Stylocycle’s Blog

So many things…
November 24, 2009, 2:58 am
Filed under: comments around town, commute by bike, Get outta town!, Hop on the bus Gus

‘K. My month has been one long laundry list of stuff to do.

Read through and judge the merits of dozens and dozens of grant applications.

Assess a small boatload of graduate research proposals.

Deal with the sale of my grandmother’s house, the movement of her stuff out of the house, and (we hope) settling her into a nursing home in December if she survives to that point. She’s currently in hospital (where she has been since the 36-hour heart attack at the end of August).

Deal with the impending loss of my grandmother… about which I’m alternately accepting and enraged.

Join and participate in the campus cycling committee.

Take our ‘monthly’ trip to the St. Lawrence market for the first time since September.

Adopt and get my grandmother’s 11-year-old Siamese cat settled into our house.

Try to help my mother deal with all that is going on while her husband is on a 3-week long trip in the US with his family of origin.

Settle accounts on my research grant. I swear that next time I need to build in funds to pay a CPA. Arg.

And then there’s the continuing saga of settling into the new house. Let me sum up with this: may I *never* have to set foot in an Ikea again in my life.

But on my tag points let me say the following:

I’ve been getting loads of comments around town on the silk flowers I have woven into my bike basket. I’m not sure if they encourage drivers around me to relax, take a deep breath, and enjoy the day, but as I go about my business, running my errands hither and yon, the flowers and the basket do make people seem more cheery.

Commuting by bike is becoming popular enough on my campus that it seems we are slated to get a covered rack to park at least 20 bikes in a central location. That means that there are enough of us who ride in the snow to make the structure a feasible budget expense. We’ve also persuaded the physical plant people to stop dumping the ploughed snow onto the bike racks in winter.

Commuting by bike is always practical and made my life in the borderlands of town more bearable, but now that we live in a central location, I find that cycling brings me tons of joy. I’m on my bike now more than ever, not just to and from work. I can easily hit 4-6 places with a distance of a few kilometres between each, but nothing long, dull and lifeless like the ride that used to take me across the North end of UW campus where there was nothing but empty, bleak space, people’s back fences, and cars. Now, I regularly run into friends, and walk or ride part of the way home. It’s just really, really nice.

Getting outta town remains one of the ways the living here is still bearable. If I lived in a town that wasn’t within an easy VIA or bus ride to a major cultural centre, I’d go bonkers. Tomorrow I’m going to head into Toronto to meet with a friend who is over from the UK for a few days to take care of her mum post surgery. We’re going to sneak off for some time at the AGO, and do our bi-annual catching up.

But my favourite thing about this month is that my long-time friend of 31 years is going to come visit me on Thursday. She’s a surgeon in Toronto. People tend to think that surgeons drive fancy cars. My friend has a morning surgery to do and when she’s finished, she’s going to hop on the inter-city bus to come to visit me for the day. I can hardly wait, and I love that it just blew my 17-year-old son’s mind when I told him that my friend was coming and that she’d be taking the bus. Some day he (and the rest of the world) will wrap their heads around the fact that we don’t all want to isolate ourselves in cars, that we don’t measure our freedom by the ability to drive, and that we like public transit.

1 Comment so far
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I hope everything works out for your grandmother. These kinds of changes are never easy for anyone.

Comment by Sox

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