As the sweaty mid-summer heat hovers near my sealed window I consider myself very lucky to have a small but comfy room in my daughters’ house in London, Ontario. Amy has taken me from my troubles and allowed me to work on my future plans while she still works hard every day providing for and guiding the development of her girls.
The room has the benefit of being on the top floor with 2 air conditioners to mollify the dreadful sultry days that been with us this July and is pretty much mine to wander throughout the day while the family is away at work and school. I am alone for my own entertainment from early morning until they return in the late afternoon by which time I have hopped one of the icy cool transit buses which takes me pretty much anywhere in the city for a $1.40.
My usual routine begins at about 7:30 when I begin my morning with strong espresso and by archiving the past 12 hours of news and spectacularly stupid antics of our world leaders and I sift through the stories and images until about 10 when I make some kind of breakfast, granola, fruit or a bagel and sometimes an egg or cheese.
It has become easier in the past month to actually believe I have some kind of a life ahead of me with accepting my departure from Wolfville and possibly Nova Scotia and deliberating on the possible direction of tomorrow. I have waffled, even on an hourly basis, with a choice of where do I live, what do I live in and where will I put all the stuff that now sits in a dark uninsulated storage bin in the Annapolis Valley. I dare say that the accumulation of possessions has forced a warped view on my choices and will be key to making a choice of whether I commit to a physical space or continue to visit friends and family and poke through my prized cartons of pictures and electronic wires on my visits to my Zoo friends in Aylesford.
I have been torn in my decisions by a number of critical factors.
First and most important has been to secure an oncologist that will help in the maintenance and monitoring of my prostate cancer tumours which appear every couple of years and which require hormone therapy to shrink and give me a few more worry free years. An appointment at the end of August will put my new program with OHIP in place and take away some of the uncertainty of this treatment.
Second element is financial. After a lifetime of self-employment and only modest contributions to the CPP I am hoping to be a recipient of an income supplement which will provide me with some breathing room for living and sustaining myself for a few years more. In my last life in Nova Scotia I believed that as a significant contributor to home and lifestyle maintenance I would have earned a long term spot in the dependent category and I could have existed on my combined OAS and CPP. Such was not to happen and here I am forging a new path with help from the system. Thanks to you all.
Third element is lifestyle. I have followed a path painted with very broad strokes which has taken me in many directions and on a multitude of tangents. Where it came from I do not know as I was the only child of two very mainstream and affable souls who gave me no reason to escape to or from.
Fixed address is the condition I wrestle with daily, waking each day with a new enthusiasm for the previous nights thoughts and conclusions and then as I wander the city streets of London or poke through he small towns of Ontario and Nova Scotia I cringe at the thought of routine and the predictability of each day and revisit all the options again in the early hours of my slumber. My age and a noticeable delays in mobility have me thinking that my condition will not improve, unless I increase my workout regimin and stop with the beer, and that staying in one place may give more peace of mind and be more gentle on my aging ankles.
Mobility is key to my emotional health, whether it be trucking the backroads in search of an undulant forest, eating rice and beans in a thatched hut in South America or just waking each day to new smells and sounds. To experience mobility simply expects you to be mobile and more specifically, have a vehicle. To this end, with exclusive travel in N.America, I will consider a new vehicle but in doing so I will reduce my travelling expectations abroad in the colder months as this option will take up $600 a month (gas, ins. Loan ) and leave me with less than $750 for all else. The other vehicle option is to buy a 10-12 year old reliable winter beater style and reduce my monthly commitments by $300-400 per month. Traveling around the country in an 2002 ford focus will let me keep about $1000 in my jeans to live. The vehicle option also precludes the need for a permanent residence, at least for the next few years, as I move around the country much as a nomad. I would still need a room with my daughter for shoulder seasons and residency requirements.
Adventure into the unknown brings my imagination alive. There is nothing to compare with the planes wheels almost flat on impact with some new terrain as the great heap of metal readies to spit me out and into a new living experience the like of which I have never seen. The photos taken and the food eaten will always, as my health dictates, encourage me to keep some resources ready for a journey into the other Americas.