A Rather Ignoble Beginning to a Great Day; Leaking Hot Water Bottle but Afterwards a Glorious Accomplish Filled Day with Great People; News of an October Jab; Took the Road Less Traveled, An Idiom and a Book by Scott Peck; Peace Garden Park; Ikebana Again; Ready for Winter With the Help of Winner’s; A Video Lesson from Iraq Illustrating Hijab Tying; Guide Us On the Straight Path; Photo of Peace Garden Sign

Let us first define ignoble: not honorable in character or purpose.  Appropriate synonyms for this particular situation are: unworthy, base, shabby,  low, improper, unprincipled, unchivalrous, uncharitable.

The antonym is noble. The very beginning of the day was noble because I awoke in time for Fajr prayers.  Upon completion of prayers decided to complete my blog, which had been half written, when done it was sent off to my UK Computer Guru for posting. Had gone  back to bed to write, as my back hurt therefore, employing the services of a hot water bottle to ease the pain. It was with a feeling of great satisfaction that the blog went off. It was only then that I noticed a curious dampness. The hot water bottle had leaked, my intense concentration prevented early detection. I hurriedly disrobed – pajamas, robe, pillow case went into the dryer, towels placed between the mattress cover and the mattress. It’s getting cold these days so hurriedly dressed for the day.

When warmed, I laughed at my folly. From there and then everything was went gloriously, delightfully, pleasurably.  A morning appointment with my skillful and intelligent physiotherapist, occasioned the calling of a Yellow Cab. The driver arrived promptly, he was born in Africa – we had a fascinating conversation about life, reaching agreement on all aspects. We sat at the entrance to the clinic chatting away for about ten minutes. The appointment quite fantabulous and heavenly. I continue to make measured progress Physio man and I had a fascinating conversation about the interconnections and interrelationships  of the human body – how one malfunctioning muscle can cause pain in another part of the body – accurate diagnosis so important.

As I left, an elevator notice caught my eye – the omnivarient vaccine was available at the clinic pharmacy. Strode to the pharmacy, spoke to a most helpful and informative woman receiving supercalifragilisticexpialidocious news. It is best for my immune system to wait until October to get my next jab, the added benefit is that at the same moment I can get a flu shot.  It is awesome and so appreciated because getting my prior fourth booster was delayed by the oppressive rules of the UAE, although the country had millions of doses I was not eligible as no Emeriti ID. Got one immediately upon my return to Canada and now I shall be thoroughly protected. It was a sign that good can overcome evil. The Quran tells the world that good always triumphs over evil and here was an example.

I had arrived at the clinic fully armed with a huge plastic bag with the intention of walking to Winner’s, a marvelous discount store which was promised to be only two blocs away. Off I confidently strode, but as I learned, in the wrong direction. But, as you shall learn, I shall always be grateful for taking the ‘road less travelled’.  That idiom came to mind, of course I looked it up.
Metaphorically speaking, someone who takes ‘the road less traveled’ is acting independently, freeing themselves from the conformity of others (who choose to take ‘the road more often traveled). Its origins? A poem by Robert Frost. The poet choose the road which was less travelled by because it was covered by grass and it was clean and beautiful and wanted wear because very few people had travelled by that road. The poet was adventurous and wanted to discover hoe that road was. He wanted to do something different from the other people. But it has even deeper meaning because the two roads represent the choices that one has to make in the life. it is very important to make the right choice because we can never retrace our path and go back. One road would lead on to another and there is no coming back. Scott Peck’s The Road Less Travelled is an important and famous book. “Life is difficult.”is its opening line. (Note to self: I MUST reread that book. His definition of love is profound and uplifting. His perspective is that love is not a feeling, it is an activity and an investment. He defines love as, “The will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth.” That is completely compatible and enhances my belief in the Islamic faith.)

But back to my day because something amazeballs happened on my ‘less traveled road.’
A sign, which shall be pictured, caught my eye. Peace Garden Park, it announced. I made an exploratory right turn to find a huge community garden. It is the end of the growing season so it looked a big forlorn but it was still fab. One woman was working in the garden, of course, I went to speak to her.
Me: I love the concept of a community garden. You must be a member.
She: I am. It is the end of the season as you can see and I am removing all of the dead plants but it has been a very good growing season.
Me: I am sure there is a waiting list of people wanting a space. Is there a yearly charge?
She: Yes there is a waiting list. I have been a member for six years. The yearly fee includes water.
We happily chatted – I confessed to my exhaustion with gardening. I owned property in West Marin, 2.66 acres, a massive undertaking and there was not the freedom from gardening that winter brings.
Me: So I moved to a house on a golf course, gave up gardening, instead began a study of Ikebana flower arranging which brought such joy.
She: I cannot believe that we are chatting. I study Ikebana flower arranging. There is an active class here in Edmonton.
Me: Oh my goodness! I cannot believe this. I am looking for one. I so miss the spirituality and fulfillment I found in arranging branches and flowers.

She was so incredibly helpful. We went to her car, she put me in touch with her instructor and the club. I am in total heaven, this is awesome. It seems that I now have everything I could ever want, here in my home town.

But the magnificent day was not over yet. MAN called to say that WOMAN was available to come to my apartment. WOMAN is Wife of Manager Awesome Nepal. This wonderful woman helps me clean (and change the bed which was SO needed because of the leaking hot water bottle). I knew help was on the way!

But I was lost in the streets of Edmonton. Where was the promised Winners? I looked to my right, two blocks away was Staples which is in Unity Square which also houses Winners. Off I went, confident that my prayers would be answered. I had a goal, a purpose, an aim – not just going to Winners to casually browse. I MUST be prepared for winter, then there will be no dread of freezing to death. All my winter clothes are in storage in California, where they will remain because of prohibitive shipping costs. I shopped, laughing with other customers. Two young women from India were trying on stupid shoes, high heeled rhinestone strappy things.
Me: Were you born in Canada?
They: No in India, Punjab.
Me: Why are you here?
They: Studying accounting at McEwan.
Me: I am so proud of you!! Education so important, accounting so important. I have two accountants – a Canadian one and an American one. I was a lawyer. I have no math skills, do not need them to be a lawyer.
We talked about so many things, and had so much in common. They did not, by the way, buy the silly shoes.
I purchased a warm winter coat, navy blue with a hood and fake fur collar. Then for my head, a purple toque, a pair of gloves/mittens, long underwear. I am ready – bring on the cold. I cannot wait to wear my new clothes. Everything was inexpensive – the coat is a Michael Kors that was made in China (you know China, the country that has Women Inmans that are allowed to led other women in prayers – not like this country and most other countries in this world). The coat cost less than half of its original price.

Placed my purchases in the huge plastic bag, called a Yellow Cab. The driver was sullen and rude, but no problem as I was most tired. Arrived at the apartment, got on the elevator with a fellow resident.
Me: Look at this! I am now ready for winter. My winter clothes in storage in California.
He: I know! We talked before. By the way, I read your blog. You are a great writer.
Me: Oh my goodness, thank you. You have made me so happy!

I was absolutely exhausted!  WOMAN arrived, we laughed and laughed as usual. I put the mattress cover in the dryer, had clean sheets so we were able to make the bed. We both do it, faster that way. I went to bed getting up for Maghrib and Isha prayers but then to sleep. Allah granted me a restful evening, woke to the alarm announcing it was time to pray again – before dawn Fajr prayer. I thanked Allah in sheer gratitude for all of my blessings. Well, not for the leaking hot water bottle.

Photo of Peace Park Garden sign. I forgot to mention this. A wonderful Instagram woman, living in Iraq, sent me a video instructing me on a simple way to tie a head scarf. I can do it now and have on two occasions (already). This was our text exchange. She sent three short videos with text messages.
She: Please ignore my accent. Its really bad, I never speak English. That’s why
Me: Your English is amazing! I love hearing you speak. You have great hair, I have hardly any. Onward. This is amazing.
She: Ohh! It’s nice to hear this. Thanks! If you face any difficulty with the steps let me know.
Me: You are wonderful. You make it seem so easy. Little helpful parts like bending the top. So easy. You are so helpful! So confident. I can do it! I know.
She: Oh my goodness. You make me so happy with your beautiful words. Yes you can do it. Confident in your ability too.
Me: To do anything in life one must believe in oneself. You helped me believe in myself, that I could do it. That I was worth teaching it to.
She: It is true my dear. Sometimes we need a little help, that’s why Allah always sends good people to give help and love.
Me: That is the power of the faith. Allah teaches women to believe in themselves as He loves us and believes in us. Then he gives us others of the faith, such as you.
She: What words! May the Lord bless us and protect us.
Me: Tomorrow I am going in public to do banking. I have selected my clothes and scarf. I shall send a selfie so you can see.
She: I will be very pleased. I hope to have a nice day.
Me: Allah shall protect us and bless us. He certainly has been doing very well recently.

I have sent her two selfies – I am getting better at it this each and every time. It does make me more confident and sure of myself.

Oh, by the way. I took the Road Less Traveled early in my life and have never regretted it. There have been some ups and downs on the hilly course of my existence but I know I took the right path. Do remember that the Quran Prayer of Guidance, uttered many times a day implores Allah to: 6. Guide us along the Straight Path. 7. the Path of those You have blessed—not those you are displeased with, or those who are astray.

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