Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Canmore - 51° 05' 35" N 115° 21' 40" W

As we are waiting, waiting, waiting for the closing date on the sale of our new Canmore base camp, we have had a bittersweet day.

Poppies and wild chives at Broadview Road

We spent most of the day with our hands in the soil at Broadview Road, the place where we have called home for majority of our married life.  The lawn and flowerbeds needed some attention and the sun was shining, so out came the rake, trowel and spade.  We edged, weeded and reseeded and gave a good tidy up.  With each turn of the spade, I was reminded of the of gardening sessions past: the year we tried daisies along the footpath; the juniper that would have filled out that corner SO nicely but didn't like the sun that much; the poppies that did a little too well over the years.  I find weeding and planting an immediately gratifying activity.

During our hours spent there, SEVEN of our former neighbours wandered over, happily welcoming us back to our home.  We had to tell them that we were just there to do some gardening and weren't actually returning to live here and hold court on the front porch (as we were known to do for much of the spring, summer and autumn).  We inquired about how they had been over the time since we had seen them last, what had transpired with family, what had happened on the street and what plans they had for the future.  It reminded us both how much we loved living on this cul-de-sac and seeing the daily parade of those walking and cycling by.

We are going to miss having the community and friends of Hillhurst close by.  We hope that we will have more than just a few of them appear on our doorstep as visitors in our new mountain home.

Road to Rick and Sue's place

As much as we are sad to be leaving the daily opportunity to see our friends stroll by, we are anticipating the community we are about to become part of.  Tonight, we are guests of Rick and Sue as they host a house party.  Sue is on the Canmore Folk Fest board of directors, which means she knows of the comings and goings of folk artists as they make their rounds through Alberta.  To help these artists out financially as they travel, she and Rick will offer to have them stay overnight at their house, have dinner and then have a select group of friends all come for a evening concert at their house.  We all bring something to drink and a cash contribution to the artist (usually $25).  With 50 people there and the money going completely to the artist, the event helps tremendously with their travelling expenses.

Four weekends ago, we had the duet of Madison Violet visit Canmore; tonight it is Martin Harley.  We have not seen him before and only spent the afternoon previewing his work on Spotify.  We are likely in for mellow, bluesey slide guitar action.

Setting up in the living room

Martin's slide guitar at the ready

Ready for an intimate performance

letting the blues drift outside ...

The more time we spend in Canmore, the more excited we are to join this community.  Fresh air, hiking, cycling, climbing, skiing, canoeing, music, new friends that haven't heard all our stories yet ... all so exciting!

Friday, May 11, 2018

Downtown Calgary - 51° 02' 38 N 114° 04' 16 W

Today I met a friend for lunch.  It has been several years since I have ventured downtown and gosh, Corporate Calgary still exists!  The Plus 15 was busy with harried business-people striding along staring at their mobiles, groups with matching security tags converging on a favourite lunch venue and daycare workers pushing their super-buggies with their half a dozen young charges.

Map of the Plus 15 - An indoor  pedestrian network "15 feet"
above the ground weaving around Calgary's downtown. 

The coffee shop at 715 5th Ave where I used to work was doing a roaring trade and the heavy wooden doors of The Petroleum Club constantly opened and closed to the parade of oilmen heading in for lunch.  The buskers on the 7th Ave bridge still strummed out their tunes wearing broad smiles.  The doors of the favourite shops I once frequented when I earned a salary - Browns Shoes, Banana Republic, Michael Kors, Brooks Brothers - beckoned brightly with pretty offerings.  Purdy's Chocolates remain very purple and the Devonian Gardens, a large indoor park complete with koi ponds, playgrounds and botanical gardens, was busy with the brown bag lunch crowd.

So life still goes on. The bustle of the corporate world continues without me and I don't miss it.

Not. One. Little. Bit!