Dead Streets

I miss the sounds of summer; our streets and sidewalks are practically dead. All May long weekend I waited for someone, something to go by and really, nothing happened. We have had lovely evenings and it's a gorgeous Saturday again. Zip and nada for foot or 2 wheel traffic.
Remember Saturday mornings? Everyone who could, was out washing a car and the sidewalks were full of little kids learning to ride their bikes.
When my own children were small, the 'big kids' were busy showing off, to each other as well as the adults who looked askance at such recklessness. When my son joined the 'big kid' ranks, he became young Mr. Fixit, always fixing the bike he was busy demolishing by using it as a steeplechase horse. My daughters also lived on their bikes; it was how they got around. Their friends lived more than a (gasp!) kilometre away.
Summer meant outside: building forts, going for walks (watch for the bears), planting gardens, sleepovers in the tent trailer (come in if you think you hear a bear), playing at the school playground at 4 in the morning (just because you can, and it's getting light out), swimming and fishing. Tons of outside.
I've experienced summer in the city and in the bush. As far as kids go, there was essentially no difference. Everyone was sun starved and everyone went out.
I think we are still sun starved but now we are fearful. Fear has a way of gripping us by the throat and stifling everything. I do not believe that electronic devices are to blame for the epidemic of inside. Electronic devices are opiates; they quell our natural desire to do any thing other than use them and they have made our children more manageable. Fearing outside and its dangers, parents have turned to computers and their spinoffs to engage their children believing this keeps them safe.
I do not believe that the world is full of depraved people whose only mission in life is to kidnap my grandchildren but neither am I willing to send them out unsupervised just to test my theory.
Canada's children are so inactive and yet we have so much to offer. Should we then reverse test "Build it and they will come" meaning our parks and sidewalks, by "Demolish and they will scream."? Perhaps there is nothing so precious as the tree in the tree museum unless it is a bicycle mounted on a piece of sidewalk in the Outside Museum.


A Pain in the Ass

First I was, then I wasn't, then I was, so here I am - writing about a pain in the ass. Ah, you all say, "Here it comes, things aren't as blissful as she would have us believe. She's going to tell us her true-love is really a pain in the ass." Or conversely, I'm supposed to tell you that I can be a pain in the ass. Which I can be, sometimes, but not now.
Well, you're wrong. I'm going to tell you that I had a pain in the ass. No, I did not get a divorce or otherwise poison my relatives. I actually had such a pain that I thought I would faint. I had this pain while sitting on the sofa, by myself, all alone at home and it lasted and lasted about 5 minutes. Five minutes is a very long time when you're, say, in labour or passing a kidney stone or being bitten by a dog or smashing your fingers with a hammer. By now, you know that 5 minutes is waaaay too long for a pain.
It went away.
I thought it must be that most unladylike of complaints: hemorrhoids.
It is not...........always.
Google is great. You can actually ask it: What are some causes of a pain in the ass? Just like that. No fancy medical terminology. Just calling a spade a spade.
Google says it is either PROCTALGIA FUGAX or LEVITOR ANI SYNDROME. So I had to look up all these words and parts of words and it is so much fun! ASS PAIN FLEETING or PELVIC MUSCLE PAIN SYNDROME. Can you believe it? Calling a pain in the ass an ass pain. Why not call measles 'little red dot disease'?
Imagine meeting Prince Charles and Camilla. "How's life been treating you?" "Well, I have proctalgia fugax." "You do? Congratulations!" as opposed to "How's life been treating you?" "Well, I have this huge pain in my ass..." and being whisked away by the protocol officer before you can warm up to your theme.
As much as it lends itself to not so tasteful jokes, not very many people admit this kind of pain to their doctors. Actually, there are a lot of sufferers and sometimes very good reasons for it. Still, it would have to get pretty awful before I'd tell my doctor; he's not always as serious as I'd like.  In the meantime, all the articles say that once everything has been ruled out, it is quite a little mystery. Ass secrets. Proctalgia fugax everyone!


Exercise, bah!

Everyone who knows me, knows that I hate exercise. Absolutely loathe and despise it. I'd rather go to the garden and pick worms. I do go to the garden and pick dandelions.

Everyone who knows me also knows that I like to be on top of my game, mine and my true-love's. I know that exercise is good for us. Do I not send my true-love to the gym twice a week? Do I not send my true-love on the dog walk everyday?

Alas and alack! The benefits of his exertions do not extend to me. However, his dog's pleading eyes do not leave me unmoved, so I do, occasionally, whirl the beast around the block as fast as we can go, reaping something positive along the way. I hope.
The difference between walking inside the house and pretty much any where else, is truly amazing. In the house, you never really stretch; it is the breeding ground for 'the old person shuffle'. Yes, the mall is inside, but it's such a roomy inside, that it might almost be outside! Granted, the mall is smoother than the sidewalk and flatter than a hillside, but I'm more and more convinced that it's all about the stretchy walking. Just letting those legs move along without being tripped up by carpets and furniture appears to be the thing.

I see this on family members, so I'm not talking through my hat. Having admitted as much, you will be seeing me on the dog walk more often. Except when it's cold and then I shall be at the mall.


Observations & Flying

So, I just flew from one place to another place, and there are a few things I want to say.
Hey, well groomed mature guy with your nose so high in the air you can't see the 100 year old woman in front of you DRAGGING her bag: jerk.
To the middle aged woman in front of me: it's OK to comb your hair even if you did have to get up at 5. You do not look like a free spirit; you just look as if you have been in the spirits all night.
To the legging wearers who should take a look at their butts: look at your butt.
Skinny girl with the 6 inch heels: no, you cannot walk in those shoes. What you are doing is not walking; it's creeping, kind of, mixed with shuffling, with bent knees. The shoes look nice, though.
Woman in the beautiful blue top: all the clothes in the world are not going to improve the look of someone chewing gum with their mouth open, just chewing, chewing....
All of you carry-on carriers: it's carry on for God's sake, not a weight lifting contest. Trying to jam 2 weeks worth of stuff into 1 small(ish) suitcase, and wrestling it into the overhead bin isn't fair to the rest of us trying to make do with the 8 cubic inches left over.
No thanks to airport security. When I am really old and much braver, I'm going to organize an old person flash mob stripping down to their underwear....at security. What do you want to bet that line starts to zip along at speed!!!!
Also no thanks to an airline that flies around with no potable water, they say, so there is no tea or coffee. But wait....isn't that water being served? So, why, why? Never mind, it's just too confusing.
Thank you to my seatmate for doing his laundry and saving me from fainting fits brought on by BO. (That nearly happened once, no word of a lie.)
Thank you to the nice young family which did not cry the whole time. Just a teeny, tiny bit right at the end and I think, by that time, we were all ready to do the same.
Thank you to all the various people who make, you guessed it, people watching so interesting.
 I am now ready to enjoy a city full of strangers and good food!