The Roster Spring Run-Off

….following in her father’s footsteps

When my husband was in his twenties to thirties he was considered an elite runner. He specialized in long distances, anywhere from 10k to marathons. As he got older he decided that in order to continue to improve it would mean making more sacrifices that would negatively affect our family. He made the decision to quit running because the sacrifice wasn’t worth it.

We never pushed our children into running but our son seemed to have a natural gift and in his early teens he pursued running until he started to suffer pain and he had to make a decision between a music career and being a runner. He chose his cello over his running shoes.

Our oldest daughter took an interest in running in her 30s. Over the years she has participated in numerous races, anywhere from 5k to half a marathon. Every year she steadily gets better. Her wife also started running with her.

Today we attended a race that holds special memories for my husband. The Spring Run-off is held every year in High Park and some 35 years ago or more Kevin ran in this race as a member of the Brooks Racing Team. The race then was known as the Brook’s Spring Run-off.

Today Andrea and Josie joined some 2600 runners to take part in this challenging 8k race. The challenge is in the hills that this race covers. Andrea was aiming to complete the race in 40 minutes and did it in 39 minutes and change. Out of 900 women participating today she placed 8th in her age category. She was delighted with her accomplishment.

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As you can see the race attracts all ages. My daughter is the young lady on left in the above photo with the blue sunglasses. Here a few more of her throughout the race (one of Josie #1927)

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Reflections of the Past

….fond memories of the High Park Zoo

When I was very young, about three to be exact, I remember going to the High Park
Zoo with my parents and little sister. I loved feeding the ducks and seeing what I thought at the time were exotic animals. Those exotic animals would have been bison, deer and camels. I remember bringing bags of carrots and I can still feel the pull that the deer exerted when nibbling on the these treats as I held them through the wire fence.fullsizeoutput_6c52

I recall going there quite often because we lived fairly close by. I loved walking on the stone ledges pretending to balance on a precarious cliff. In the warm weather my parents would dress us in our Sunday best and we would walk down by Grenadier Pond and around the beautiful gardens. It was also a favourite place to take visitors.

Last Sunday my husband and I drove to High Park (it’s a bit far to walk to now), parked the car and started to walk along the pathways. When we got to the top of one hill I made a request to head down towards the zoo. I felt like a kid again. The camels are no longer there but the deer and bison still reside in this zoo. Feeding the animals is now completely forbidden.

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Do you visit a place that brings back fond memories from when you were a child?

Share Your World – January 15, 2018

…..thanks to Cee for hosting Share Your World

Complete this sentence: I’m looking forward to….

….doing more painting and art projects. I’ve been reorganizing my studio space for the last few months and even though I’m still not finished I have started to work on small projects.

What is your favorite comfort snack food? 

My favourite comfort food is anything with carbs but I’m not suppose to eat them too often because when I start I can’t stop. My all time favourite comfort food is pasta.

What was one of your first moneymaking jobs (other than babysitting or newspaper delivery)?

I remember working in my parents’ milk store when I was 14. I did that till I was 16. When the store was held up for a second time and I was working that night my parents gave up the milk business and opened a fabric store.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

This past week I spent time with a friend who is going through a tough time. I helped her check out nursing homes for her partner and I consoled her on the phone. It made me realize how quickly life can change and how important it is to live life to the fullest. I also spent time with a couple of other friends. With one we went out for lunch together at a really nice restaurant in a hotel and afterwards we walked downtown and browsed around in a few stores. With the second friend we drove to the mall and had lunch and did some shopping for a gift. Then we went to Costco and did our shopping together. We ran into another friend from our teaching days and quickly got caught up with what was happening in our lives. Each moment with all these friends was special in it’s own way.

On Sunday my sister came to visit with her daughter, son-in-law and her baby grandson. She lives about 3 1/2 hours away and she had to cancel a couple of times after Christmas because of weather. I knew that my husband and I had a funeral to attend on Sunday but I didn’t want my Dad to be disappointed again so I didn’t call her back to let her know we wouldn’t be there. Luckily they arrived before we had to leave so in the end we had a short but sweet visit and my father was able to finally take them out for lunch.

At the funeral we were able to reconnect with some of my husbands cousins, got caught up with up was happening in their lives, learned a few things about the family which we didn’t know and promised each other that we wouldn’t wait for the next funeral to get together.

Advent Calendar #1

every day, from December 1st to the 24th a new surprise to unwrap

Years ago my daughter and husband collaborated on a project where I was given a small gift every day from Dec. 1st to the 24th. Each gift was carefully wrapped and placed in a take away container and set before me at the breakfast table. I was so touched by this gesture that I’ve wanted to do a similar ‘advent calendar’ for someone special in my life. This year I finally got my act together and did just that. In fact I created two different ‘calendars’ for my two daughters and their families. Today I’ll share the first one with you.

At first I was just going to create a calendar for my granddaughter but then I decided to include presents for my daughter and son-in-law as well. In fact I even threw in a gift for their dog, Lucy. The hard part of this project was choosing what to put the presents into. I decided to use an over the door shoe organizer that had 24 pockets. After searching the internet and several stores I finally found the perfect vessel. After Christmas, I thought that the organizer could be used to store some of Winnie’s toys.

Apart from buying things that would be fun to open and be somewhat practical and not break the bank, the next most difficult part was wrapping each gift.

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I won’t kid you and say that this project is simple and quick to put together. If I were to do it again I would start buying small gifts months in advance and wrap them as soon as I bought them. It was, however, fun to do and now that December 1st is here I’ve been blessed with photos of my granddaughter’s reaction to the first gift that she unwrapped this morning.

 

Share Your World – November 6, 2017

….thanks Cee for hosting Share Your World

Would you rather take a 2 week vacation with an organized tour or take a cruise of your choice?

Sometimes I think I would like a two week vacation with an organized tour, especially in an exotic place where I don’t know the language. China and India come to mind. On the other hand, I’m far too spontaneous and I’m somewhat adventurous and I think I’d like to organize some of my itinerary. I see benefits to both ways of travelling.

Did you like swinging as a child? Do you still get excited when you see a swing?

I did like swings but I was wary of going too high. I still get that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when I see children soar to the max.

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What is the most important thing that you ever learned ? (I bet it’s not something you learned in school)

In my 20s I learned that not everyone will like you and often the reasons are not clear. The hardest part is to except it and get on with your life. Focus on those who love you and don’t try to change for people who don’t.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

Last week I went to a wedding and met up with old friends of the family. When we first came to Canada my parents knew few people but my father’s good friend and his wife, along with their 4 year old son arrived before us. As their family and ours grew we were almost like cousins. Carlo was my godfather and my father was godfather to their third boy.  In my family there were three girls and they had four boys.  On  the weekend the second son’s youngest boy married and we were invited. Everyone still calls my Dad, Onkel Heinz and they were thrilled to be able to finally introduce their children to us. It was so nice to put faces to all the names we’ve heard over the years.

The next day we celebrated my oldest daughter’s birthday. It was actually the day before but because of the wedding we delayed the celebration by a day. We met at Barque’s for brunch and then went back to Andrea’s and Josie’s place for cake.

On Monday my 91 year old father wanted relive some memories of his past by visiting the Royal Winter Fair. As a boy he grew up next to a farm and helped tend to some of the animals. Last year I went there with my youngest daughter, Gaelan and her daughter Winnie who was only one at the time.

It was wonderful seeing the joy my father got out of such a simple excursion. We started off watching the horse jumping competition and then walked through the barns where we saw cattle, sheep and pigs. We strolled amongst the prize winning vegetables and fruits and then we went to the food court and had some lunch.

After a meal of fish and chips we headed towards the President’s Choice Theatre to watch the Super Dogs show. We arrived a bit early so we also took in the Medieval Times presentation. My dad loved both shows and was so impressed that he felt that it should have been televised. I explained to him that the Royal wants you to go there. If it was on TV people wouldn’t need to attend.

High Park Kaffee Klatch

….after taking Dad to his doctor’s appointment we looked around for a place to have coffee

There have to be hundreds, if not thousands of places to enjoy a cup of coffee in Toronto. Even in the neighbourhood where the doctor’s office was there had to be at least a dozen places to choose from. My father, however, had other ideas and he remembered enjoying coffee at the restaurant that is situated in the middle of High Park. Luckily High Park was on the way home and not too far from where we were parked.

In the middle of the week the roads leading into the park are not too busy. The difficulty had to be staying within the speed limit which is 20 km/hour. Other than that everything else was positive. The parking in the park is free and the Grenadier Cafe has a beautiful new deck with shade trees and umbrellas over many of the tables. My father was very excited about treating me to coffee and pie. In the picture below you can see him using his serving skills that he learned as a young man when he apprenticed to be a waiter. Nothing makes Dad happier than enjoying a kaffee klatch in the middle of the afternoon.