The Eight Thousand Mile Connection

The distance from Kitchener Ontario Canada to the heart of Wellington New Zealand (in a straight line is 8,728 miles – or 14,047 km).

Tonight was one of the two nights a week that JB (Judith) and I chat via FaceTime. Sometimes for forty-five min, or an hour and a half, and sometimes for two hours.

Tonight was a two hour fun-fest of frolicking fiddle-faddle and frequent flattery. ** a little recognition for JB’s alliterative attempt yesterday,

When one chats A World Apart there are all kinds of benefits. One is that these two kindred spirits have a bond that extends beyond time and place, perhaps even lifetimes.

And we have the eight thousand mile connection!

This is a magic condition of conversation in which we can say things to each other we would not tell another. In fact, often the sentence begins with, ‘I would never tell anyone else but…’

And every time we say this I think, ah the eight thousand connection.

Ideas, confessions, considerations, commiserations. All without judgement. We throw out ideas, suggestions, and talk about hopes and fears, and speculation.

And many times, like tonight, there is not a word about politics, news, or world conditions. Very indulgent.

I love FaceTime. I feel as comfortable in conversation as if we were sitting in each other’s living rooms.

Tonight in that two hours, one of the things we talked about is that if we lived close together, we probably would not be the great friends we are.

Does that surprise you?

You see, we are very different. At least in lifestyles and interests and experiences. At the same time we are very alike in lifestyles and interests and experiences. And humour.

Does that make sense to you?

Anyway, after that two hour chat up I just had to write about it, but now from North of 43 I am off to consider some of that conversation further!

Chris G September 14th ‘22

New members of the family

So I went to a great nursery yesterday and brought home two. No, not a human nursery. The other kind.

I felt the need to add a presence to my abode. Thought of a canine – but I am away for long hours – not fair. Thought of a feline, but really I don’t want fur over everything, and the hairless kind just don’t engender that cuddly reaction.

So I am going for a different life form.

So, it’s a start, right?

No green thumbs here but surely I can do this.

Oh and I am quite ignorant as far as names go, so if anyone knows what the top plant is please let me know!

So, from north of 43, I am off to talk to the additions. (I heard somewhere the plants like that)

Chris G September 12th ‘22

When your friend raves about a book do you automatically read it?

As many of you know JB ‘Judith’ and I became fast friends eleven years ago. Through WordPress. Kindred spirits.

We inspire each other, cheer each other one, commiserate when needed, and more than anything we laugh. Sometimes at each other. Our similarities are many. Our differences many more. But our humour is wicked and what tickles one, invariably tickles the other. And of course, this blog, A World Apart, is done jointly by us.

Like JB, I am a voracious reader. Our literary tastes can be quite different, though often the same.

The point I am trying to get around to is that I learn so many more new things from her than I think she does from me. And books are an example.

For instance, she really likes character driven and I am more plot driven. Btw, what do YOU prefer?

She likes stories where horrible things are overcome, and I run and hide. I like my fiction to be less so. Otherwise, the horrors of life are too real. But we share what we are reading, and what we are writing.

I always try her recommendations (unless it is about the ravages for war, or ravages of humans), and to be fair she always considers my recommendations. (although between you and me -SHHH- Through Black Spruce by Joseph Boyden ranks number one with me and she just can’t get through it)

Anyway, when we were FaceTiming the other day she mentioned Tea Cooper’s The Fossil Hunter. Another book she just couldn’t put down. I can’t find that this side of the world but I did pick up The Cartographer’s Secret by Cooper tonight at the library, and I am excited about starting it.

So while it is lovely sitting here at 10:59 p.m. chatting you up, I shall bid you adieu from North of 43, and settle down to at least starting this new adventure. (I hope it isn’t so gripping I won’t be able to put it down – I really need my sleep!

Chris G August 31st ‘22

When you’re finished walking all over your old friends then must walk away

When I buy something I try to buy exactly what I need. I don’t buy fancy dancy computers or TV’s. I just get something to match my needs.

I am the same with exercise equipment. (when I say equipment it really doesn’t mean EQUIPMENT). Again something to match my needs.

So a few years ago when I determined to start walking, you know, the old ten thousand steps a day, I bought a pair of Saucony walking shoes, based on a doctor’s recommendation and the preferred shoe of my literary fave character, Kinsey Millhone (Thanks Sue Grafton).

When I tucked them away pre-winter I kept in mind the delight I would feel when I got them out this spriing.

Yesterday, in a weird weather way, our temps here at North of 43 hit 20C.

Yea!! First day going for a walk with shoes – not boots. Such excitement.

Then I saw this:

Holy cow! What happened?

I had walked all over my dear exercise friends and now I had to walk away.

So I searched around for different kinds of walking shoes. Considered Asics, Adidas, Nike, New Balance – you get the idea. Tried them all on.

The only criteria was comfort and cushioning and of course some durability.

Skecher Street with Air-cooled Memory Foam

This shoe met my needs and wants for a reasonable amount of money. I don’t know how long these new friends will last but I will walk all over.

This is what I left behind, though there is still snow in out future:

They are an excellent walking boot (in need of some spit and polish) and I would be very happy to clean them up and story them away till next year.

I am off to clean my boots, walk to the library in our sunny 14C today and enjoy my shoes!

Whether your day is filled with old friends, new friends, or just a really comfy pair of shoes, I hope it is a good day.

Chris G Friday March 18th’22

You know how we all have THOSE days? (Or weeks or months or …)

First, a couple of things go wrong, tech glitches, dropping things, nothing major, then that darned old hip calls for use of a cane for a few days, easily overcome, then a couple of relationship difficulties, then more health irritations, and all of a sudden everything seems quite burdensome.

I don’t whine and snivel, at least not for a very long time. But my point is that things change and they are helped by good news and friends.

First the friends. I asked one for advice and it was excellent. She never ever says what to do or intrudes or gives opinion unless asked. Now how rare is that these days? She is the one I take shopping who is honest enough to say, ‘no that does not look good on you’, and then has me try on something I would never consider, just to have it become a favourite.

Then another dear friend sent me a couple of book and article suggestions that proved amazingly helpful. She knew exactly what I needed and led the way.

Then from Edinburgh comes a safe place to find comfort without judgement.

From Mexico comes the encouragement that began with a card that came with flowers many years ago when I had first been diagnosed with cancer, that said, ’BE BRAVEHEART’. Something that has been repeated over the years. From her I strive to be brave,

Then of course there is my partner-in-crime, A World Apart, JB who sent me these:

Besties by Ava William

Judith coined the phrase Sisters By Choice ages ago and it sure fits. Of course you can imagine from her posts that she is a woman who always knows the right thing to do and say. (I keep saying that when I grow up I want to be just like her but we know that’s not likely)

She taught her grandchildren well. Her company was called Dare to Dream and she says she talked a lot about it to the grandsons.

I have to say she helps me Dare To Dream.

I truly have amazing friends!

And the Good News keeps coming. The article linked to this title below warmed my heart and at the same time had me saying, YES YES YES

Mariann Home For a long time, having been in health care for 50+ years and worked through SARS I knew there had to be a better way to handle the whole COVID thing. **Big disclaimer here – I believe our leaders did the best they could, in the mist of panic and fear of an unknown virus, and of course in hindsight there would have been better paths so this is not a criticism. It is an acknowledgement that we could have done better.

Bernard Boreland did what the rest of us forgot to do, and that is to learn from the past. If you have a few minutes it is worth reading.

Proactive is an ideal we all seek in healthcare and he is a shining example.

Gotta say, this day smacks of good things.

So to all of you from North of 43 I wish you a day with some good things.

Chris G March 16th, ’22