Jun 042010


Have you ever wanted to knock on the door of a complete stranger and give them a big kiss?

No? Well, the urge hit me just last week. There’s a house right on Dunbar near the Dunbar Community Centre on the same side of the street (1 house in from Dunbar and 31st Avenue). I’ve walked by this house many times (in a hurry and self absorbed no doubt) and never noticed that there is something wonderful about it.

Last week, while walking by this house, a child of about eight appeared out of nowhere, ran in front of me, and pushed a button on the home’s gate. He had a grin on his face, peered over the fence, then turned and ran away. Once I reached the same spot on the fence, I stopped and peered over.

I don’t know who or why or even how, but what I do know is that that someone has built a model train (with large landscaped tunnel) into their front yard. The structure is detailed and built to last. The best part is that they’ve rigged  a start button for the train into their gate. How cool is that? I love this person. They are quietly creative and generous; sharing something wonderful with the neighbourhood.

I stood there a long time taking it all in before I sprung into action. I unsnapped Caden’s stroller harness, got him onto his feet, and we peered over the top of the gate. I motioned him to press the button (is there anything a toddler loves more….not really). The train started up. Caden squealed, pointed and beamed as we watched it chug around the track and through the tunnel. We presssed the button a few more times before moving on to the Kokopelli Cafe.

What a wonderful surprise and special memory. Thanks, “who ever you are”…this one’s for you….SMACK!

May 192010

Walk with me down memory lane for a moment…

Ahhhh… Chaldecott Park, home field of my old soccer team, the Dunbar Dazzlers (yah, that name was embarrassing even back then); the woods were inhabited by my brownie pack; and the wading pool (now filled in with cement and transformed into a water park) was used by my family on hot summer days. I haven’t set foot in this park in over 20 years…ouch!

Standing in the park with my husband and son, I was overwhelmed by good feelings! Even the air smelled good…and the daisies in the grass….oh, the daisy chains we used to make… “snap out of it, woman!”

Ok…sorry, here are the facts:

  • 1 big kid swing set (5 swings)
  • 1 toddler swing set (4 swings)
  • 1 tire swing
  • 1 fort/slide for big kids
  • 1 fort/slide for toddlers
  • 2 sad looking springy horses
  • 4 picnic tables
  • 1 water park
  • 2 baseball diamond with very old bleachers


This park is good fun. My 21 month old son sat on the bleachers with Daddy, mesmerized by the baseball practice in session.

The fort/slide targeting toddlers is the smallest I’ve ever seen and a great starting place for timid kids.
There’s only one thing that drives me “batty”. Why, oh why, do they make it so difficult for little kids to access the slides? What’s wrong with using good ole fashioned steps…why the crazy ladders? This design flaw is the cause of my sore shoulders and upper back from lifting Caden up to the slide every time he signs “more”, “more”, “more”. It’s tough being a Mommy (but you get ripped arms).

Rant aside, we will return to this park. Besides, now I  have a new, wonderful memory here. Caden blowing his first dandelion seeds into the air. So sweet.

Chaldecott Park
4175 Wallace Street
(@ King Edward Avenue)