Just a thought… For everything you have missed, you have gained something else. [Ralph Waldo Emerson]
I’ll start with a brief mention of yesterday’s big news: the tsunami alert that was sent out across coastal BC after that massive earthquake up north of us in Alaska. There were warnings and evacuations, all of which Rob and I slept through, as we have our phones set on airplane mode. I even missed a call from Breakfast Television in Toronto (sorry Kevin and Dina)! But all is well, there was no tsunami and many people here are now questioning their emergency preparedness.
Rob and I live about 125 metres above sea level; in fact, Dean Park – our area – is where some people brought their families to wait out the warning. As we say, thankfully, all’s well and the waters rose at most by just three centimetres.
I can’t lie. There are some things I miss about Toronto and I mean A LOT. Besides, of course, our human connections, our biggest has to be the cultural scene. When I think of the shows that came through that Rob and I had the opportunity to see (and as part of my job, at that!) I so miss all of the Mirvish Productions and other great entertainment offerings. Am I ever going to see Come From Away? Maybe in April when we make our way east again…I’ll have to check and see what’s in town!
Like the Joni Mitchell song goes, “You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.” This past weekend we flew to another city and stayed two nights in a hotel with the primary (and initial) aim of seeing a comic that I’m sure I’d have passed on if he came to Massey Hall on a weekend and we were at the cottage. We were so dedicated to our cocooning time that I know we missed out on a lot and now I’m realizing just how much. This summer, for example, Jeff Lynne’s ELO show is coming to TO. What? In my entire lifetime I never thought I’d see Electric Light Orchestra and there they’ll be. GAH!
Last week, I was having a coffee meeting with a few women from the area whom I’ll be interviewing at a future Peninsula Newcomers’ luncheon. One of them asked me, upon hearing I’d moved here from Toronto, whether I could adjust to the much slower pace. I said it was no problem at all – that some of my favourite memories were made in sleepy cottage country towns. But I do miss the live performances. Yes we have them here – 70s/80s singer-songwriter Valdy performed locally this month, Jann Arden was here in December and Hedley is coming to town in a few weeks – but ELO? That’s a big N-O.
And so it was that when we found ourselves with a Saturday afternoon free in our host city, we were thrilled to find that there was a performance of a play by the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer August Wilson. The seventh of a ten-part Pittsburgh Cycle of plays (of which the incredible Fences was one), Two Trains Running was nominated for a Pulitzer and won Tony Awards on Broadway. On Friday night, we bit the bullet and bought two front row balcony seats (a spot from which we’ve never seen a play) for a Saturday matinée show that was almost full.
The next morning, after seeking out a good cup of coffee (which in Seattle is like searching for a satisfying glass of wine in the Niagara region – easy pickings) we joined the Women’s March and followed the crowd straight to the Seattle Center, picked up our tickets and took our seats.
The Seattle production of Two Trains Running, set in a diner in the late 1960s, was everything we’d hoped it would be: touching, entertaining, enlightening and so very well performed. As an added bonus, after the show we gathered in another, smaller theatre to have the chance to ask questions of all of the cast members save one. What a treat that was! (The title refers to the number of chances daily that diner owner Mr. Memphis Lee has to catch a ride back home and reclaim the southern farmland he was chased from decades earlier.)
It’s no wonder at the end of the day, as we turned off Saturday Night Live at 10 pm (gotta love the Pacific Time Zone), we felt we’d just had one of our best days ever. But tomorrow – a really strange encounter at security. Is this the new normal?