Thoughts, quirky insights and experiences in my meandering life.

Taking down the walls, building a foundation

As my new departure date draws near, November 4th instead of December 12th, the full implication of what I am doing is bearing down on me, or is it bearing me up, or just carrying me along.  Chapters of my life are ending and new ones beginning at the same time.  Just like normal life really, but highlighted at this moment, for me anyway, because so much is ending and beginning, and not so much continuing.   Except for the long threads of friendship, family and memory that wind through me and are my foundation.  Yes, I am thinking of things in such terms at this moment, even if it does sound grandiose.

So, I am in the middle of taking down the walls of my life, ending my 35 year long massage therapist career, teaching career, habitation at 72 Hastings Avenue.

Clematis: Fireworks, on the garden arch


Saying goodbye, at least for now, to friends with whom I have had breakfast most Saturday mornings for nearly 16 years, my Monday night knitting group, my Friday night dinners with Katherine, walking Zoey and my previous dogs at Ashbridges Bay and lots of other wonderful events and connections.

But I am also building a new foundation.

“My” tree at Ashbridges Bay. Much photographed through all seasons.

Or I should say a few new foundations.  In my mind the one and a half story garage in Owen Sound is already transformed into a workshop with bigger windows, great lighting, and heating, so that I can use it all year.

Can’t seem to picture edit tonight, and display needs some work, but it is a beginning

There are stations on both floors that are ready for me to work with wool and make felt, make jewellery from stones I have collected, or will collect in the future.

Pebble beach I would love to visit again near my brothers home.  What great colours.  What great pickings

Pebbles and pearls

And of course, make things out of leather because I am attending Scuola del Cuoio, School of Leather, in Florence next summer.

The leather workshop that grabbed my attention


Or making things out of felt, pebbles and leather and who knows what else, all in one piece.


And holding workshops, and asking others to come and teach, and and and.  As far as the mind can imagine.

But that is jumping ahead.  Between now and then there is a whole year.  I am delighted and awed that friends and family are joining me on my adventure.  Over the last few weeks I have met with  family and friends, and have more to come, to look at maps, talk about routes, investigate the logistics of getting together.  No easy task when I am floating down a canal with no fixed address.  I am honoured that people are creating trips for themselves, creating a curve in their lives to meet up with the curve of my life, both on the boat and in Florence.  These days I often think about a pebble dropping in a pond and ripples that it causes.  The effect on many lives that one event can have.  This, I hope, is a happy pebble, causing happy ripples.

Do I sometimes worry about the changes I am making.  About leaving my home,

White clematis, don’t know the name. Harbinger of summer

friends, community, the street party I helped to create, the wide circle of friends that weave into and enrich the fabric of my life.  Yes, I do.  But one thing is certain about life, it is always changing, whether we like it or not.  So I could hold on tight to the way things are, or jump off into a different future.  So I am packing up my house, and packing my bags.  Making room for jewellery tools, canal books, maps and maps and maps.  Of England, but also Europe for the drive to Florence after arriving by ferry in Amsterdam.  I am scared, a little intimidated, but ready, although sad that my much loved canine companion, Zoey, will not be with me.


It seems as though I develop the blog in my mind, and sit and write it in one shot.  I edit a bit the next day, but I am no grammar expert or linguist so this is my best effort.  That aside I had to add that over the last while Toronto has felt claustrophobic, too much going on.  On my street and back alley two garages have been built, two houses roofed (one accompanied by  loud obnoxious music), a front garden landscaped with diggers and saws cutting stone.  It has felt hard to get away from the noise and intensity, extra traffic and dirt.  As if to kick me on the ass as I am leaving Toronto, a jack hammer started up on Hastings at 7 am this morning.  No retirement  sleep for me!




Moving Day


  1. Glen and Anne-Siri

    So exciting and brave Maggie! We look forward to following your journey with you.

  2. Sara Anne Campbell Leigh

    I Love it.
    Never stop doing the scary things that enrich our soul and lead us to our authentic creative and beautiful selves. We drop the stone in the water but make sure everyone in the boat is ok, because we care back. Thank you for caring and sharing,

    I wish you Happy travels, find your new centre and we’ll see you soon, hugs Sara.

  3. Kate

    Big changes for sure, Maggie! And kudos to you for being so brave to take them on. Looking forward to following your meandering adventures!

  4. Sandra D Wilton

    Good for you Maggie. You really are amazing. I would never dream of taking such a big step.
    Looking forward to seeing you in June.

    • Maggie

      Thanks Sandra. I have been planning it for so long that it seems normal now, although the final goodbyes are tough, even if I know I will see people again. You are on my list to call to talk about your visit! Expect a call very soon.

  5. You are inspiring! Have shared your story (the little I know) with friends who are equally inspired. Happy trails and be safe!

  6. Gail

    Way to go Maggie. You’re amazing and brave. Embrace the change, have fun and go live your best year to date. Love the blog!!! I’m looking forward to some classes in your garage when you get back. Also you let me know when you have a spare week or two in Florence. ? I’ll miss you.

    • Maggie

      Thanks Gail
      I am changing the sign up system so after Monday there should be no problem getting the list!

  7. Christine A

    Maggie, your writing is vivid and heartfelt. Thanks for sharing your adventure and the feelings that go with it. You are one brave, kind woman. Bon voyage, my friend.

  8. Chris Caron

    I love reading your blog and reflections Maggie! Your transitions remind me of the wonder of taking on new adventures while acknowledging what has inspired and nurtured you in the past. bon voyage on a tranquil and inspiring trip dear friend, ?

  9. Elaine Lithwick

    So admire your determination to take risks that will.only enrich your soul.

    Safe travels for sure.

    Will miss your sharing at ww Friday meetings.
    All the best of everything

  10. Gail heaslip

    Wow Maggie. Haven’t seen you in years but you’ve always held a special place in my heart. Looking forward to following your journey into the next phase of your life. Thanks for the blog! Big hugs. Gail

    • Maggie

      Lovely to hear from you Gail. I catch your posts on fb when I check in there. I hope the skiing was good. No snow here but maybe this eeek!

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