Challenge: When Was The Last Time You Did Something New?

As I (slowly and painfully) approach 79, I thought that I was pretty much finished with “new things.”  Life had other ideas.

I recently tore a tendon in my left shoulder – probably shovelling snow.  I’ve never done that before.
I recently broke a rib – while sitting in my easy chair. I’ve never done that before.
I took the wife to the big, St. Mike’s, downtown hospital in Toronto, first for an endoscopic test, later for a pre-admission appointment, and finally for a difficult endoscopic surgery.  I’ve never done that before.

If I thought that traffic problems on the North-side bypass highway were bad, I ain’t seen nothin’ like the strangely-named, lake-hugging ‘Expressway’ I needed, to reach the hospital.  About the same volume of traffic, but with two or three fewer lanes to carry it in each direction.

It was a gigantic parking lot, sluggishly flowing along like a huge glacier, at barely better than a brisk walking pace – cars and trucks cutting others off, and drivers darting from lane to lane, frantically trying to gain a little space, and time.  I’m surprised that the reported rate of road rage and homicide isn’t higher.  I could see the hospital from the road, but the overhead electronic sign said that estimated arrival time at my exit was still 17 minutes.

That’s where the map program told me to drive six blocks north, and turn left onto Queen Street, where the hospital was located.  When I reached Queen, street signs said that left turns were prohibited.  Instantly, we were lost in a maze of narrow, crowded, one-way, no-turns-allowed, downtown streets, and were half an hour late eventually reaching the hospital.

This entire trip, especially the ‘Expressway’ portion, is not for the inexperienced or faint of heart, and not one that I cared to repeat.  The next “New” thing that the wife and I are going to do, is ride a train.  We have both ridden trains, but that was over half a century ago, shortly after steam engines gave way to diesels.

What will be “New” about it, will be the fact that it will be on a Commuter Train.  Every workday, tens – perhaps hundreds – of thousands of people commute hundreds of miles, from all over Southern Ontario, by means of 12 different rail-routes to go to work in the Big Smoke, using a system called GO-Trains.

The wife and I will use the Kitchener-to-Union Station, Toronto, portion of one of them.  Our Osteopath tried to convince us to use the regular Via Rail service.  ‘There’s more foot and leg room, and the seats are larger and more comfortable.’  And the difference in ticket costs for a one-way, one-passenger ride is, VIA – $89 vs. GO-Train Seniors’ price – $9.  Six trips, times $80/trip savings, totals $480!  For almost $500, I’d ride in a sardine can.  I was born at night – just not LAST night.  Take the GO train – cheap, simple and easy – no fuss, no muss, no expensive gas, no getting lost, no driving stress, no outrageous parking fees.

Assuming that all goes well – and since the best GI endo surgeon in the world, is performing the operation, in the best GI hospital suite in Canada, there’s no reason to assume otherwise – the next ‘New’ thing that the wife and I will try, as a celebration, is to drive to the more-easily and safely reached IKEA store on the near side of Toronto.

We’ll do the tourist thing and people-watch, and have the Swedish meatball lunch, perhaps with a Carlsberg Dark beer, and maybe some lingonberry jam.


9 thoughts on “Challenge: When Was The Last Time You Did Something New?

  1. Daniel Digby says:

    My wife recently learned that she’s no longer 18. (Actually, it’s a repeated experience.) She puts herself into situations that even 18 year olds know to avoid.

    I haven’t been able to get her to go to an urgent care clinic. It’s easier to put up with the pain; after all, she’s only 18.

    I, on the other hand, know that I’m a little past my prime, and wind up in the hospital far too often for stupidity. Even though I know my limits, I just don’t pay attention. I’ve got wonderful stories about emergency rooms and the lack of triage in most southern hospitals — at least those in the Memphis area.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I will always remember a family trip to L.A. in the late 70’s. We were on a freeway, bumpier to bumper, not an inch of movement, and a roadside sign kept flashing “Traffic Condition: Normal”. 😯

    I wouldn’t worry about the train ride. I did that for more than three years into downtown Chicago, and though I was in my 20’s and things worked better, the cheaper of your trains sound like the Metra commuter trains of my youth, and they’re perfectly passable – just not luxurious. Bring your own everything – coats, drinks, snacks, and whatever else, which on a few of the Metra runs around Chicagoland, included the list of armaments for the Third Armoured Division. 😉

    Hope all goes well with the wife. The wife had a health crises about 30 years ago, bad cramps which led – while on the table for an exploratory – to a near-total hysterectomy. You wanna talk about trying new things? No, thanks! They’re STILL trying to get my footprints of the hospital’s waiting room walls! They did manage to patch the concrete columns I dang near chewed in half. Fortunately, as you can tell from meeting her, all went well. (Yeah – she slept through it, I went NUTS through it! 🙄 )

    So does Via Rail connect to America’s Amtrak? Might be a way for a visit, one direction or the other. Then again, we’d have to get to Columbus, which is a frustrating journey of its’ own. Maybe I gotta dig out those plans for my homemade rocket – short trip, quick flip, as the Doctor once said. 😉 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • Archon's Den says:

      Oh, now you’ve got me into an orgy of pipedreams. doesn’t say whether they’re Scottish or plumbers.Yes, VIA connects to Amtrak, but their schedules, travel time, and making T/you drive to Columbus is not efficient.
      I can drive to your place in 6 hours, on my schedule. There’s even a Red Roof Inn over in Ulrichsville, half hour drive from your door. But any such dream must wait for a cat that needs medicating, and improved finances. Something for a future dream though. 😀 😀


      • Then again, assuming you don’t completely destroy yourself (same goes for me), there could be a rendezvous IN Columbus. a short-trip vacation for us, longer trip for y’all. Then we could either do things all together, or let the ladies go off on their own, and we’d be two old farts on the town. (Yeah, I still chase women, ‘cept I don’t remember why. 😉 )

        Start the countdown clock – we’re a bit over two years from my Social Security making us fairly stable financially. Assuming we don’t all fall to pieces, the US government included. 😯

        Liked by 1 person

      • Archon's Den says:

        It’s a date! 😀 😀


  3. Rivergirl says:

    Sorry you’re having to deal with hospitals, surgeries and terrible traffic… but you’re right. We’re never too old for new things, but no one said they would fun things.
    And now I have to ask – how do you break a rib sitting down?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Archon's Den says:

      I was peacefully reading my newspaper. The wife decided that she was going to take a nap on the adjacent couch. She tried to throw a comforter over herself to keep warm, but was having trouble getting it down over her legs and feet.
      I leaned over tight against the none-too-well padded arm, and stretched across to pull it down. Something went POP Apparently I cracked the lowest, floating rib. 👿

      Liked by 1 person

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