I came back to Canada this summer to fall in love again. I am trying, but Ontario you are making it a challenge!
I needed to renew my relationship with Canada after last summer. My visit then had been primarily to clear out my storage locker in Ottawa. It was a stressful time for me. I sold everything that I could part with in the 5x8 ft storage room that housed the last of my belongings. Both gas and freight were at extortionate prices in 2022, giving pause for thought about what really needed to be shipped overseas to my new home. Except, I couldn’t get my things to Toronto.
I was in tears and had been bawling on the phone to my friend Anita when she said, “This doesn’t do much for our belief that if you want something done you have to do it yourself.” [I struggle to ask for help.] She said, “I think that you can do this!” I loaded up the remainder of my things into a U-Haul truck. Then I drove it myself 5 hours along the 401 Highway from Ottawa to Toronto, and then onwards to Guelph for another two.
This is the U-Haul that I drove across Ontario last summer with the last of my belongings to ship to Barbados.
Anita believed that I could do it. That is what support looks like.
I traveled to see my life-long friend this week. She has not been well and so I am unsure whether it was stressful or comforting to see me, I hope the latter. For me, there is comfort in the presence of someone that I have known a lifetime. I wanted her to know that I think that she can do this.
As I write this, it is 14 degrees Celsius, feels like 13. This means that it feels colder than 14 because it is cloudy and has been pouring rain all day. I left Barbados saying, I really need a break from the heat.
Be careful what you put out to the universe; it is always listening.
Heather and I bundled up for summer.
Never too cold for DQ Blizzards!
Then the next day was sunny and warm, as we fed baby squirrels from our hands.
Crazy weather was a theme last week as well. My Uncle Ken picked me up at the Toronto airport on a beautiful, clear, warm evening. That first day back was so perfect I kept exclaiming, “This is just like winter in Barbados!” The next day, the temperature plunged from 25 degrees to 15. The day after that, I came down with a raging sinus cold and spent two days in bed. [For anyone that hasn’t seen Daisy Jones and The Six, I highly recommend bingeing the whole season!]
When I recovered, Anita and I walked a beautiful park in St. Thomas. Of course, we didn’t have our phones when we came upon a deer and her two foals. I should have gone back to take a picture of the creek and water cascading down landscaped rocks. In Canada, we may pay taxes (I still do) that are higher than many countries, but you can see the dollars in action. The parks are immaculately clean and groomed, the roads are paved and maintained. Things work here!
I had the privilege of seeing my friend Vanessa perform in her band Goodnight Sunrise
Vanessa and I at The Drake - Queen St. West, Toronto.
Finally, in the list of things about Canada that I have fallen in love with, is shopping. I could write an entire blog about my excitement. Uncle Ken and I went to Shoppers Drug Mart and then we spent the remainder of the day and evening talking about the deals and points that we obtained. I went to the grocery store and could not get over the difference in prices to Barbados, and I know that prices have risen in Canada as well.
The produce isles at Zehrs are a dream.
To my peeps in Barbados: I have found real tomatoes!
$250 CDN for a cart load of groceries - after Barbados, I think this is a steal
I am only a third of the way through my trip. There is still time to fall in love. But it is hard when my heart is in Barbados. While it is nice to be around those I have loved for a long time, the weather makes Ontario a tough sell. For now, I am comfortable in Canada.
Uncle Ken and I polished off half of this delicious rack of ribs in one sitting