Anniversary Traditions

I just looked it up.  It was actually March 5th.  Turns out that’s actually my pal’s Parks’ birthday…funny coincidence.  I didn’t even know there was a Park’s when I moved to Toronto.

In 2006, I made a pretty significant life decision.  I quit my job, packed up my shit and moved here.  I had exactly 4 friends on the north shore of Lake Ontario.  And now, this is my life.  Lake Ontario at the bottom  of my street, and Queen Street is just steps to the north.  I listen to Parkdale sounds as I fall asleep at night, and I wake to Parkdale sounds in the morning.  Deep in the throbbing heart of Parkdale, I am at home in my Parkdale House Of Dreams.  Until 2006, I didn’t even know what a Parkdale was.

West Queen West upon entering Parkdale  “You’ve Changed”

Coming to the decision to move away from my friends, my family, my love, was actually easier than I thought it was at the time.  I had been to visit my dear Kindred on several occasions, and cried whenever I left.  So I moved, and my life changed. Of course I miss my friends, and it was challenging to make new ones, so that part wasn’t easy. But the rest really was pretty simple.  It didn’t matter that I was surrounded by tons of really rad people who I really really really  love a whole lot, I always felt lonely in the Cath.  I knew that if I stayed in Niagara I would live a sad lonely life.  I needed things to change.  I needed to be alone to end the loneliness.

I had some ideas about what I was walking into by leaving, but I can assure you that those ideas are so vastly different than what I found once I arrived. There was this thing that was happening when I moved here, and I’ve realized that time was standing still for me then.  It was standing still for all of us. I really wish that I could actually paint more than just paint by numbers, because I would paint it all as a giant mural.  And it’s a big fucking party mural.  A really fun party.  The one night only affair that lasted for years, that still finds itself revived in a pub or on a deck, or in a kitchen–over a hot stove here and there.

The Cloak
The cove children

I don’t actually believe that things happen for a reason, and I don’t really believe in fate or pre-destination.  It doesn’t actually matter, fate or no fate,  when you’re too busy living.  Sometimes the universe owes you a favour–you simply accept its kind offer of amazing and be thankful.  So, thank you, universe, for this, and all the other things that have followed.
There hasn’t been much else in my life more right than that move I made in ’06.  A few things, but not many. Anyways, I’m big on anniversaries, and starting annual traditions and reflecting on special times in my life.  It’s all very special and amazing.  I do love it when there are things to celebrate.  Birthdays, New Years Day, Thanksgiving, Mondays.  Celebrations truly are some of the best times of our lives, wouldn’t you say?

There I was yesterday.  Here I am now and where I’ll be tomorrow–ever so much to celebrate!  I know March 5th, 2013 has come and gone, but each year I try, at the very least, to remember the time with celebratory thoughts.  I try to remember how I felt then, and how it feels more right every day.  

From Rancho Relaxo, to the Starbank, The Market, Neutral, Maggie’s, the Cloak and Dagger, the backdoor of 106, Croft, Sneaky Dees, The Magpie, The Press Club, Euclid, Roxton,  to the corner of Grace and Harbord.  

The Dakota, Lakeview, The Gypsy, The Park, 909 and my dress, the dog bowl, Squirrelys, The Paper Place, Preloved, Queen and Dovercourt, The Cock and Tail, The Gladstone.  The Dufferin jog, the now bricked up stairway under the GO overpass. Streetcars, Lamport, the amphitheatre, the Caddy, Salvador, the Rhino, Meher’s deck, Capital, Not my dog, The Village of Parkdale mural, Thrift Town.  Mezzrows and Tibetan protests.  The CN Tower. Going Steady.  The Golden Dogs, White Cowbell Oklahoma, and the Wednesday night residency at the Cameron. Bikes. The people.  The people on bikes. The transit.  The vibe.  The sounds.  The weather.  The fresh flowers on the street corners.  I look around me at the city and I am in love.  In love with the people and the places.  I have never in my life felt more at home.

On the sunny Sunday afternoon that Cindy and Juliee drove me into town, this song by Bjork came on.  Just as it was supposed to–this song played and I laid eyes on the city that had become my new home just at the moment where Bjork says “this is where I’m staying.  this is my home.”  In March 2006 I came home for the first time. Happy anniversary, Toronto.

Roommates Ruling Supreme

Every spring I used to plan a party with Gord to celebrate another year of us ruling supreme as roommates.   This spring, I’m planning a different kindof party.  A party that I’ll surely celebrate for the rest of my life.  I look forward to the traditions that will follow.

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Saturday Tea

I got all setup to sit down and get a few things done.  I have been thinking through another post, and I had intended to write about music this afternoon.  I realized that it’s going to be a monster to take on, and I think I’m going to have to put more thought into it than I have at this point.

Anyways, I’ve spent the majority of the week doing things for other people.  Which, I guess, is the nature of my job and the nature of being a mother.  I’ve pretty much got the chips stacked against me in the whole “take time for yourself” game.  I’m not complaining…I love my life. And I’m really lucky that I have a partner who bears so much of the load around the house.  That, however, does not change the fact that I’m just never done..at work, or at home.

Today I wanted to set aside some time for me.  I have about 2 hours while (and if) Marigold naps on the weekend, which I usually use to get caught up on some housework.  Martin was headed out for the afternoon and I wanted to write and also prep a recipe for his birthday cake on Sunday, so the housework was going to wait.  I brewed some tea, tidied the office space (which is typically a disaster from the two McWaters’ with whom I share my abode) and sat down to find a chocolate cake recipe.  I had time enough to copy down the recipe, take a photo of my favourite tea pot, and jot down these few lines.

Marigold’s nap was cut short.  I heard her cry out for me a lot sooner than I’d expected.  There’s laundry, dishes, and a pre-birthday dinner to prepare.  But the hour I spent on myself this afternoon has priceless value for my life.  While it may sound silly, the time I spend doing the things I love enables me to tackle the challenges that arise in my day to day life.

Though not likely as gratifying for anyone else as it is for me…this, my friends, is the product of my Saturday Afternoon for me.  A lovely photo of a few of my favourite things.

Cat with Fish Purse Paint By Number
Crystal Creamer
My favourite vintage tea pot and matching sugar bowl
A Sally Ann special tea cup and saucer

2013 Project, Recipes and Plans Journal along with felt tipped pen
And of course, my favourite flower, white lillies.


And we’re around

We haven’t been up to much lately…

I went to the Magpie on Wednesday.  I was having a shitty day and I ran into Marilee on the street car and she invited me to celebrate her birthday with the cool kids.

^^Titled “Marilee was just Here”

=

^^ The cool kids
More cool kids She is lovely, and these pictures are really very dark. But I think it is obvious that this is the best time Ari has ever had in all of his life. We laughed so hard.  Like the hardest I have laughed in a really long time.


Oh! My apartment when Marigold is sleeping and the sun is seeping in the through the trees.  It looks quite nice, doesn’t it?  I know that portrait looks a bit weird over there, but I will surround it by other shining things that I bring back to my nest.  Maybe even this….

Cat with fish purse…on the list of current projects.

And, thanksgiving Sunday?

Who’s your daddy?                                                                             Wait. A. Minute. What’s that I see? 

YES!  Beard.

And there’s still tomorrow.  The fifth annual HKTM. It started long ago in Parkdale with a birthday present and a homemade pizza.  Growing from a single tube to a hutch, we celebrate simply one holiday, and we give thanks.  Between the strip club and the movie production company, we have a lot to be thankful for.  From HKM to HKTM we are grateful…..