A moment of truth.

Yesterday, I watched a TED talk by writer Anne Lamott, in which she offers twelve life truths.

“Number one:” she says, “the first and truest thing is that all truth is a paradox. Life is….filled simultaneously with heartbreaking sweetness and beauty, desperate poverty, floods and babies and acne and Mozart, all swirled together.”

I’m immensely grateful that life in our family’s little bubble has been, for the most part, very good. Like most parents, I want my kids to be healthy and happy and kind. I want them to know love and trust and selflessness and second chances. I don’t want them to be hurt and I don’t want them to hurt anyone else.

All this talk of rainbows and unicorns is lovely, but, as we adults know, not terribly realistic.

My kids are growing up. They’re becoming more aware of the complexities and contradictions of circumstances and emotions. More aware that there’s a big, messy, beautiful, dangerous, exhilarating world beyond what they already know.

Despite my romantic desire to preserve their innocence, I know I won’t be able to protect my kids during their journey on a path strewn not only with joy and wonder but also with deep disappointment, pain, and loss.

It’s not my job to do that, though. As terrifying as it may be, it’s my job to ready them for that path, it’s my job to walk beside them as they navigate it. Until it’s time to pull back to the sidelines, that is. You can’t run alongside your grown children with sunscreen and ChapStick on their hero’s journey,” Lamott says, You have to release them. It’s disrespectful not to.”

In the warmth of yesterday evening, I strolled alone through the park. I followed the path beside the creek and made photos along the way.

Okay, so life isn’t always rainbows and unicorns, kids. But sometimes, evidently, it is.

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Practical beauty.

What, Thursday again?

That means doors are congregating over at Norm 2.0 for his weekly feature, aptly titled, Thursday Doors. This week, I’ll add to the collection, once again, from our Doors Open Hamilton excursion a few weeks back.

The Hamilton Museum of Steam and Technology is housed in the old Hamilton Waterworks, a National Historic Site (lucky for me, I keep running into those).

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Truth be told, we came here not to visit the museum but for the tour of the current water filtration building, which is on the same site.

The weather had been miserable that day. While we waited for the tour, the Mr. and I wandered round the exterior of the buildings for a minute or two, and I made a few photos.

I was struck by the attractive design and stonework of the oldest structures. Isn’t it a shame that fancy industrial buildings seem to have gone completely out of style?

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Later, once we’d returned home, Google told me that the many of the Victorian buildings were built in the 1850s and that the museum itself is well worth a visit due to a unique interior and engaging programming. Maybe another visit later this summer is called for, with kids in tow.

For now, I’ll just give you a couple more doors.

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My stock of doors from Doors Open Hamilton has dwindled. Watch out, various local communities, I plan to haunt another Doors Open event one of these upcoming weekends.

As always, I thank you for visiting 🙂

Things I like.

I like purple socks.

I like it when people wear purple socks pulled up over their pant bottoms.

I like it when a bunch of people get together and pull up their purple socks, or put on their purple hats, purple boas, purple T-shirts, and purple bow ties.

I like it when they collect sponsors as a team, and organize their outfits, and tie up their running shoes, and come prepared to walk together in the rain.

I like it when they do that to honour the memory of someone special to them.

I like it when they pour all of that energy into benefiting other community members who will be affected by an end-of-life diagnosis.

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Much admiration to the participants and organizers of today’s 2017 Hike for Hospice in support of the exceptional care provided to the residents of Innisfree House and Lisaard House.

The event brought together hundreds of people who value the importance of palliative care. The fundraising goal was met and exceeded.

And it didn’t rain during the hike, after all.

I like that.

Look on the bright side.

The other day, I went out of town to shop for shoes.

The bad news is that my retail outing was a fail. This isn’t really surprising, since I avoid shopping unless I need to (The Mr. is, surely, relieved about this). When I enter a store that carries a wide selection of my intended purchase, I get excited at first…but the excitement inevitably dwindles as I start to struggle with making a choice. After agonizing for an absurd amount of time – enough that the salespeople begin to eye me suspiciously – I’m nearly paralyzed with indecision, so I just give up and leave empty-handed. That’s why I only shop alone, in order to spare my friends the frustration. Trust me, you don’t want to be there when I have to choose a paint chip from the hardware store.

But never mind. The good news is that, instead, I brought home some photos to add to Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors weekly feature.

The Glenhyrst Art Gallery of Brant is located on sixteen acres of landscaped grounds near the Grand River in Brantford, Ontario. I stopped by on my way back from my unsuccessful shoe-shopping excursion. I’d spent so much time in the shoe store that by the time I got to the gardens, the sun was nearly straight overhead and the light was pretty harsh. Alas, such is the cost of my poor decision-making skills.

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Okay, so in these photos the door looks a bit prison-like, but I promise – in real life it’s actually quite appealing.

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The property was purchased in 1914 by Edmund Cockshutt, of a prominent local industrial family, who bequeathed his home and gardens to the City of Brantford in 1956 with the intention that they be utilized as spaces for artistic and cultural activities.

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Mr. Cockshutt had taken great personal interest in horticulture and landscaping, and this was reflected in the gardens around his home. He shared his love of the space by making the grounds accessible to the public so everyone could enjoy them.

The main house is now an art gallery, hosting a variety of exhibitions, workshops and events.

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The door below leads to The Golden Teapot, a fancy tearoom within the main house.

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I also made some shots of the grounds, which are home to a few lovely art installations, but I’ll save those for another post. Or perhaps I’ll return to Glenhyrst for more photos on another morning, once the annuals have filled in, the light is just a little bit softer, and I’ve gathered up the courage to tackle the shoe store again.

I thank you for looking. 🙂