Confessions of a Street Walker – Part 15

It is possible that you have seen a rather peculiar woman walking around the streets of Hamilton over the last four years. If you have, I hope you gave a wave…because I am she.


When I am out walking I do not always pay attention to the street names. But sometimes I do. Especially when they are the same name as my children. I am not so good at selfies but thought it was worth trying.


It is not spelled with an ‘E’ but this little street in Dundas is one on which my daughter named Anne actually lived on.


Shirley Street on the east mountain


I also found a Laura Court


And it is hard to see but I also found Karen Crescent on the west mountain


And there is a Henry Street downtown.


And an Andrew Court on the central mountain.

I confess that I would like to start looking for grandchildren now. I have 10 grandchildren and have found a few already. I will keep on looking.


Confessions of a Street Walker – part 10

It is possible that you have seen a rather peculiar woman walking around the streets of Hamilton over the last four years. If you have, I hope you gave a wave…because I am she.


If you’ve ever seen me walking and catch me laughing to myself it’s probably because someone is whispering in my ear. I often listen to podcasts while I am out walking the streets. I could listen to music but I haven’t figured out a good free music app yet.

There are times and places to listen to the eternity of stuff that there is out there waiting for us. I also think that too many people spend too much time on their devices and I confess that I must also include myself in that declaration. Sometimes communication with real people with real ideas can be lost to some earbuds and that can be a little sad.

That said, the three podcasts that I have currently queued are:


Radiolab – Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich take me places I would not likely find on my own and I always feel smarter after listening.


TedTalks – From economics to science to history to the future. It’s all told in easy to understand ways. I appreciate the content and the variety which challenges my mind.


Penn’s Sunday School – This podcast is from the talkative half of Penn & Teller – a terrific magic act based out of Las Vegas. I’m a big fan of Penn. I have a number of his books and his essays are particularly thoughtful. I have listened to each episode and Penn, Michael Goudeau and Matt Donnelly are especially good storytellers. Penn is an atheist and I’ve learned how to be a better Christian (well… person) from their conversations. The language can get quite salty (translation: there is plenty of swearing) but, for me, it’s worth my time to listen to their ideas even if they oppose mine.

Listening to these podcasts is sort of like listening to a really smart friend.

So while I spend time listening while I walk – I also spend time talking…to God.

How is that for a walking partner? The Creator of the Universe and I have some pretty great conversations (albeit they will be considered by most as one-sided).

I pray for myself and the people I know. I pray about things I am thankful for and things that trouble my soul. I believe that He hears my prayers. I often pray for the homes I walk past or the neighbourhoods that I walk in. That thought fills me with a sense of community and a sort of contentment. It’s not really about letting God know what’s happening on this blue dot in this space and time – He already knows but it sure does feel good to talk to Him. But then again, I don’t have to be walking to do that.


Confessions of a Street Walker – part 8

It is possible that you have seen a rather peculiar woman walking around the streets of Hamilton over the last four years. If you have, I hope you gave a wave…because I am she.


Maybe you know what chuffa is … or maybe you don’t.

From The Urban Dictionary: chuffa

noun – the erroneous bull**** of a script for a movie. Bruce Willis coined the phrase and uses it when shooting films when he gets rid of the unwanted dialogue or actions.

Kevin Smith: “Bruce Willis was looking at the script for scenes 4 & 8 and goes, ‘Chuffa. Chuffa’ and starts ripping out page after page. …
I’m shocked and I ask ‘what’s Chuffa?’
And Bruce says, ‘Chuffa’s chuffa.’
So I go, ‘okay, I really don’t know what “chuffa” is. What is it’?
Then he says, ‘It’s “Oh, what a nice picture. What a cute dog. Where’s the ****ing bomb?” It’s that bull**** that slows down the entire movie.’

Now in writing terms, I think that chuffa just might mean some bits of writing that might not quite fit in anywhere. It isn’t a whole section of the story or it might not be moving the story along. They are just little bits that, if put in with the rest of it all, just might mess things up. But sometimes, you grow fond of the chuffa.

* * *

When I was asked if my husband is supportive of all of my walking I have to answer yes. Although he has said that he also likes to see me walking around the house…


….pushing a vacuum.

* * *

My relative…who could remain nameless, but won’t…brother-in-law Harry has been jogging for many years. When his family moved to a new community he was shocked to hear a rumor that a suspected naked man had been spotted running through the neighbourhood. He was even more shocked to realize that, since his jogging garb that summer consisted of beige shorts and a beige t-shirt, it was possible that he was the fully clothed – unidentified naked jogger.


* * *

I confess that, sometimes, chuffa is my favourite part.


Confessions of a Street Walker – part 7

It is possible that you have seen a rather peculiar woman walking around the streets of Hamilton over the last four years. If you have, I hope you gave a wave…because I am she.


Walking runs in my family.

My grandmother walked and my mother walks. My brother Jeff walks. So does my brother Doug but he is an avid cyclist rather than a walker. My sister Jennifer even took up running and was in a number of races. Other members of my family are bi-pedal enthusiasts. My Aunt Edie can probably out walk me – in distance and in speed.

All of this walking does take up quite a bit of time, especially at the pace that I usually maintain which, when compared to animals, the not-so-speedy tortoise comes to mind. Years ago I got on a treadmill to check out my pace. I knew that runners had broken the 4-minute mile and so I thought that I would be at least double that. After running as fast as I could for one mile I was a tad disappointed to find out that I was over 16 minutes. So we have established that my fastest is not that fast after all.

When I started my walking project I did think that maybe I should try to increase my pace. I would get to my destination sooner and running sounded cooler than just walking. So one morning during my walk I saw a woman walking on the other side of the road in the same direction that I was heading. Her shoes did not look as sensible as mine and she was carrying a large purse. In my head challenged her to a race.


I picked up my feet and off I went. Huffing and puffing, I jogged a little way down the street. It was not pretty but I did it. When I got to the next cross street checked to see how far she was behind me. Oh dear, she was actually ahead of me. I must confess that she had walked faster than I had run. Oy

I might not be fast but I am tenacious.


It has been a hectic September so far. I am wrapping up a huge project. Since September 2014 I have been walking. Well, I have actually been walking since I was one year old, but you know what I mean.


I took it upon myself to walk every street in Hamilton Ontario. We had a city amalgamation which set some of our boundaries all wonky but I inquired at city hall and have the maps which show where Hamilton Ontario ends and the next towns begin. I have two, or maybe three walks left to do and then I will have covered the final miles which make every street trod upon by my sweaty sore feet.

I plan to be writing about it over the winter. I will probably work out some of the bits in this blog before assembling it into a piece that I am hoping to submit it for Volume 3 of the Hamilton Mountain Writers’ Guild (formerly Club)’s next contest/book that is due to be handed in in the spring of 2019 and perhaps it will be published by this time next year.

I have decided on a title at least: Confessions of a Street Walker