographies)

      Delete
  9. Running, but taking just a moment to say that I love the photo of you and Pater - you look lighter, younger, somehow more at ease. And Nola, what a lovely young lady!

    I was too curious to resist the temptation to look for "that" comment. Wow. Your response was perfect!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Marie!
      I posted that response, then deleted it while I thought about it -- I really do not want to be mean, even unkind, but nor do I want to allow attacks. Glad you think I got the right note.

      Delete
  10. What a lovely photo of you and your husband. You look quite relaxed and happy in it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks BG, yes, we were both feeling really content.

      Delete
  11. Yes, what an adorable photo of you and your husband. So many life changes to get use to...moving, illness, elderly parents, grown children, grandchildren etc. etc. I feel it can get very hard to stay in touch with friends because we each have a little or a lot of these things going on in our lives. Thank you for discussing these things here so honestly and openly. I do not feel as alone in these feelings since I have started to read your blog. Again, thank you!
    Sincerely, RHague

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much RH, I agree with you that we all have so much going on that sometimes it can be difficult to connect honestly. As Dottoressa said in a comment on the last post, oddly, sometimes we can share things here that we can't elsewhere. I'm glad you're finding some of that here for you as well. You're very welcome.

      Delete

I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...