Airing out your feet on the street, generosity and famous people

We were visiting Liam and Rachel in Toronto last week. If you haven’t tried out Air B&B yet, it’s the way to go when you’re visiting a city. We’ve used their service now three times, and all three short-term apartment rentals have worked out perfectly. Here’s the view from our penthouse on St. George St.


Looking South on St. George Street

Looking South on St. George Street

So, I was sitting at the corner of Queen and Bay, out front of Old City Hall one afternoon during the five o’clock rush, resting my aching feet, when a man plopped himself down on the sidewalk at the bottom of the steps. He proceeded to take off his brightly-colored sneakers and socks, roll down the rim of a Tim Horton’s coffee cup, shove it into one of the sneakers, then rest one elbow on a pillow he’d brought along.  From behind, it looked like he was drawing something on the sidewalk. After a few minutes of speculating, I had to stroll over to see what he was up to (I explained I was a nosy writer). He was SO friendly, and seemed happy to have somebody ask. “I’m just airing out my feet,” he said. “I’m 45, but have the feet of a 20-year-old because I keep them aired out.” He extolled the virtues of the particular vent he was lying on, insisting it was just as warm as being inside a house, grinning all the while. As I dropped some money into his cup and said goodbye, I read what he’d written in chalk on the sidewalk, a message for all the Bay Street people rushing home. “I love you!” in fluorescent green:)  I love encounters like that that remind me that people are people, no matter what.

And right across the street, The Bay has this most wonderful old-fashioned animated Christmas window display.

The Bay, Christmas display

The Bay, Christmas display

In other news, while I was away, I got an email from ANNE MURRAY. I’d sent her a copy of The Power of Harmony, in which “Annie Murray” has a cameo, since it’s set in her hometown of Springhill, NS in 1968, the year she was on the brink of becoming famous. In the email, she thanked me, apologized for not getting around to reading the book yet, assured me she would soon, and gave me her best wishes for the book. I’m constantly amazed at the generosity of some people, especially those who are crazy busy, famous, rich, etc. Part of her success, no doubt, has stemmed from the fact that she’s a nice person!  Now if she’d just Tweet about the book after she reads it:)  Have you had any interesting encounters lately, meetings that made you pause and reflect?

In rural Nova Scotia, sometimes you have to stop for free-range turkeys crossing the road:)

In rural Nova Scotia, sometimes you have to stop for free-range turkeys crossing the road:)

  12 comments for “Airing out your feet on the street, generosity and famous people

  1. November 22, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    Wow! an email from Anne Murray. Now that’s impressive, and about the coolest thing. I’m just smiling at that news, Jan Coates! I know she’ll love the book. It’s great. She probably thinks it’s cool that you put her in it. I know I’d be thinking that. Guess I’d have to be famous for that to happen though. 😉

    Sound as though the trip to Toronto was lots of fun and VERY interesting. I’m sure it gave you a few ideas you can use at some point.

    • November 24, 2013 at 8:52 pm

      Hey, Laura – are you in the wreath factory these days? I have to go to the Lake some day this week, if you’re available? Or are you knitting baby clothes:)

      • November 25, 2013 at 3:34 pm

        I’m busy Monday and Tuesday but the rest of the week is probably good unless Brian needs the car. I’ll be in touch Tuesday evening.

  2. November 23, 2013 at 9:07 am

    The feet story was sweet and funny!(and hopefully not smelly…) Also, I love your holiday background, so pretty!

    • November 24, 2013 at 8:53 pm

      Hi, Leandra – I love that WordPress is always offering different backgrounds – I like a lot of variety in my life, and the vintage feeling of this wallpaper spoke to me, too! And the feet were airy, not smelly:)

  3. mirkabreen
    November 23, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    And left me with the “why did the turkey cross the road?” to which the answer, “it was the chicken’s day off” doesn’t quite fit the mood here…

    • November 24, 2013 at 8:54 pm

      Funny:) I’d spent the day substitute teaching grades 2/3 when I came across the turkeys, so I needed the laugh!

  4. November 24, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    Cool about the feet AND the email! 🙂

    • November 24, 2013 at 8:55 pm

      Hi, Marcia – thanks for visiting. I checked out your new book – how exciting! And I love the trailer – so well done! I’ve made trailers myself for my two novels, but they’re far from being professionally done, but I have to say they were fun, if frustrating, to do.

  5. November 27, 2013 at 1:53 am

    A letter from Anne Murray. How wonderful! I too have just recieved a copy of your book from Amazon and can’t wait to read it.

    • November 27, 2013 at 12:56 pm

      Hi, Darlene – thanks so much for buying and reading Harmony! I hope you like it:) Looks like your books are keeping you busy, too, these days!

  6. August 22, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    Thanks for a marvelous posting! I genuinely enjoyed reading
    it, you can be a great author.I will be sure to bookmark your blog and definitely will
    come back at some point. I want to encourage continue your great job, have a nice afternoon!

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