Wednesday was surreal to me. Living in a capital city, you know that there are obvious targets, but still, this is OTTAWA, my big small town, my safe town, my sleepy town. As I read the reports of what was happening downtown, I felt a momentary fear. It wasn’t that I was afraid that I’d be hurt, or that my family would be; I was afraid that others would be. I thought of friends who work downtown, and wondered what they were going through. It was a long and scary day for many of them.
That fear turned to sadness when I learned that Cpl. Cirillo had died. I cried, for his family and colleagues, for all of those who were hurting because of his senseless murder. He was an honour guard, a ceremonial position that should never have seen any violence. I cried a bit for an innocence lost, even if it was my perception of innocence.
As the day progressed, it became clear that the immediate danger had passed. There was uncertainty, so large parts of the downtown were “locked down”, and many buildings around the city were secured – doors looked so that people could neither enter nor leave. I wanted to go get my children from school, mostly because I was told that I couldn’t, but also because I needed to hold them. Eventually I got to them, but they just wanted to run. So they ran and I talked with some other moms, working through our emotions, relishing the human contact. Processing, a necessary stage. I felt refreshed afterward. No longer the slightest bit afraid, still sad, and more than a little bit angry. This is OTTAWA, who did this man think he was to mess with MY town?
Wednesday night I stumbled on the #MyOttawa hashtag, and it resonated with me. I fell in love with my city through the eyes of others, friends and strangers, those who live close, and those who have never lived here at all. It became apparent to me that an act that was meant to invoke fear and cause divide had failed to do that. Yesterday I watched my city return to business, to normal. There was an unmistakeable calm and quiet resolve here, I felt it as I started my day. This wasn’t going to get us down. Yes, there will be reviews and tweaks, but I don’t think that there will be any large scale changes to life in Ottawa. This will still be the city that I know and love. My Ottawa.
We’ve lived in our house for eight wonderful years. It’s a house that has had its share of issues and pests, and quite frankly it’s been a bit of a money pit, but I love it, and the community that we live in. I’ve come a long way from the person who laughed when our agent suggested that we look in this community, and really wasn’t convinced that this was our forever house until after we moved in. Thank goodness Willy knew and convinced me.
One of the things that made this house appealing in the very early days was a small and silly thing, but it landed in the “pro” column that looked pretty bare in the early chaos of moving and renovation. The flyers. We didn’t get flyers, community newspapers, or any random adverts. No stacks of wasted paper getting soaked in the rain, blowing down the street on windy days, or going straight into the recycle bin. I don’t know what the former owners did, who they scared, or how they did it, but we never had to ask or post a sign. They just never showed up.
I thought nothing of this, when we received a notice from Maclean’s, letting us know that our weekly issue would no longer be delivered by Canada Post, that they would be using a private delivery service. I didn’t think of it when I had to call Maclean’s to report that we hadn’t received the last two issues of the magazine. They assured me that it would arrive, and this morning it did:
Nestled inside about fifteen flyers and two local newspapers that we don’t subscribe to were the magazines. While I was happy to have the missing issues, I was sad that they came with so much junk. Although I must admit that I did read the grocery flyers, just this once! Hopeful that all the extra paper was just to “compensate” for the missing issues, I went about my day. It was only when I went looking for the mail a short while ago that I realized that we are on the flyer list. I found this pile in my mail box:
Today a stack of paper over two inches thick has been delivered, just to receive the two issues of the magazine that we really want. I have little faith that they will stop coming now that they have started, or that I will be able to continue to receive Maclean’s without this pile of garbage. In reality, if I do try to stop the flyers, it’s most likely that the flyers will keep coming, and Maclean’s will stop altogether or be intermittent at best.
Damn you Maclean’s!!
Willy has a well-documented problem with socks. He collects them, he hoards them, he gets seemingly emotionally attached to them, and he can’t let them go, even when they are mismatched and/or falling apart. I love to tease him about this, as there really are few things that he does “collect”, and, while this one is quirky, it actually doesn’t impact me that much. When I get annoyed at seeing his toes poking out of the holes in too many pairs, I just throw them out behind his back.
We purchased a new bedroom set this summer, and with it came a smaller dresser with five drawers. I claimed three of drawers, meaning that Willy would have to downsize. I was certain that the socks would be pared down, but he chose to jam everything that wasn’t socks in the closet, allowing for two drawers full of socks; one dark drawer and one light drawer. This separation is further evidence of his crazed obsession with socks, and I now refuse to put his socks away, for fear of the ramifications when I accidentally put a grey pair in the darks when they should be lights (or vice versa).
Last night he went to bed early, to read and rest his sore back. The room was pitch black when I climbed into bed, but Willy heard me, and complained that the he was cold and his shivering was hurting his back. I suggested that he put on a pair of socks, the very advice he had given me earlier in the day when I threatened to turn the heat on. In the dark, I opened a random drawer and handed him a pair, warning that I had no idea what colour they were.
We both laughed and then I could hear him shuffling as he put the socks on. “They’re white,” he said, “white with grey on the heels.” I scoffed and said that was impossible, there was no way that he could know that by feel. I turned on a light and asked him to produce the socks. Sure enough, they were just as he described. We both laughed some more, unable to believe that he was that familiar with his sock collection.