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I just went out for a short walk to the library but was foiled in my attempt by the most feared, three-letter-word in my vocabulary — ICE! There was just enough on the sidewalks that stopped Harriet in her tracks. We don’t care if there’s snow — well, we do care — but we can manage that. But not deadly ice. I considered for a minute or so to go ahead and go. What-the-hell, eh? I had my cane and could have even slipped down the deadly-looking spike on the bottom that supposedly will help me grip my way through snow, slush and ice. But as I contemplated to-go-or-not-to-go, a nice young man in the orange and yellow garb of a tree trimmer walked by. I said to him, “Ah, is the sidewalk icy?” “Oh, yes, m’am, its real slick in spots.” It’s funny how being called “m’am” doesn’t bother me any more. There was a time, maybe ten years ago, when my shackles would rise and I’d say, “Call me Ann, Not M’Am.”  He was so serious when he gave me the sidewalk report, I decided not to start out on my journey. I didn’t want to ignore him and then, ridiculously, get stuck halfway there or back. I also heard the echo of the Divine Dr. M coming back to me in his Achtung tone: Do Not Fall — Ever. When he said it, I felt like to do so would be the equivalent to death or worse.  So I brought me and Harriet and the bag of books that I was taking to the library for their book sale back inside and up the stairs and so, now, here we are.

It’s really too bad because the day is absolutely beautiful for Toronto in the winter — blue skies and sunshine and brisk temperatures. Minus the ice, it would have been a perfect day for a little jaunt to one of my favourite neighborhood joints, the Lillian Smith Library. My aim was to go over there for a couple of hours and write this blog. I haven’t been there to work much since Harriet and I came home. When I think about going the idea of loading the laptop into my backpack, putting on 17 layers of clothes, shuffling down the stairs and then the five blocks to the library, overwhelms me and I stay home.  Also, there’s the reality that during these four months with Harriet, everything seems to take a hell of a lot longer to do. And, there are days when Harriet is just plain stubborn and un-cooperative and decides to send out little shoots of pain to remind me that she is still healing.

Anyway, here I am once again at the dining room table which, for this particular moment, is free of cats — a rare but amazing and most welcome situation. I’ll have to type quietly so that they don’t get nosey and saunter over here from their perch on the back of the sad-looking-slumped-cushioned couch. There’s no getting them to sleep in a different spot now and then — like maybe the floor. No, no they have to be on their favorite schmatas on the couch. There is not a piece of furniture that could survive a fat cat sleeping on it for hours and hours a day. I’m going to send them a bill for restructuring the couch to its former glory and see how they like that.

Besides thinking about the cats, Harriet, ice, winter and being stuck here, I have also been thinking lately that it is almost time to resurrect my idea from last summer when I vowed to do twenty things that I had never done during my 20 years in Oh Canada. I had sort of forgotten about it but when I wrote my No Resolutions blog for New Year’s, the Do-20-New-Things post from last summer popped up. (If you missed that post, here it is again.) I had gotten off  to such a good start back in June. For Adventure Number 1, I went to my first ever Pride Parade. Do you believe that, all these years and I’d never been? Oh well, that’s how things go, eh? As a bonus and, i’m sure because it was my first parade, while I was there, I shook hands with a Future Prime Minister — doubling my number of new things done in one afternoon. Well, at the time. Justine Trudeau — cute-as-a-button in his pink shirt — was a party leader only but I’m going to count it anyway. I’m going to disqualify my eating the Street Meat that I counted in the first post. So, as of June, I had only two new Toronto adventures towards my goal of 20. This left me with 18 more — an enormous number — still to do. But I was committed and one thing I’ll say for this Capricorn, when I start something I finish it — eventually, anyway.

But then July came and with it a date for knee replacement surgery. So all of my adventure seeking time ceased and was replaced with getting Harriet ready for that episode and then, afterwards, dealing with the healing part. Harriet has become somewhat of a prima donna as a result and very, very demanding of my time.  But, actually, I do think a case could be made that I should be able to add some of my Adventures with Harriet and the Bloody Blood Clot to the list. Why not? After all, it was the first time I had knee replacement surgery, stayed overnight in a hospital, had a blood clot, used a walker and then a cane and learned to deal, not always successfully, with the medical care system. I can hear murmurings of disapproval coming from the back of the couch. The cats think it is an outrageous idea to count each of these as a Separate New Thing since one just built out of the other. None of it took very much of my imagination or exploration. So I think, for the purity of my challenge, and just to shut the cats up, I’ll just count all of the above as a measly, one (1) new adventure — bringing me to three down seventeen to go.

It seems a dauntingly lopsided equation, but I’m not concerned. I have until August to get those 17 whatever-they-turn-out-to-be adventures finished. I’m energized now. I want to do research, scope out the hidden gems in this town, venture forth to knock a few more adventures off my list. I’m not only a girl from Columbus, I’ll be like old Christopher hungering for new lands and adventure — well, and gold too. I know there’s a lot out there in Oh Toronto-land that I can discover. Hopefully, Harriet and the weather will cooperate so I can get re-started. Onward to Number Four!

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