I'm going to.....CALGARY!

Trip Start Jul 22, 2009
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Cousin Carole's Place

Flag of Canada  , Manitoba,
Monday, July 26, 2010

Calgary seems to be a better place to be going to then....let's say....Winnipeg.

Winnipeg seems to be the butt of everyone's joke as the last place on earth you would want to go to.

What did Winnipeg do to deserve such a reputation?

Let me count the ways. Mosquitoes. Cold. Floods. Cold. Crappy roads. Mosquitoes. Awful drivers. Cold. Mosquitoes. COLD. Snow. Crappy roads. etc. etc.

''You know you are a true Manitoban," says the e-mail joke, ''when you
know all four seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter, and road

There's the old airline commercial about the guy who gets on the plane expecting to be going to Hawaii and is sadly informed that he's going to Winnipeg...in January.

Then there's a recent episode of the TV show "How I met your Mother" where one of the characters, Robin, an ex-pat Canadian, is worried about being sent back to, of all places, Winnipeg, because her US work visa is about to expire.

And so, what have I been doing for the past (almost) 8 weeks back in Canada. I've  been touring Winnipeg on my bicycle, motorcycle, and jogging finding all the reasons Winnipeg is a great place.

I won't list all the reasons, because there are too many. Besides, this would be my list. We would all have different reasons to enjoy Winnipeg. My point? I was asked today what was/were the favorite places that I've visited during all my travels. I get asked that question a lot. My usual answer? There are none. Each place I visit is unique in what it has to offer and the trick is to find what you truly enjoy about that place.

If we expand that thought to life in general, that is, to identify something in every moment of every day that makes that moment truly enjoyable, even if you've just crashed your car, been laid off, are sick in bed with a massive migraine headache, we would all have a perfect life.

You're probably all saying, what kind of bull is that?

The big secret is that once you can start seeing beauty and good in all the crap in your life, amazing things start to happen. Like what you may be asking?

You get less crap! Yep! Try it. And then, don't give up when you don't start seeing it right away. You truly have to believe to arrive at the point I'm at.

Rewind 8 weeks. Arrived in Winnipeg.

Week 1-Stayed at my Mom & Dad's in Winnipeg.
Week 2-Stayed at my sister Elaine's place in St. Adolphe, just south of the city. Truck and trailer parked in their driveway since the day I arrived back in Canada.
Weeks 3 & 4-Drove to Calgary for (main reason) Alexis' year end dance recital. Subsidiary reasons. Attended 604 Moose's Annual Ceremonial Review and banquet. Met up with numerous individuals for  various (I will say) business reasons. I found out I am being audited by Revenue Canada. They don't seem to understand the "business" purpose of what I call/do in my business. I have had major losses the past 3 years since I started "What Is Inc". I do travel all the time. Have sold very few books and no photos. Those losses have reduced the amount of taxes that I paid during those years. If they disallow any of the expenses (major ones) I've claimed I'll be bankrupt in an instant. I'm already nearly there.
(note: the day I opened that audit letter was a CRAP day. And so, how can I find anything good with the high probability of bankruptcy? AWARENESS! I did work for that department for 20 years. I know how it works. I know the process. I know, if that is the way it's meant to happen, that going to court to show a judge that all that I've claimed is "reasonable" for what I am doing, the publicity that I could generate would make my book a best seller and catapult my photos into the limelight. Alternately, maybe I have to go bankrupt. Only time will tell the purpose of that event in my life.

There is no "BAD" in CRAP!

Enough about that. Where I stayed? Tried couchsurfing but the friends I know in Calgary that do that couldn't accommodate me but I did get a referral to a friend of a friend. And that resulted in some amazing "coincidences" (yes-they don't exist). Stayed there for a week, then at another friends place the second week (thanks Carol).
Week 5- Back in Winnipeg. Returned to my sister Elaine's place. Had a basement bedroom that was a little chilly when the air conditioner was running and dark and somewhat musty from the humidity.
Weeks 6 until whenever-Found Heaven. Not quite, but the next best thing for Winnipeg. Was driving back from Calgary when I get a message from my cousin Carole. She asked when I was getting back to Winnipeg and if I'd be interested in house sitting while she was in Florida. The house is currently For Sale (privately) and I'd have to show the place to potential buyers and cut the grass, etc. The house is in Saint-Boniface, the neighborhood I owned my first house in, went to high school and is across the river from downtown Winnipeg (ie. very centralized).

For the past 3 of 4 weekends I've been at the lake, near Gimli, where my brother has his RV permanently parked in a campground. Since I've moved into my cousin's house I've re-started biking and jogging. My longest bike ride was last Friday when I rode to Lower Fort Garry, a ride of 75 kilometres. I jog on alternate days from my bike ride days. Winnipeg is just starting to designate and build a bike pathway system. I head off in a different direction each day exploring the hidden gems of the city. Using my iPhone camera, I post these photos to my Facebook account. They are shown here with the captions I had posted on Facebook (sorry if they don't have my usual camera quality). Anybody who is interested in seeing all the captions(comments) I post on Facebook can add me as a friend and I'll accept (just note you're a travelpod reader).

Last week I had expected to leave on my motorcycle, heading north and then west, towards Alaska for a 10 week expedition. I plan, but the Universe seems to have other plans for me. I won't leave Manitoba until the house is sold or is rented out. My cousin and her family aren't planning on coming back from Florida.

My life now is, living life and knowing that I am always right where I should be at all times. I always get what I need. Life is to be enjoyed. Life is easy. There are no reasons to worry about anything. I see that all the time now.

When I moved into my cousin's place I preferred to have my trailer nearer so that I could get stuff out of it more easily. I couldn't park it here. Coincidentally (not) another of my cousins owns a business right next to the building my parents live in. They have a large parking/storage lot at the back of the building. My parent's apartment looks out on this lot. My truck and trailer is now parked there (only a few blocks from where I am staying).

This is the way my life is these days. I won't knock my sister Elaine's place. I appreciated having the room and a place to park my vehicles. I would have managed staying there for as long as I needed to. That was one of the reasons I had planned the trip to Alaska. Though they would never admit that I was "in their way", dynamics always change when someone new is around. I would have felt like I was in the way. But the Universe/God seems to know that I was going to be around longer and needed a place that I would be comfortable in and suited my "needs" better. Then  I received even more then I could have ever dreamed of.

That's how life is. We always receive more than we could ever dream of (that's a blog for another day).

There is CRAP in my life. Two of the three weekends that I was at the lake with my brother I had a massive headache and couldn't truly enjoy my time there. The first weekend back in Winnipeg I spent 3 days in bed with a massive migraine. One like those I haven't felt in years. That was when I was at my parents. My mom couldn't understand how I thought it was a good thing. Well, I use to have them like this at least once a month. Life is good when CRAP happens less often. I'd prefer to not have migraines at all, but the occasional one is definitely better then more often.

Life is all a matter of perspective. The more we've experienced, the more perspective we can have. I said "can" instead of "do" because all the experience in the world does no good if we don't follow through with awareness after the experience. Experience is a lesson to learn about our life. Without awareness all it is is something that happened. Life is NOT just something that happens!

Oh! I'm going to Calgary...just don't know when.

Think It! Feel It! Live It! and Love It!

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