You can follow Kathleen directly on Twitter (@kathleenwilker) or stay abreast of community happenings @Kitchissippi. Thank you, Kathleen - meeting you is one of many unexpected gifts of this project!
What a great project and what a great question. I’m grateful about all kinds of things – health, happiness, being part of a fun and sweet family, kind neighbours and endless opportunities for fulfilling work. I love living close enough to bike to the swift waters of the Ottawa river, the hills of Gatineau park, the big skies of the farm and wherever else I’d like to go.
Almost every day there’s a moment that makes me feel grateful to live in a great community full of beautiful people who go out of their way to be warm and generous.
Just last month my kids and I were walking home when we passed a restaurant installing a new patio. I was thinking about how nice it would be to walk along the sidewalk in the summer with the buzz of conversation spilling out from the restaurant into the neighbourhood. My six-year-old son was enchanted by the cedar lattice frame at one end of the new patio.
“That is so cool! I’d like one at my house,” he told the carpenters installing it. They grinned at each other then told my son, “Come back tomorrow. Same time, same place and ask at the bar for your piece of wood.”
The next day, my son went into the restaurant by himself and asked for the wood. To our surprise, there wasn’t a little scrap of wood behind the bar but a beautifully crafted lattice piece – about the size of a chess board – that the carpenters had made especially for him.
I love that the carpenters took time to make something beautiful for a random six-year-old who happened to be walking along the sidewalk one day and liked their patio. For them to be so generous with their time was very moving.
Moments like this – of connection, conversation and spontaneous friendship – happen often in our neighbourhood and I feel grateful to share in them.