2 min read
29 May

I have no idea what I did to my leg, but I could barely walk from the pain. Poking around my thigh with my finger I located its source, it was muscle not my hip, fortunately. I was sure I could deal with this myself. For the next week I treated it with ice, heat and stretching exercises.  The pain wassufficiently better that I could walk short distances.

Two of the three women I met in Manzanillo before I returned home, Judith and Mimsie, reached out to me.  What a delightful surprise to hear from them in so soon. They invited me to join them at the Ottawa Art Gallery for an art auction viewing. Google maps said it was a four minute walk from my condo.  How convenient and I thought I could handle that pretty easily.  I wanted to see my new friends and dip my toe into the Ottawa art scene.

It was an interesting exhibit, but what, fascinated me more was an exhibit that Judith suggested we now take a look at. It was the works of a local artist named Norman Takeuchi.  As a child, he had endured confinement with his parents in the camp for Japanese-Canadians during World War II.   His art reflected the impact this experience had on him and was thought-provoking to say the least. We finished off the afternoon with a late lunch at the Novotel Hotel across the street.. It was an enjoyable day all around.

It was tulip time in Ottawa!  The Canadian tulip festival was established to celebrate the historic Dutch Royal gift of tulips to Canada immediately following the Second World War.  More than 7,600 Canadians died in the campaign to liberate the Netherlands, the ultimate sacrifice made by these young men in the cause of freedom. Even today, Dutch children place candles every year at the graves of the Canadian soldiers, who were buried in Holland! It was a treat to see and enjoy these beautiful flowers, and be reminded of why they were there at all!

Ottawa was feeling more like home each day. Pots of flowers purchased from a local nursery now brighten my balcony. Hanging pots of yellow hibiscus and yellow baby roses appear to be floating on the railing.  brilliant red geraniums complemented with small yellow and purple Million Bells flowers tumbling over the pot reside in the far corner.  I love to sit outside, reading a book in the sun, and surrounded by the beauty of the flowers.

With the help of the Internet, I found a massage therapist near the Byward market. The Swedish massage and reflexology ministrations were helping bring my leg back to normal. As the pain eased, so dId my concern about potential health problems interfering with my new lifestyle.

Lunch at Mimsie‘s lovely home in Westboro with the Ottawa contingent of Club Santiago ( as I like to refer to the four of us including Betty) was a really special event the following week.  Mimsie‘s home is modern with wonderful light pouring in from many large windows.  Her tasteful placement of art objects on the walls and floors of the house complement the clean lines of the furniture and her garden is an oasis of color. It was a lovely afternoon of getting to know each other better. 

A nail salon, only a few steps from my building, turned out to be small and friendly. The calf massage that completed a pedicure was the best I’ve ever had.  Next on my list is to find a good hairstylist somewhere nearby.

in my quest to strengthen my muscles, I decided to add a YouTube chair yoga routine. I got through the half hour with no problem. Oops, the next morning was so different. Things were worse, as somehow my knees were now joining the painful chorus with my leg. Why can’t I leave well, enough alone, I asked myself. The pool in my building has been closed for maintenance. Hopefully it will be open soon. Aqua fit exercises would be the safest way to strengthen my legs, So I’ll stick to that along with more massages and the natural healing that comes with time. A painful lesson – I need to learn patience.

I had a delightful surprise, a phone call from Jay, my grandson, who lives with his family in Oakville.

”Hi Nana.  I’m in Ottawa for meetings and have an unscheduled hour to spare.  I’m in the Rideau Centre - is it ok for me to come visit?  Where do you live?”  

”You’re less than a five-minute walk“, I say and give him directions.

I haven’t seen him in months and we talk incessantly for almost 2 hours. He has to go home tomorrow after all day meetings because the new baby is due in one week! She will be my fifth great granddaughter, a third daughter for Jay and Mel. We know it’s a girl, but her name will be a surprise.   I am the matriarch of an ever-growing family.

Dee Invited me to join her on a four day trip to North Bay to visit Ryan and his family. The Sunday after we return, Laura, my dancing granddaughter direct from the stage of the sell-out musical “Cabaret”, will be arriving for a week. Dee will stay with me while Laura entertains friends in her mother’s house.  This may be a little off-the-wall arrangement but suits me just fine as long as we get to spend some time with Laura.  I haven’t seen her for several years and I miss her.

It's going to be interesting to see how comfortable the pull-out couch in my condo is when Dee uses it - fingers crossed and hoping for the best!

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