The weather here in southern Ontario is glorious. No other word for it. We are being teased with this last burst of warm temperatures, lovely breezes and blue skies. The leaves are still holding their colour, though now fallen on the ground. I’ve already seen Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal chasing each other in the cedar hedge in my backyard and a blue jay peeking into our back window this morning. And did anyone see last night’s sunset? One of the best of the year, I think; it lit my family room up in orange at one point, causing Will to run outside with his iPad to take a photo.
We took advantage of the beautiful weather yesterday and I took the twins out for a long country drive on Ontario’s very first provincial highway, Hwy 2. We travelled from Bowmanville to Cobourg. If you take this route often, it might not seem that exciting. But if you are a bit of a history buff, like me, these slower detours away from the speedy 401 are welcomed. Will uses the time to drain my phone’s data through his Airdrop, but Owen loves these drives as much as I do and I often wonder what goes through his mind as he stares out the window at the scenery going by. My mind drifts as we pass through the little spots like Welcome, Precious Corners and Baltimore, and I wonder where the people here come from, where they work, why they chose to live where they do. I wonder if those communities were once thriving and busy, with hopes of becoming more significant on the map someday. They are all, undeniably beautiful and they all appeal to my predisposition to Northumberland/Kawarthas love; a love that has existed since my grandparents built their family home (and what I consider the truest home of my childhood) in between Roseneath and Hastings, Ontario, up Hwy 45.
We went as far as Highway 45 and went south to Cobourg, where I was surprised to see that we weren’t the only ones with the same idea. The town was busy and the patios were full. Lots of people were out walking the boardwalk, some were playing beach volleyball, but thankfully most were distancing and masked, like us. We put on our masks and found a spot on Cobourg Beach, and spent some time relaxing to the sound of the waves and sea gulls (while trying to ignore the annoying drone that someone kept flying low over our heads). Will kept saying “peaceful” and Owen’s smile said the same. It was a great trip.
Today, we are having a lazy day.
I’ve got my oils diffusing all over the house. It’s the perfect pick-me-up. I’ve got my coffee going in my favourite Coronation St. mug that reminds me of my Gram. She used to bitch (no other word for it) whenever we would watch it on a Sunday morning, because she couldn’t understand a word they said with the thick British accents. She’d tell me she hated the show, then in the next breath she’d say “do you think Leanne and Nick will stay together?” – clearly following along with the storyline. We always joked that she was the miserable Blanche character, hence the mug.
My cousin Michelle and I recently connected over Corrie St., both of us having quit watching it a while ago, but missing it on Sunday mornings. I think the ritual of curling up on a Sunday morning, with a mug in hand, as we laugh at the ridiculousness of the characters and crazy storylines, is very comforting and the perfect recipe to get us through the coming shut-in months of cold through this pandemic. We have both re-committed to watching it again, with Michelle in Calgary and me here in Bowmanville. I’m already enjoying the back and forth texting we are doing while watching the show. I think Gram is getting a kick out of us doing this together, especially because she knows her memory is getting its proper attention every Sunday morning.
Another part of today’s plan is to finish a book I started a while ago. I cannot recommend it enough, especially to any teachers and all of our fellow Cedarbrae C.I. alum and Scarborough readers. Scarborough by Catherine Hernandez has me really feeling it. With today’s climate in our effort to better understand our racism, white privilege and most importantly – to admit that you can’t ever pretend to think you know who a person is unless you know how they live their lives day in and day out – this book is so brilliantly written to blow it all wide open. Written about the very neighbourhood that I grew up in, in Scarborough, or more honestly – the neighbourhood that grew up all around me – every story told shook me up. From the book jacket:
“Scarborough is a low-income, culturally diverse neighbourhood east of Toronto; like many inner-city communities, it suffers under the weight of poverty, drugs, crime and urban blight. Scarborough the novel employs a multitude voices to tell the story of a tight-knit neighbourhood under fire, offering a raw yet empathetic glimpse into a troubled community that locates its dignity in unexpected places: a neighbourhood that refuses to be undone.”
I can honestly say that this read has influenced so many of my thoughts since I first picked it up months ago. I have always thought myself to be a compassionate and informed person. I try to never jump to conclusions about people, based on their appearance, their work or status in life. I would also say that I thought I was even more informed because of my years living in Scarborough, many of my friends come from all of the neighbourhoods discussed in this book; my ex-husband lived in more than a few of them himself. But I’m ignorant as hell to the realities I read about here and I know I will always remember its lessons going forward. I don’t want to give away all of the stories. I just want you all to read it. If you are taking your first steps towards allyship and education – read it. If you are from Scarborough and are proud of it – read it. I didn’t intend for this to be a push to buy, but it is a push to read. I’m sure it can also be found at your local library. Please read it!
Walking you through my lazy Sunday has reminded me that I have at least four loads of laundry to do, a quiche to make, one button to sew back on to Will’s school pants and a ton of work to do on this website. I hope you are enjoying your lazy day too.
If you want more info about some of the things mentioned today:
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I’m trying my best to pay it forward by dealing hope and sharing stories & tips on caregiving and how to survive hard things. I blog a lot about single parenting my adult twin sons who both have autism, and the challenges we face in surviving the everyday challenges and planning for a future full of unknowns.