Purging

 

Let’s talk about stuff!I Do you feel happy in your living space?

I never did.

From the start of the time my husband and I began living together, we somehow inherited stuff. My Mother would show up with a painting or a carpet, with a story, and somehow I had to be grateful that I got a fancy carpet from a far off land, or a painting from a street artist in Mexico who my parents adored and bought 6 paintings from. My in-laws would show up with a chair, or a whole sideboard that my husbands grandfather had built, and well, it didn’t fit anywhere else, so we were supposed to house it.

All of these things, began adding up. We packed our 2 bedroom apartment and moved west. We purged once. Then it started again. We began collecting, collecting, I am not sure what, but with baby, dog and new hiking adventures, our tiny 2 bedroom condo swelled. We then got a storage locker!

The storage locker housed antiques (that damn lady’s chair went there), and so did a whole china set. As our son went through stages, his stuff went into storage… Then, we decided to move back east. We purged again, but I don’t think the purging went well. We moved with a full 20 foot container.

We were excited to move into a house, and finally have space. Then it happened. One trip to Ikea, and the house began to fill again. My Mother started arriving with paintings, and odd pieces of furniture. My in-laws could drive to us, and began giving us a chair here, a chair there. Our house became the dumping ground of crap no one else wanted, including us, but we were supposed to be grateful that we had a chair to sit on, or a chair to stare at.

We moved again. This time, we couldn’t purge, and we moved into an even bigger house. Shelves filled, we inherited more stuff, and somewhere, I got more anxiety, and hated the space.

We needed to change.

As I looked around the house, nothing reflected us, our personalities, or what we were about. We had antiques, Ikea furniture, odd bedding, books, pewter picture frames… it just seemed endless. With all that stuff, we missed out on a couple of trips, because well, we bought stuff instead of experiences.

Since we were renting, we thought 4 years of this is enough. We were done being surrounded with crap.

In a haze, I started dumping things in the middle of the room. I didn’t want to be surrounded by a past that wasn’t mine, or other people’s guilt of not keeping things.

The more stuff we began to get rid of. The more free I felt, the happier and lighter I became. I simply wanted to start over.

We decided to move into a tiny 1956 bungalo, and bring everything that made us happy, nothing more. So far, I have 2 weeks left of purging one house and moving into the the other. In total, we have made 25 trips to Salvation Army, and had one load go to a neighbour, and one load go to Habitat for Humanity.

I am stunned with what we are left with.

 

Port Colborne

It was a perfect day to pack a picnic and head out to a new town. We picked Port Colborne, a fantastic town just along lake Erie, and the historical Welland Canal. Port Colborne is North of St. Catharine’s, where St. Catharine’s in my opinion has very little charm, Port Colborne has charm and history coming out of its wazoo.

There is a fantastic bike/walk trail that runs along the canal, and has the most spectacular scenery. It is nice, flat, and long stretch. We decided to pack our son’s scooter, so that he could scoot and we walk the whole way. It turned out the be a fantastic decision, as it he loved combining scooting with walking, then sitting and watching the ships come in.

“The Welland Canal is important because of its ability to move ships full of cargo up and down the Niagara Escarpment and therefore contribute to the economic growth and development of Canada and the United States. Approximately 40,000,000 metric tonnes of cargo is carried through the Welland Canal annually by over 3,000 ocean and lake vessels. What makes the Welland Canal fascinating is how it moves these ships up and down the escarpment. The canal utilizes its most abundant resource – water, combined with the Earth’s gravity to lift and lower ships in a watertight chamber called a lock. It is an example of brilliant, yet simple innovative engineering.” Welland Canal. 

The Canal trail is easy to find, as it is along the actual canal. It is relatively flat, and paved wich makes it stroller friendly for families.

What to pack:

Sunscreen, plenty of it. On a summer day, with the breeze, it can be easy to forget how quickly one can burn.

Walking shoes

Money for ice cream

Bathing suits and picnic for the end, where there is a great splash park, park, and picnic area. It includes a chip stand, washroom and ice cream stand. What is not to love about that!

Watching ships come in along the canal

Walking over the lift bridge, looking up and seeing the house perched on top.

 

These 2, enjoying the walk/scoot. By the end, the little man was so tired, Daddy pulled him along on his scooter.

The trail is pretty well-marked, you can’t exactly miss it.

 

The architecture is absolutely fantastic.