2 min read
09 Jul

First, an update on my Family Doctor saga.   I don’t mean to bore you with this ongoing story but, unfortunately, mine is not an exceptional case. 

I actually got a live woman returning the call I made to  the local health clinic.  I was checking where my application to be a patient stood.  Was I accepted or not?   I was almost speechless when she told me that mine is one of 7,000 applications they received since June 12!   I don’t know what family doctor horror stories you’ve heard but I find that number jaw dropping!   

My application was received by them on June 22.  I’m told it will take another four weeks before they finally get to deal with it.  Good grief!  Well, being the eternal optimist, my fingers are still crossed.

In Mexico, there are two family doctors right in the area where I live that, when I call, will come to my house within hours of my call!!!   This alone should be enough reason for me to reconsider moving full time to Mexico…even without health insurance.   Hmmm, something to think about… but, enough of my whining!  On to more pleasant topics.

Almost all stores were closed for Canada Day last Monday except for the Rideau Centre. because it is deemed a tourist attraction in Ottawa.   So Dee and I decided to go shopping there to buy me some shoes.  We then walked one block west to the Rideau Canal that is beside the Chateau Laurier.   We watched a small cruiser go through locks taking it up the hill from the Rideau River into the flats of the canal itself. 

Major’s Hill Park, an oasis in an otherwise busy downtown, runs behind the Chateau, at the point where the canal enters the Ottawa River.   The panorama of the park, the canal and the river with the iconic roofs of the Parliament Buildings in the background, is stunning! 

The beautifully maintained park filled with shady trees, manicured green lawns and gardens full of blooming colour makes you forget you are in the very heart of the city. Marvelous!  A few more steps beyond the park and you are at the entrance to the National Art Gallery or, if you walk in the easterly direction, you find yourself across the street from Byward Market.  It was lunchtime so we chose the Market.  The Gallery can wait for another time. 

A patio, almost hidden with many hanging pots laden with flowers, from where we could people watch, appealed to us.  Their specialty is pizza with several gluten free varieties - a real treat for me.  So that’s what we ordered.  The spicy hot pizza was absolutely delicious washed down with icy cold beer!   

From there we went round the corner to Le Moulin de Provence, a bakery in the Market where, in 2009, President Obama purchased the cookie for his daughter that became famous as the ‘Obama Cookie’.  These red and white iced maple-leaf-shaped cookies are still made fresh every day.  They are displayed in a separate glassed counter, topped with the sign stating “Obama Cookies” complete with a large picture of Obama’s smiling face in the background.  They must sell an awful lot of them.

At noon Wednesday, one of the hottest days we've had, Dee picked me up for a day at her pool and a sleep-over.  I spent the afternoon by her pool reading and dipping while she worked.  A barbecue steak dinner, wine, and a couple of dips in the pool completed that day. It's such a treat to be spending so much time with Dee after so very many years when we saw each other only a couple of times a year. 

A couple I haven’t seen for at least 25+ years and with whom Don and I had lost touch had reappeared on Facebook during Covid.   They were now living in Prince Edward County, a beautiful area about 2-1/2 hours from Ottawa, that Don and I had actually considered before deciding on Orillia.   This area has developed over those years into thriving wine and art country.   When the Carters discovered I had moved to Ottawa, they sent out an invitation to visit them, which I have quickly accepted.  I’ve booked a train trip mid-August to Belleville where they will pick me up.  Exciting!

The next thing I knew, my ex-daughter-in-law contacted me.  The mother of my two youngest granddaughters, aged 18 and almost 20, she has remained a well-loved member of our family over the years.   She and her boyfriend are coming to Ottawa on business next Friday.  We will be getting together while they are here, which I'm really looking forward to.   They are a lovely couple and lots of fun. 

Another unexpected happening.  (i'm questioning if ‘happy’ is actually part of the word ‘happening’ because that’s how these happenings make me feel - happy!)   

The weekend after that, my grandson, his wife and my youngest great-granddaughter are visiting from North Bay.  Summer is only a couple of weeks old.  Already it is filling up with visits that I wouldn’t have had if I had stayed at Balmoral Seniors Apartments in Collingwood. 

I mentioned reading at Dee's this week.  For some reason, after not being able to read a book all during Covid,  I am suddenly reading again.  I brought only one book with me.   That took the two months I’ve been here to read it.  Yesterday, I finished “Then She Was Gone”, a book I started only 3 days before.  Is this all part of finally learning the world won’t end if I do nothing except enjoy my own company; doing whatever I feel like doing, even if it’s doing nothing?  In my whole life, I’ve never been able to do that before.  Being an A+ personality, a lifelong workaholic, it has been a struggle over the past two months to finally accept a newfound joy in doing absolutely nothing!  My painful leg definitely had a major part to play in keeping me partially immobilized since I arrived here in May.   I blamed my leg problem on the move but perhaps it happened for a reason - to force me to do nothing, just rest – otherwise my feelings of guilt would have forced me to work on my to do list.   

For the first time in my life, I am content to spend days alone, doing only what I really feel like doing – even doing nothing – simply getting to know me and enjoying my own company.  It feels good.

Something that I have been doing this past week though is thinking a lot of my eldest grandson and his family.  Their third baby was due this past week but not a peep from them.  Here’s hoping no news is good news!  I'll keep you posted...

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