Bucket list lite

I have another happy house I haven't mentioned yet. This one's of the drive-by variety, nestled among trees and shrubs overlooking the Groat Road ravine. When I lived in Edmonton's South side, that stately sentinel caught my eye with every trip up over the river. Now that I live on the North side, it greets me on my way home. I've never dared to take a picture - between hairpins turns and lack of shoulder, safety wins over beauty, but not without a sigh.

For years, I've dreamed of seeing its street side. Was it really as big as it looked from below the bluff? I wanted to walk that neighbourhood and track it down, even if the cliff view proved to be its better vantage. I began to take note of where it sat, to use the bridges as borders to narrow my search. One of these days, I'd tell my husband on yet another sighting, one of these days I'm going to find that back door.

In the end, it found me.

I wasn't out happy-house-hunting, or even fancy-house-watching. I was looking for free parking, and running late for a meet up outside the MEC. My eyes, scouring for gaps between "no parking" and "resident parking only", were at the perfect height to recognize the stickwork just beyond the foreground, that familiar white under gray-green.

I couldn't park there, but I came back later. I left the van idling while I snapped a few pictures and revelled in the completion of my little private quest. I felt awkward standing on that residential corner, squelching the urge to call out to any and all passersby that I was not, in fact, casing the joint, but indulging in a small act of local tourism. It's no Buckingham Palace, but I've seen it, just the same.

There are more glamourous items on my bucket list. I have places to go and sites to see that require far more funds and foresight than my little urban expedition. There are skills I'd love to master once schedule and brain-space allow. It's a list of dreams for a hazy tomorrow, one that, in the thick of dripping eaves and diaper changes, can seem so very far away. So I keep a running sub-list of more attainable goals, one comprised of festivals and restaurants, trails and light-rail-transit. I might not be mastering the cello or speaking Yupik, but I am learning to knit. The local museum isn't the Louvre, but that doesn't mean it's not worth a visit. And this old house is not a castle, but it was still sweet to find.

Life is for living, no matter the season. And our small joys are joys all the same.



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