Closing day

Don’t ask me why, but for some reason I am reminded today of what was informally called “Closing day” when I was practicing law.  It was, like this, a Friday (though normally at the end of the month) in the spring or summer when people customarily traded in real estate and it was always frantic. It was a day dedicated to dealing with mortgage companies and banks, skipping to and from the Land Registry office, exchanging telephone calls between solicitors’ offices and with clients, preparing paperwork and delivering keys. In all, a busy day from start to end.  And usually regaled, as we were today, with balmy weather beneath blue skies and fluffy white clouds.  The sylvan image is in this instance all the more mindful because of our recent entitlement to a spectacular upriver view from our new apartment.

I can see that my preoccupation with the riparian vista is not about to fade anytime soon. It is a hugely settling consequence of having had to undertake a less than desirable move from Jamieson Mills to Riverfront Estates.

To complete the theme of Closing day we began our day before 8:30 am this morning by driving into the city to conclude yet another medical appointment (we have a string of them each year upon our return to Canada). These periodic commitments similarly arise in the spring and summer as we too prepare for the approaching eventuality of our jurisdictional absence in the autumn and winter.

Before returning home following the medical appointment we got some Canadian cash, gassed up the car, bought a 90-day Season Pass car wash card and washed the car then picked up some household supplies.

This afternoon I took my first bicycle ride of the season (after having sat upon and moved about on a tricycle all winter on Key Largo). The transition back to a bicycle from a tricycle was not welcome.  My balance is not only unpredictable, it’s treacherous. After my short ride along the river and around the bend I immediately telephoned Bill Barrie of Almonte Bicycle Works and ordered a new tricycle.

Almonte Bicycle Works

I told Bill there was no rush because I’ve been informed there is an anticipated 6-week recovery from my upcoming knee surgery. Although the new tricycle will be the second I will have purchased within the past year (we left the first one in situ on Key Largo), I am not disappointed. The tricycle I bought on Key Largo has only one gear. It was barely acceptable for sea level cavorting. Bill Barrie immediately recognized that a tricycle for use in Almonte requires at least 7 gears. The hills here are hardly punishing; but one gear is too weak for even a moderate incline and wasted for even a moderate decline. We both agreed that 3 gears would be insufficient. Bill proposed a tricycle with 8 gears and disc brakes. I know he’ll pick the right model.  I trust his intelligence in these matters unequivocally.

One final note which unwittingly has some proximity to my former law practice (apart from the fact that Bill Barrie’s father and mother were clients of mine). I received a plaintive telephone call earlier this morning (while waiting in the car at the medical office) from another former client.  His wife had apparently been rushed to the emergency hospital in the city. So grief-stricken was the gentleman about his wife’s condition that he wished to know what if anything he should be doing about his wife’s testamentary or advocacy affairs. I explained that upon my retirement (almost ten years ago) my records had been handed to another younger lawyer in town.  I recommended that he call her to confirm. I explained that I am not now qualified to opine on legal matters (as I no longer have errors and omissions insurance through the Law Society of Ontario); and, that even if I contacted the younger lawyer on my client’s behalf she would not talk to me about his private affairs. I had represented my client, his wife and my client’s parents for almost 40 years.

I revisited similar recollections when another friend and former client shared with me some of her own memories. She is the daughter of our former landlord (and client) on the other side of the river. Curiously late this afternoon when I was on the balcony to get another snap of that incomparable riparian view I spoke with a couple who had formerly lived on White Lake across from Cedar Cove (nearby which my friend and her husband formerly lived; and where my friend’s parents maintained a summer resort for many years). The serendipity of these associations is beyond words! It fortifies my enduring love of Almonte and the people here whom I have been privileged to know.