May 17, 2020

One perfect moment.

The Sidney waterfront has seen a lot from me. I've worked a lot out on its paths in the last year.

I went to Starbucks today, an ode to that former life. I detoured to sit by the pier before making my necessary stops. As I sat down, a man with a banjo took the bench behind me and started to play.

It was a rainy morning, but the afternoon turned glorious. I was sitting across from a hedge with fragrant purple flowers, populated by big, juicy bumblebees. I could see a sliver of the water, islands and boats over the hedges.

On a typical spring weekend the path would be busy with foot traffic and tourists, but today it was much slower.

Looking for a few minutes of peace, I had my coffee and podcast playing, but I turned it off after a couple minutes.

Sitting there, the sun warming my neck, the smell of the flowers, banjo music in the background, it felt like a significant moment, one I didn't want to forget.

The Sidney waterfront and I have worked through a lot in our time together. I've cried more than once on my runs or walks with it. I've been feeling the stress and anxiety creeping their way back into me, in my mood, my jaw, my shoulders.

Today I felt the tears coming again, but it was different.

Sometimes the nudge to turn left instead of right turns into a perfect moment.

May 15, 2020

2020: Working titles for my memoir

2020: The year that felt like it shouldn't count but probably did more than any other.

2020: The year that felt like it'll be known as "the dark year" but will be more formative than almost anything else in our lives.

2020: The year we learned to love our kids more, live with a bit less, and re-watched the office in record time.

2020: When working from home no longer felt like a privilege.

2020: The year of the delivery driver.

2020: The year we had actual things to complain about.

2020: The year we realized the church is more than four walls, our neighbours are our community, and that going to Walmart actually can get more stressful.

2020: When Netflix became an essential services.

2020: WTF, Facebook: Volume 218.

2020: The year the world united against a common enemy. Kind of. Mostly.

2020: Does this mask make my eyes pop?

2020: The year we shopped local.

2020: The year we realized that grocery pick-up really was essential to our happiness, and got to live order to order, not knowing when we'd get the next one. We also cleaned out the entire contents of our freezers.

2020: It's only May. We're not even halfway there. Please, Lord, no more plagues.

2020: The year of cancelled plans.

2020: Grieving extroverts and emotionally confused introverts.

2020: The year droplets took down the entire beauty industry.

2020: My year of baking, re-purposing, gardening, and homesteading in the city.

2020: But what about the children? The dark years of education for the children of millennials.

2020: Define "alcoholism."

2020: The permanent demise of the button fly and rise of the elastic waistband.

March 18, 2020


--- I wrote this a couple weeks ago. Obviously. I'm looking forward to our next trip to the coffee shop, whenever that may be. ---


I’m reading Out of Sorts by Sarah Bessey right now, and she talks about community as being an intimate thing. I don’t disagree, but I find her definition too limiting.

Every Saturday morning, our little family walks into Sidney and we go to our favourite coffee shop. We bring our own cups and almost always order the same things. The kids each get a cookie, I get a peanut butter crunch bar, and Karl gets a muffin. Decaf americano for me, and a dark roast for Karl. Then we sit outside on their patio and eat.

We skipped church on Sunday to go for our walk because we were out of our routine this weekend and did something different Saturday. The kids wanted to ride their bikes in the driveway instead, so I left them with Karl while I picked up our grocery order and stopped for coffee on the way home.

I gave them our order and handed over our cups. I made small talk with the barista who, a couple weeks ago, made my day by remembering my ordering as “Decaf….?” This is all I have ever wanted from life, someone to remember my coffee order and maybe even greet me by name when I go to order it. I have peaked.

As I was leaving, that same barista asked if I wanted to take any chocolate covered coffee beans home with me for the kids. He remembered. I’m not saying that made my day, but I will remember that moment every time I feel sad for the entire rest of my life.

So is community a small, intimate thing? Yes, but it’s also at that coffee shop we go to every week, where they’re learning our drinks, remembering our faces, and will someday be the godparents to our children.