Keys to the Bus

It’s official! I picked up the keys to my school bus this morning. Yeah! It has been a bit chaotic, of course, as the bus company changed and cancelled routes. Becky has started new treatment on her left ankle to straighten it out. She has tightened up this year and I can’t get her splint on. This is great news and Becky is really excited about having her, “stupid foot straightened out”. Unfortunately, it means weekly trips to Toronto for the next two months. She’s also got some dental problems so she has to go for appointments for that. I needed to know details of my bus route so I could figure out how to get Becky to these things.

I was offered a route about three weeks ago so I started planning. It was going to be tight but we could just squeeze in the visits to Toronto. I then waited for the company to call me in to practice the route. Instead I got a call on Tuesday offering me a different route. It turns out that my route had been cancelled. Why I wasn’t told, I don’t know. Anyway, I asked about the other route. Too late. It had been given to someone else. I was gutted. Complete shock. I was unemployed before I had started.

At 5 pm the same day, I got a call about a temporary route and to come in on Thursday. I was now freaking about Becky’s appointments. How was this all to be sorted out and me learn a new route in four days?

I won’t bore you with the long wait, craziness, crowded experience at the bus company. I did get a route, but I can’t work Becky’s Toronto visits into it. I asked a couple of people to help me out, but that didn’t get me anywhere, so we’ve decided to cancel the first appointment and rebook the rest.

It was a relief to see I have a fairly new bus with no eccentricities or rust. Did I mention I’ll be driving students with special needs? I have a bit of experience with that. I can’t believe it. I actually start work tomorrow. After a week of stress and sleepless nights, I suddenly feel relaxed.

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Calming Effects of Nature

Becky’s been home for two weeks and I already feel like she never went away. I run through every day, I’m tired, but then I can’t sleep. Yep, back to normal. There are some Becky developments, but I’ll know more tomorrow. Until then, a few recent photos from a walk I did along the Bruce Trail.
Borer’s Falls







The trail is in Dundas, Ontario and overlooks the city of Hamilton. I love walking. It always relaxes me and usually helps me think. I can’t go for long hikes when Becky is home, so this was a lovely treat for me.

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The Camp Diaries

I picked Becky up from camp this morning. Once home, it took me an hour to get her clean! We had a little lunch, a cup of tea, and then had time to look at her photos. Wow! I asked her if I could share some of them with you because they are amazing. She is amazing.
The counsellors put her in this harness.
and then swung her
like, really high!
Then she did rock climbing…

And then she met some dude with an olmypic gold medal. I love this shot; it’s soooo Canadian, eh
And then they had wild west day and she wore the best hat, ever
and then she went in the pool
and then she met her new best friend.

What a great time she had. Thanks to all the staff, fundraisers, and organizers who make this possible. You are all truly amazing, just like my girl!

Posted in Canada, Disability, Family, Independence, Life, parenting, Photography, Photos, Travel, wheelchair | 4 Comments

A Walk in Toronto

As you know, Becky has been away at camp allowing me a little free time. Quite a bit of it has been spent on rather mundane things like garage, lift repair, and the vets, but I did manage a couple of escapes. On the spur of the moment, I took the train into Toronto today. My goal was to walk to the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum). It had a facelift a few years ago, which caused some controversy, so I decided to see for myself.

The walk is probably about 2.5 miles/4 km. My first stop was Queen’s Park.






I crossed the road and thought I was in an English village.



It’s part of Toronto University campus. Really beautiful isn’t it. I carried on north till I found the ROM.



Wow! That’s quite a modern frontage on an historic building. Here’s the inside for comparison.


I didn’t plan on going in, but I discovered that the Forbidden City exhibition was there, so I went in. I’m soooo glad I did because it was extremely beautiful and very interesting. I learnt a little more about the history of the Forbidden City and the emperors who had lived there. The emperors robes were stunning; embroidered silk, and the art work was gorgeous. I had a hard time deciding what to buy at the gift shop, but finally settled on this small stash.

I walked back to the train station and headed home. It was such a great day, full of surprises, and it combined many of the things I love. I really had no expectations today, and maybe that’s when great things happen. We can wander, meander, and change our course, finding places we’ve never seen before.

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There’s A Chipmunk In The House

Our cat loves chipmunks. She waits for the good weather so she can stalk them, chase them, and occasionally catch them. Due to our untypical mild weather, I’ve been leaving the back door open. I was sitting outside one afternoon when the cat shows up with a chipmunk in her mouth. The door is open so I jump up to block her way. She stands there for a moment, with food dropping out of the chipmunks mouth, and then she lets it go. Where does little chippy go? Straight towards the open door and into the house.

They are tricky to get out because they see every barrier as a challenge and jump straight over it. Anyway, I managed to ‘herd’ it towards the back door and out.

This morning I was on the phone when in walks the cat with another chipmunk. This time she takes it into my bedroom and drops it, where it proceeds to scurry and hide under the bed. I didn’t have time to deal with it as I had plans to go out.

I had a lovely afternoon with my friend and returned home. There is no sign of the chipmunk in my room. Good, but where is it? The cat sniffed it out behind the piano. I shut kitty in a room and persuaded chippy to go somewhere else, which was basically another room, but at least closer to the open door. Why do they only see these things when they run in and can’t see them to run out?

Chipmunk is now under a dresser five feet from the door. I look under the dresser, but it’s gone. Huh? I open the bottom drawer…

…chipmunk, anyone?

I won’t go into tedious details, but it took a lot of chipmunk scurrying and jumping before it finally discovered the rather large portal to the outside! Thank goodness. In total, it had been in the house for eight hours.

I love having a big garden and having lots of green space around, but sometimes nature gets too close for comfort. I hope I’ve learnt my lesson and remember to close the screen door from now on. It is supposed to keep critters out, after all.

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Birthday Girl

Becky turns 25 today. What an achievement! I hope she’s having fun at camp.

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I was sitting out on the deck last night, reading a book, enjoying a moment of quiet, when I realized that this time next week I will be alone. I drive Becky to camp on Sunday where she will stay for ten days. I am alone as I sit on the deck, but I know she is ten feet behind me, in her bed watching a movie. I can’t see her, but I know she is there. Next week, she will be gone.

She’s been to camp many times, but this is the first time I have been at home on my own. Last year I went away, and other years I have spent with other people; friends or family.

She keeps asking me what I will do while she is away. I think she is not happy with my answer, so she asks again. She can’t believe I have nothing planned. I can’t believe it either. Our lives are so regimented that even though we crave free time, we both struggle with it. It is so precious to us that we think must use it wisely and invariably plan the whole thing.

So here I am, on the verge of ten days of freedom, and all I am thinking is how much I will miss Becky; miss her smiling face, her sense of humour, and her singing. I will sit out on the deck next week and I will not have her behind me in her room; unseen. I will miss her presence, her beating heart, her spirit.

Posted in Family, Home, Life, parenting, Travel | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments