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TToT: Peppers and Leaves #10Thankful

Why did I write? Because I found life unsatisfactory.
–Tennessee Williams


I don’t know if I can complete this challenge today, but here is a lovely list that I can share, from someone else.

The Building Blocks of an Extraordinary Life

Oh wait! I got some.

This week has had its good points, for sure, but it’s ended on a negative one and I needed to count my blessings even more than I needed sleep apparently.

And so, I am writing.

Ten Things of Thankful:

For Terry Fox.

The Relentless Terry Fox

He is a household name for Canadians. We hold him up as the spokesman for cancer, even all these years after his death.

There are so many diseases out there, but we’ve all been touched by cancer. He did an amazing thing, walking across Canada, with his artificial leg. He and I are part of the artificial body part club. And although he died four years before i was even born, I will always remember the Terry Fox run, at my school, every September.

During those years that I was too sick, myself, to run, I thought of him, running.

My sister-in-law does the run, every year, as a tradition with her mother. It’s something they do together and which means a lot to them both. Maybe she will carry on that tradition with my niece.

For the 1000 Voices Speak For Compassion blogging movement.


I know the reality. It has been many months, the eighth month of doing it, and the number of participants taking the time to write a blog post about the theme of compassion and linking it up with the others has lessened over the past few months.

Why did I think the drive for more compassionate vibes put into the universe could last?

It’s sad that this is just one more thing that can not be sustained, not unlike love or happiness, in many cases.

I still have hope for it, and my role in it. I thank it for giving me something positive, like this weekly blogging challenge does, for keeping me hoping for more good in this world and for the chance to focus on the positives.

For a friend trusting me with her most prized possession.

Unfortunately, she had a death in the family and needed someone to watch her baby girl for a few hours, while she attended the funeral service.

I was honoured she asked and that I got to spend the morning with a sweet little girl. She played, danced, and napped in my lap on the front porch swing. I hated to give her up when her mother returned.

I like to think she is seeing me enough, that she’s begun to recognize me when she sees me each time, a little more and more.

For scones and scrubs.

I enjoyed some delicious scones: peach and strawberry. The peach ones had a touch of cinnamon and the strawberry ones reminded me of strawberry and vanilla muffins.

So decadent and obviously made with real cream and butter. I never realized how wonderful scones were, not until recently.

And for scrubs. I realize the two make a strange pair, but I wanted a pair of comfy pants, just to hang around in, like someone that I know once did, and he was right.

I am loving the comfort and I can pretend that I am a nurse.


For my favourite season.

12 Beautiful Photos of Canadian National Parks in Autumn

September 23rd was the first day of fall and I couldn’t be happier.

So many people hate winter and fall comes before. I feel it gets a bad rap personally, because of this, but, in my opinion, it truly is the most transformative of all of the four seasons.

I never could see the colours of the changing leaves, not even when I had more sight, but there is something about that leaf scent in the air and the smell of a bond fire in the crisp, cool air – all of which I am grateful to have, living in Canada.

For lunch with friends.

Again, I got to spend an hour or two with the same adorable girl and her equally lovely mother.

An old friend was home for two family weddings and she joined us. It was nice to catch up and she’d said we needed to have some cake to celebrate my recent publishing success.

Well, she had to cut out and get back to wedding prep on the family farm, but she made sure to treat us to the lunch and to add a piece of cake to the bill when she generously paid.

The cake was hazel nut and amazing too.

For the chance to live near and to spend time in a diverse city like Toronto.

I came for a visit and it always amazes me, when I am here, just how many different people, from all places and races, that are all living in one city like that.

For a new cultural experience at a Cultural Days event.

I attended my very first Pow Wow.

A few weeks back I introduced a friend to rural, small town life and she returned the favour by introducing me to a big city pow wow in the park.

It was just nice to witness a gathering that was obviously filled with nothing but positivity and pride in one’s culture.

The Native Peoples of Canada are something I only learned about in school textbooks growing up. I didn’t get to be in contact with them. This was a place and a time for a broader understanding. I felt a connection there, as I imagine many people must feel when meeting me, a blind woman, or anyone with a disability for that matter. It’s something new and different, which takes time to get used to.

The music and the dancing were the entertainment. It was drumming and chanting and, I’m sure, colourful costumes. Not to mention vender after vender, selling skins, beads, jewelry, herbs such as sage, and so much more.

For Toronto’s TTC.

I said something horrible to a friend and I felt embarrassed and ashamed after. I just hope it’s not the sort of thing that is unforgivable because I know, in life, that there are some things that are said that can’t be unsaid.

She’d gone out of her way to invite me into her home and didn’t deserve to be attacked. I don’t know where it came from and afterward I broke down. The ride on the streetcar gave me time to collect myself and take some deep breaths. I needed that time and the ride so I could compose myself.

For peppers: green, red, orange, and yellow.

Like the leaves that are green in spring and change into other bright shades for fall, I thought of the beauty and the splendour of peppers and leaves. I hope for the changing of seasons and the colours that come along with that change.

But I do love those green ones best.


I was riding a Toronto streetcar and thinking, feeling really, that although I was surrounded by people, I’d never felt more lonely.

That made me think of the Jann Arden song

The Sound Of…

and the question of when we feel lonely and when we feel alone, the difference between the two, and how the two interchange.

That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.
–F. Scott Fitzgerald

Being in Toronto just got to me I guess, not turning into the weekend I’d envisioned when I’d decided to go, and I took that out on someone who did not deserve it and on a city that didn’t either, rather than deal with the feelings I was increasingly feeling.

Being in a city like Toronto makes me feel inadequate because I see so many people, all going about their lives, and I know I don’t fit in here.

Whether it’s feeling like my blindness is a burden on others.

Or that my body betrays me at every turn.

I need to be thankful for something.

Note: Kerry asked me to finish this TToT post, as she met a guy in a grocery store, in Toronto, and went out clubbing with him all night long. She hasn’t been heard from since.

P.S. Only kidding mom and dad. You had to be there.


14 thoughts on “TToT: Peppers and Leaves #10Thankful

  1. On occasion I’ve been known to snap at someone who did nothing to deserve it just because I was frustrated or overwhelmed by circumstance, so I’m very familiar with the remorse that always follows. I’m sorry you had to deal with that this week.

  2. while you will see the term ‘hypo-gratitude’ in and about the TToT (well, maybe mostly only in the Doctrine’s TToT) I am quite sincere in the value of the concept. Speaking for myself (a gratitude-appreciating-challenged person), I believe that in an exercise such as the TToT, writing about the things that are not clearly good and positive can play a positive role… provided, as you post today does, you can place it (the event, the thought, the action) in the full context of real life. Bad things do happen, we all do bad things (sometimes), but writing about (them) with the perspective that is almost mandatory for a ‘successful’ TToT post makes these ‘negative’ instances what, in fact, they are… part of life.
    enjoyed your post
    (totally disagree with how Fall is anything but the horrible end to the only good season of the year…. lol)

  3. valj2750 says:

    Kerry, you found much joy in a week that wasn’t such a fun one. I’m glad your experience of Fall includes the smells and the crispness, which add to season. I do love Fall scented candles (even if I’m a summer girl) like apple and spice. And I like the red, yellow and orange peppers better than green, I guess it is the sweetness in them. Have a wonderful week and hug that baby girl as much as you can, it’s good for the soul

    • Holding her while she slept was definitely the most peaceful I have felt in a long time.
      You are right. I love the scent of pumpkins, Apple, and all fall things. I seem to be in the minority, when it comes to which peppers I like best. Red is my favorite color but not my favorite pepper.
      Thank you for reading.

  4. Kristi says:

    I hope your loneliness passes soon. It is possible to feel lonely while surrounded by people, but it’s also possible to feel connected to others while alone. I imagine everyone has felt both at some point or another.
    I love fall, too, and am waiting for the weather to cool down here!

    • Yes. Both are definitely possible.
      Another fan of this season. Enjoy the cool autumn days. They are on their way, depending on where you are. I am getting my sweaters out just to be prepared.

  5. Fall is also my favorite season – that made my list this week as well.
    I don’t think the #1000Speak is dying out…maybe just regrouping a little. It got very big very fast and I don’t know that everyone was quite prepared for that. There’s ebb and flow in life…I think it will surge again. 🙂

    • I know what you mean. I was so excited, last winter, to participate, but recently it has been this that has been my focus. I hope I can be a part of both in the future. Glad to know you through both as well.

  6. The scones and cake and lunches sound so lovely..and I envy you able to enjoy the fall weather..in spite of eyesight problems..We have a few leaves change color here in November..around Thanksgiving..but it just isn’t enough..especially when it comes with warm weather. This week, I think I also hurt a friends feelings. She has moved and asked me when I would come visit. I quite honestly told her “never”. Not that I wouldn’t love a visit, but it just isn’t realistic. She has plenty of money and cannot understand not taking off at a moments notice. Sorry to hurt her feelings, but I am dealing with my own situations. I hope you don’t feel alone in what happened.

    • They were all delicious.
      Yes, I guess it’s a little like Christmas in California. As a Canadian girl I just wouldn’t feel right about the holiday without snow.
      Friendships are hard to maintain. They grow and change and ends for all kinds of reasons. Thank you for your kind words.

  7. I enjoyed reading your TTofT. I remember the first Christmas I experienced back in California, after we’d moved north. Somehow experiencing a warm sunny Christmas day just didn’t seem right.

    Most people, if not all, have said something that they regretted. What is important is what we take away from that experience and what we do in the future. Sometimes painful experiences are the best teachers, unfortunately.

    I hope you have a good week.

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