black squirrels everywhere

Black squirrels everywhere

The contrast of the dark squirrels to the green open spaces in the parks made them look black. This may seem trivial but my God.. the squirrels are in abundance and in force. We have prairie dogs (gophers) in Saskatchewan but not the populations we used to. These squirrels caught my attention everywhere we traveled in Toronto.  I want to make a humourous remark here but I’ll control myself.. so okay maybe I’m a bit squirrely, there I said it.

This trip to visit some of the members of a writers’ club that had taken me in as a token westerner was very exciting for me. Making connections with people only seen in Zoom meetings made me feel more like a part of this group.  I know.. I don’t get out much :  )  The added bonus was going to a TIFF screening, we were only the second audience in the world to see this movie and we were sworn to secrecy, it was titled ‘Biosphere.’  It was quite the movie and I still don’t know how I feel about it.  A bus tour to Niagra-on-the-Lake to take in a play at the Shaw Festival called Damn Yankees was a bonus. These perks were courtesy of my friend Annie, also a writer, and former CBC Journalist. She graciously put me up for a few days as well.

It’s always a mystery to me how stuff happens in my life to get me to where I am right now.  The recent death of someone I loved was the catalyst for this trip.  I realize I’m still grieving but little pieces of myself are starting to fit back together in meaningful ways.  I’m not sure what that means but booking this trip was like a light shining toward something I needed to do.

My writer friend Andrew whom I’d never met and the person responsible for introducing me to this group, was not an axe murderer, although that could have made for a good story if he was, and if I survived. Instead, he was the perfect host for this imperfect woman and he made me feel totally at home sharing his place with me.  He is much younger than me and single and I give him two thumbs up, and no I didn’t sleep with him. He is from Toronto after all, and I didn’t want to spoil him for other women..  besides, I am saving myself for Tom Selleck.

I met up with Bill and Susan which necessitated me taking a bus to Bloor street and finding a coffee house called Baka amidst street closures and the Ukrainian festival being set up, complete with rock climbing walls.  I know, I was tempted but I resisted the urge, lol.  Bill and I are probably the oldest members of the writer’s group, he had a piece published in the Globe and Mail this past year and I am still pouting about that.  Being published in the Globe is on my bucket list.  Most in the writer’s group are writing books or plays, fiction, not fiction, memoirs, or essays, and a diverse group it is. Both were delightful and we had a great visit. Bill’s memoir is in the final stages of editing.

How is it that some people we click with feel like old friends?  Yes, we’re older, but it’s a comfortable feeling and that’s how I felt with everyone I met.  Heike, another writer, and I finally connected on my next to last day in ‘the center of the universe’ as Bill liked to put it.  She picked me up and took me to her favorite restaurant, a polish one in her neighbourhood. We discussed so many things, she is a published author with a book on grief and we did go there for a bit. She ended up giving me a personally autographed copy of her book Grief is… Heike Mertins. I have already read some chapters and it has spoken to my heart, thank you Heike.

If you follow my blog you know that I strongly believe the universe or God or whatever you believe in, sends us the tools or things or people to help us heal or cope or even prosper.. when we need it.  Heike and I continued our journey after lunch to find a bakery and coffee to extend our visit, all the while communicating and exploring our life paths.  Turns out Heike worked for the government for 15 years in a unique capacity.. exploring and helping inventors get their products off the ground. This came about when I gave her a package of my invisa-bibs and invisa-notes, which I invented over five years ago!

Bringing my products to the market stage was not an easy task, taking me years.  After completing the final stages, I had a health scare and lost all interest in marketing my product. Although the health scare was negative, my interest did not come back in my inventions. Heike looked at me and asked if I had any more of those bibs.. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Only fifty thousand was going through my head! I ended up sharing my story with her.

I started out writing about my Toronto trip and those black squirrels, but now it is about what we do with our lives.  Sure I take the road less traveled and yes, getting lost seems to be the norm for me.  This trip was totally unplanned and has taken an unexpected turn.  I have no idea where I may end up but I think my life is about to change yet again. The lesson here if there is one.. is to be open and unafraid to take chances.

Listen to your heart, mine took me to Toronto.. of all places, lol.

Oh, and be on the lookout for those black squirrels, they are everywhere…

Copyright September 24th, 2022