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February 16, 2012

It’s tax time, and today I ventured outside the Greenbelt to stop by the mailbox in Kanata and pick up a few month’s worth of mail. My tenant has the sunflower wreath back up on the door. It looks marvellous. I became very conscious of surburban driving distances. Since my move, I am constantly misjudging travel time in the “city”. Things are much closer than the appear.

I am followed by a medical clinic at the hospital nearest my old Nepean home, inside the Greenbelt. I had an appointment this afternoon and it put me near enough to wander over. It was the first house I purchased and eventually owned, ten years later. The first thing I noticed was the awning over the front door. It’s well past its tenth year and looks good. The new door is red. A large wreath hangs in the centre pane of the front window and the curtains were pulled back. The side gate was open. I lived there for ten years under the watchful eye of a border collie. I always check the gate. It’s second nature.

Heading eastwards put my close enough to the condo/townhouse I had rented before leaving my ex-husband the first time, and buying on my own.  I drove right up to our corner unit. My thoughts turned to my little garden which thrived just enough for the condo corporation to encourage other residents to do the same by providing a community mound of potting soil. The place looks much the same, save for the out-of-season air-conditioning unit in the office window. It’s a maze in that complex. Our house guests rarely arrived on time.

Marking the halfway point between the condo and my current location was the first apartment I had shared with my ex-husband. The overgrown tree that shaded our corner window is long gone. In a recurring dream, I get lost in the building metaphorically prompting a restart of my adult life. We moved there shortly after graduation. A meagre four stories, it’s less daunting in real life. I remembered the freedom of riding my bike in the nearby fields and the Experimental Farm.

This marks the end of today’s tour down memory lane, and covers twenty years’ worth of my Ottawa homes.


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