Hope during the Pandemic

Sipping my first cup of black coffee this morning I stared out the window.  The birds bring me so much joy during these dark days of the Covid-19 Pandemic. 

My father gifted us a birdhouse when I moved into my new house last year.  It was his old birdhouse and he passed it along to me.  I have glued it once already, I really hope it will stay together.  I will forever hold a special place in my heart as my parents are birders. 

“A feeling of expectation and desire for certain things to happen” Oxford Dictionary

It may have taken me a pandemic to understand their fascination with these little fluttering creatures.  Perhaps a slowing down of life to truly appreciate the simple things. 

I have always loved the mornings, a time of quiet reflection before the day starts, the kids demanding my time.  It is just me, my coffee and the birds these early mornings.

Excited about my sightings I emailed my Mom with a photo of the red cardinal that I saw at the feeder this morning and I told her about the yellow finches I saw the day before.  My Mom replied, “you will have them all the time now”.  

Nature never ceases to amaze me, maybe I am getting old to be so awestruck by the birds and their plight.  Perhaps we could learn from them?

Last night after a bike ride around the neighborhood with the kids my daughter mentioned to me, “Mom where is the chalk, we should write something?” 

I may have muttered something under my breathe as I wanted to go in and turn on the TV as my legs felt a little like jello from the first big bike ride of the season.

Prior to this pandemic you rarely saw people writing on their driveways, but now it is commonplace.  My daughter quickly created beautiful hearts along with rainbows at the end of our driveway.  She also wrote a big Thank You in her beautiful handwriting. 

My contribution was the word, HOPE. 

We all need to be reminded to have hope in times like these.

Chatting with my Dad yesterday he let me know he will be most likely beginning his second round of radiation in the near future.  It was so good to hear hope in his voice.

He wasn’t supposed to be with us as his this long.  Three years ago he had his first round of chemo and radiation for cancer.  We are so grateful for everyday he gets out of bed and watches the birds with my Mom. 

He is an amazing strong man as is my Mother who is fighting her own battles.  They celebrate 58 years of marriage this July.  Together they have have weathered and endured many storms along with their share of rainbows and sunny skies. 

Music is so good for the soul, I found a beautiful song about hope.  Click on the link to listen, Michael Franti: HEY WORLD (DON’T GIVE UP), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01FE9cPXE3M

Together we are all fighting our own battles in these unprecedented times.  This invisible disease is lurking all around us.  We cannot see it, touch it, smell it and yet it is killing us. Quarantined in our houses, many unable to go to work, jobs lost or put on hold while we all try to social distance and stay safe.

When we first heard of this virus in early January which began in Wuhan, China.  Never in a million years did we think, (well maybe the Scientists knew) that the whole World would be shut down as the virus has traveled and spread so quickly.

Luckily I haven’t known anyone who has had the virus yet.  I say yet as the experts say most people may get it eventually.  We are 18 Months from a vaccine or maybe sooner if we are so lucky.

The World is slowly opening up again. Like other parts of the World, Ontario is announcing a Phase 1 reopening of our Province today, I am sure many of us will be glued to our TV’s waiting for news of our fate.

Hope is what we have for better days, for science to come up with a vaccine to help us get back to normal.  But will we ever be normal again?  What will the new normal be?

We will get back to our jobs, our family celebrations, concerts, events and HUGS. 

During this crisis we have seen amazing beautiful people caring in ways that seemed unimaginable just Months ago. 

Truth be told, I haven’t felt like writing much lately.   I am a freelance writer and a couple of the publications I write for told me they are not accepting freelance writers at this time due to the changes with COVID_19. 

Chatting with a good friend yesterday she said “how sad, people need stories more than ever these days!”  We all need friends to motivate us and encourage us to keep going and give us HOPE on those dark days.

I hope to share some upcoming stories of people, business and organizations helping others in the upcoming Months.  

Stay safe, stay together and lets have HOPE FOR BETTER DAYS!

Talk soon ~

 

Nancy

 

A Birds Eye View of Toronto

Toronto a City of almost 3 million people, just 1 hour West of Wellington County is a great City to go day tripping.  We finally had the opportunity to take the amazing hop on hop off City SightSeeing Toronto bus tour the other day with a friend and our kids. 

My 12-year-old daughters dream of riding a double-decker bus had finally come true!  We hopped on the last ride of the day at the habourfront pick up point at 249 Queens Quay West.

toronto3

What a view, if you have never had the opportunity to go on an open air double-decker bus it is highly suggested from my daughter Meaghan!  Our travel friend Dawn always takes the bus tours when traveling, and knew the City of Toronto well.  It is always great to go with someone who can add their favorite comments about your travels.

The bus departed and we were off!  The tour of the City, took us about 2.5 – 3 hours (normally a 2 hour tour), to take the whole tour and it was well worth the ticket price. 

It also includes access for 48 hours and a boat tour.  The boat tour is so amazing, we set sail from the Toronto Harbourfront around the Toronto Islands.  The photos we took from the boat tour on the Serendipity Princess Cruise added to our wonderful memories of our day in the City!

boatcruise

Having taken the tour, which included a commentary it allowed us to walk away with much more knowledge of this amazing City.  Here are my 5 things I learned on the tour.

toronto2

 

  • Toronto has 140 ethnic neighbourhoods in the City.
  • The St. Lawrence Market has been a culinary focal point since, 1803.
  • The Distillery district has no car access, looks like its own little Village.
  • John Graves Simcoe moved the capital of Upper Canada to Toronto, which he named York, not wanting an aboriginal name.
  • The R.O.M. Royal Ontario Museum, only has 5% of their collection on display, with the other 95% at a secret underground location.

toronto1

 

We got to see sights and sounds you wouldn’t normally be able to see driving on your own.  Such as when the bus stopped we all watched a band play in front of the Eaton’s Center. 

It was an amazing way to just sit back and relax and not worry about the crazy rush hour traffic.  It was a beautiful warm sunny day, however there was a lovely breeze to keep us cool as we drove along the scenic streets.

We got to see all of the major sites in the City which included a little history about each of the sites.  I loved all of the architecture and the different ethnic communities we traveled.  Here is the link to the tour, https://citysightseeingtoronto.com/

Talk soon ~

 

Nancy

toronto

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dreaming of Far Away Places

Screenshot_2015-07-28_15.22

26904349_1050168465122347_6526983749737775596_n

It is the start of March Break, and this is one of the first years in a while my daughter and I are not going South.  I know what your probably thinking, BOO HOO.  I just spoke with my daughter and said, “Are you excited for March Break?” Her response was, “OH yeah… March Break…”  I think the little people will probably be happy just to stay home and take a break from the day-to-day busyness of school life and extracurricular activities. 

It is always nice to go away for a little adventure and a little break from reality if even for a day or two.  When I read this little gem of a quote, it really made me pause and reflect.  Today  I choose HAPPY wherever I am and today.   I am in Guelph at work.  Tomorrow I will be in Fergus for the weekend, and then Guelph for the work week next week.  You know what, that’s OK, because, that is where I am supposed to be for the time being.  You know what I am kinda of excited the workday is almost over.

I have a night to myself.  My plan is to put the Tea Kettle & Fireplace on, grab my cozy blanket, light my candles and watch a few episodes of my current favorite Netflix series, “Grace & Frankie”.  

You might catch me dreaming of faraway places this weekend; climbing mountains, discovering little treasures on the beach, or drifting off into the sunset holding my daughters hand in a hot air balloon.  Or maybe that was Grace & Frankie carrying on with their antics?

Life is good!

Talk Soon ~

Nancy