In a couple of hours we'll drive my mother to the airport. We've had a lovely visit. We haven't done much of anything except enjoy each other's company. She wasn't able to walk much because of an ankle injury, so we didn't go to the ROM or into Toronto at all. We had dim sum, played with the dogs, grilled dinner and ate in the backyard every night - good (coincidental) timing with the All Star break, so there were no baseball games, thus no reason to go inside - and mostly just sat and talked for hours.
I had purposely saved a few errands so I could take my mom on a drive and show her a little bit of Mississauga. On her previous visits, she only saw Port Credit - the village, the mom-and-pop stores and family restaurants on the lakeshore strip, the gorgeous stretch of waterfront trail - each an anomaly. As we drove around this time, my mom was amazed at the dozens of huge high-rises, the endless townhouse tracts, the vast acres of big-box stores.
Granted, my mother is very easily amazed - what's the dead opposite of jaded? that's her - but even so, I knew Mississauga would impress both positively and negatively.
Our little development looks like the suburbs she's familiar with - modest homes on large lots. The oversized homes shoehorned into every available lot, the collections of ugly condo towers, punctuated only by shopping plazas and strip malls, and the sheer quantity of housing and shopping out here, are very different. She loved the diversity. And man, did she love our big backyard.
Now I've pretty much been sitting for 3 days straight. I'm looking forward to a good swim after she leaves.
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Big local news recently, eh? First Sam's closes, then Ed Mirvish dies. Yesterday my mom was asking about a store she remembered from a previous trip to Toronto. She didn't know the name, but from her description we thought it had to be Honest Ed's. Then this morning we get the paper and see Mirvish's passing. Spooky. I'm glad I've been here long enough to appreciate, at least a bit, what these things mean to Toronto.