It is with no immoderate smugness that I report having done little of consequence today. Indeed so persuaded am I by my ardor and proportional indolence that I have every hope of prolonging the happy fortuity. As a told my erstwhile physician only yesterday upon his return from Antiqua (several weeks after his sojourn in Sarastoa and three weeks prior to his scheduled departure to Buenos Aires en route subsequently to the South Pacific) I derive unlimited delight in having yesterday concluded the last of my outstanding agenda (coincidentally a rally with a locum filling in for my current physician who was by further chance visiting his family on Longboat Key). I mention these itinerant details because they contrast so remarkably with our own diminutive plans for the immediate future. Nor am I in the least remorseful to say so. Age is catching up with me; and, I feel that I am unwittingly though skilfully learning how to deal with the apodictic decomposition and transition.
If I were to attempt to excuse my incongruity with such enviable exploits as those of my erstwhile physician (and a small number of others whom I know such as he) I can only say in my defence that this afternoon I exhausted my diminished mobility to the 10th degree by shopping for a suitable picture frame. Yesterday while cleansing old files and shredding ancient records we unearthed a stirring family photograph attached to its original cardboard mat. Surprisingly the search for an appropriate frame (we began with gusto mid-morning at the local Dollar Store) was a blunt and unanticipated challenge. The original photograph (black and white of my 20-year old mother holding me at 2 months in her arms, possibly taken on the Queen Mary ocean liner from Montréal to England) measured approximately 6″ X 8″. This it turns out is an uncommon specification for picture frames. We left with nothing.
Defeat of any nature is not something I take willingly. And certainly not cheerfully. I was haunted by the stifled endeavour. After abandoning the project for several hours while we attended to other more compelling necessities like buying homemade tourtière pie and requisite pharmaceuticals, I resolved to give it one more try. There was a Winners near the car wash in Stittsville.
When I drove along Hazeldean Road in Stittsville, and as I entered the roundabout nearby Winners, I caught sight of HomeSense.
HomeSense (stylized as Homesense in Europe and the United States) is a Canadian chain of discount home furnishing stores owned by TJX Companies. It originated in Canada in 2001, and was expanded to Europe in 2008 and the United States in 2017. Outside of the United States, the chain is comparable to the TJX-owned HomeGoods. Within the US, where HomeGoods already operates, it features more big ticket items than its sister store.
Evidently the Christmas spirit is already in full vigour. There was nowhere to park, least not close by. I ended parking at the furthest top corner of the huge parking lot. Once stationed I grasped my stick with its silver dog head and began the trudge to my destination. It was a long, arduous crawl. My broken ribs have never healed completely or they have been overtaken by mounting and irrepressible arthritic pain. My left knee has not yet fully recovered from replacement surgery. And this morning’s tricycle ride of 3.98 Km along the river wasn’t making the journey any less taxing. But I pressed onward. There is more than one star in the east at this time of year.
At last I arrived inside the store. It was enormous. The first demand was to locate the area where they might possibly sell picture frames (a possibility which, by the way, I had hardened in my mind as foreseeable judging merely by what I had seen when passing by the windows earlier while looking for a parking spot). I eventually found the correct department. But once again there was nothing approaching 6″ X 8″. After looking at everything, examining several, and about to give up, I spotted a wooden slightly “distressed” frame which captured my attention. It was 5″ X 7″. I bought it. Then came the privilege of standing in a long cue towards the cashiers. A rather fashionable young lady standing ahead of me (with a cart laden with toys for children) offered to permit me precede her. I declined the offer, saying there were so many others ahead of her, it likely made no difference. I did of course thank her for her kindness. By the time I got to a cashier (the number of cashiers had meanwhile been increased to handle the traffic) I was in a state of dissolution. The clerk offered to wrap the picture frame in tissue but I declined, asking instead for a bag. They no longer provide bags. Thus I had the further indignity of having to carry my $9.95 frame (not including taxes or bag) in my left hand as I regained control of my stick and hobbled out the store, progressively folding as I passed through the parking lot and beyond where I had parked. I had forgotten my precise parking location. I wasn’t far off but I can tell you every footstep mattered and it was a welcome respite finally to throw myself onto the driver’s leather seat.
I won’t say my opposition was over but I will report that I had to engage in some calculated snipping and positioning to get the photograph into the crevice below the glass (which of course had to wiped clean with Zeiss Lens Cleaner I thankfully had at hand in my desk drawer).
Completing this particular competition is coincidental to the other clean-ups we continue to initiate. The conflicts arise from having stalled our adjournment to our current digs for six months on Key Largo last year. Our stuff literally sat here unattended for a full half-year as we precipitously vanished last November mere hours after getting the keys. Clearly there is no escaping the critical elements of life, among them being shelter. But as I indicated from the outset the predominant coloration is triumph. There are now remaining so few if any outstanding preoccupations that I can gleefully account welcome submission to foreseeable unblemished platitude. I caution however that the bromide is not entirely for the faint of heart. Old age like every other advantage comes at a cost. Similarly however the ascendency enjoys its own incomparable benefit. I am at that point. What more favourable disposition than a quiet day?