Category Archives: Friends

A visit to Niagara Falls

I haven’t been to Niagara Falls in years, one of the main reasons was the crowds (something I am not a big fan of being disabled, easily bumped by others, and knocked down). So when my friend Suzanne was visiting me, and had travelled fourteen hours by plane, I figured I would just have to suck it up and deal with my crowd issues. We arrived in Niagara Falls before lunch, giving us plenty of time to walk from the parking lot located at the end of the falls, to the Skylon Tower where we were to have lunch.

The last time I was in the Skylon Tower was on my honeymoon ~ some twenty-eight years ago, it was night, and you really couldn’t see much. This time, we had a beautiful sunny day, so when we were seated in the restaurant, and luckily enough to have a window seat with a direct view of the falls, the scene was spectacular. Well in the restaurant, staff does not bother you as you snap picture after picture.

View of the Canadian and American Falls

Canadian and American Falls

View of the Niagara River from the Skylon Tower

View of the Niagara River from the Skylon Tower

View of the American Falls

View of the American Falls.

After lunch we took the elevator up to the observation deck, where you are outside, protected by a grill, that is large enough for your camera to fit through, enabling you to snap even more dramatic images.

Matt and I on the observation deck of the Skylon Tower

Matt and I on the observation deck of the Skylon Tower

After lunch we spent time walking and exploring the area, buying souvenirs, and of course taking more pictures.

An image of store staff wearing a t-shirt saying "200 years of Peace & Friendship, Canada & the USA"

I loved this t-shirt and the comment made by the staff member “Foreshadowing”

Image of Suzanne and I

Suzanne and I on one of the walking trails in Niagara

Tree lined garden

One of the many gardens surrounding Niagara Falls

Another garden by the falls

Another garden by the falls

I highly recommend you visit Niagara Falls at least once in your lifetime, you certainly will not be disappointed.

Trying something new

On the advice of my friend Suzanne, I’m tried something new today.  What did I do different? First I took my rarely used bicycle out of the shed, secured my helmet, and rode off to the local mall. Well I actually had to turn around at the corner and go back home, the back tire was deflated. Unlock gate, unlock house, route in jar of numerous keys for shed key, find key ring with numerous keys – forcing me to try one of many again to unlock shed, find tire pump, pump like mad woman so nozzle can fall off tire thingamajig numerous times, finally re-inflate tire, return pump to shed, lock shed, return keys to house, lock house, lock gate, ride off into sunset to mall.

Finally on my way, I debate riding on the sidewalk (which is illegal) vs the road. Decide on the road, only to almost get taken out by driver who obviously hates bike riders. After my near death experience I arrived at the mall. I go to the Bulk Barn to buy some steel-cut oats (one has to stay regular healthy), and dog treats. Eventually I grab a coffee and breakfast so I can sit down and write. In truth, I went to the mall for the sole intention of writing. It seems sitting at my computer lately just draws blanks.

These past three weeks have been a whirlwind of activity at our house with Suzanne visiting. I have played the tourist with her, as we toured the RGB (Royal Botanical Gardens), The Hamilton Farmer’s Market, Cootes Paradise, Lindsay Ontario, Aylmer Ontario, Port Dover Ontario, and Niagara Falls Ontario. On bad chronic pain days for me, Suzanne went out on her own walking – and boy can that woman walk, 14 kilometres one day alone! (Note: Suzanne came over quite aware, that there would be days, she would have to go it alone while I rested). Middle child graciously did fill in for me a number of times, taking Suzanne to the mall, and for a walk at Albion Falls.

The visit to Aylmer and Port Dover (where our grandmother used to live) was on the invitation of my sister, who was interested in checking out some handmade Mennonite dining room tables. Afterwards, she thought it would be nice to have lunch on the beach in Port Dover. So on a very raining Saturday, my sister drove into town to pick us up. With umbrella’s on hand (I borrowed my husband one and only, supposedly favourite umbrella, which was later turned inside out, and left broken by an extremely strong wind gust, that amazingly left me unscathed (did he ask me that – Nooo!)) Anyways, the furniture was gorgeous, though nothing was purchased, except of course slippers by me, that middle child keeps trying to steal (payback for hubby’s umbrella?)

It seemed the rain was not going to let up, nevertheless it did not put a damper on our lunch, the scene reminded my Wales-born friend of home.

Picture of the rain hitting the restaurant window.

Before you ask, I have no idea why the restaurant decided to plant palm trees on the beach.

Friendships and communication

There are various types of friendships one can have close friends, acquaintances, work friends, Facebook friends, Twitter friends, friends made through blogs, and the list can go on to add pretty much whatever you want. I have one close friend, my bff (best friend forever) and she has been my friend for thirty years or so. When we met she was the girlfriend of my boyfriend’s (now husband) best friend. We have remained friends through her divorce, remarriage, deaths, the births of our children, she was in the room when I had my second child, we have laughed together and have been sad together. If I needed her this very minute, I know I could phone her and she would be here in a second. Months ago, my son was doing his best to cheer his mom up who was falling apart one day, he phoned my bff in secret and asked her to come by after work because mom was having a hard time. She came.

I have been on Twitter for two years, 9 months, 2 days, so many minutes and seconds (there’s an app). During this time I have chatted with people from all over the world and made friends with some. It wasn’t long after I was on Twitter, that one of the tweeps I spoke with asked if anyone wanted to be her penpal, thus write letters back and forth, the old fashion way. I said sure why not? It was something I have not regretted. We have written goodness knows how many letters during the past two years and have become good friends. I know all about her family, her ups and downs, and she knows the same about me. When my eldest daughter was in grade two, the teacher set up a letter writing exercise with a grade two class from another school. My daughter’s penpal ironically ended up being a cousin she rarely saw, it was so cool. When I was young, penpals were all the rage, now with instant messaging, Facebook, Twitter, etc, children/teenagers don’t have the experience like we did long ago. Cursive writing isn’t even taught in some schools and kids use short forms for speaking with their friends.

Even though the computer has changed the way we communicate with each other, friendships will continue on, we will not become blips on the screen, at least I don’t think so.