I have always thought that the travelin’ black chicks’ stories had to be about exotic journeys filled with excitement and an airplane ride but I have recently discovered that it isn’t so. I started a new job about 3 months ago outside Toronto. My journey takes me from Gardiner Expressway onto 427 North then 401 West for a good hour before exiting at Highway 7 and 8 Kichener/Stratford. It wasn’t until yesterday that my whole outlook about this “long” journey changed and I realised that I was “travelling”.
Have you ever taken this long drive from the 427 North going west on 401 past Mississauga, Halton, Guelph, Cambridge and even Kitchener to London (ON) and beyond? Well I take this journey 5 days a week…cringing all the time worrying about the amount of gas I am burning each day. But I digress…the reason I decided to write about my travels along the 401 is very simple…I have had the much-needed opportunity to take a close look at life, put it in context, make choices and changes, look at my friends and their achievements so far this year. While at the same time enjoying the amazing scenery/greenness that is everywhere along the 401.
On a typical day, unless I have had some drama at home, I get on the Gardiner by 6:00-6:10am, then 427 North by 6:15-6:30am then 401 by 6:45am for sure. I have recently discovered the “cruise control” feature in my gas guzzler vehicle.Some of you are thinking “really” …yep yes just recently really, yes really, car technology is not my thing. But OMG I absolutely love this feature. I don’t get to use cruise control until I have passed Mississauga’s Erin Mills Parkway and Trafalgar exits. After fighting with traffic and applying manoeuvring defensive driving moves on Gardiner and 427 North, I relax on the 401 W because I can then put my car in cruise control at 110km/hr (okay truth is 120km/hr) but Mr Police Officer please don’t give me a ticket for this. The journey and the beauty starts here .
Driving along the 401 W passing the Mississauga –Halton region is an absolute beauty. I generally dream when I am passing this area which includes Mississauga itself, Acton, Halton Hills etc. I dream that some super rich dude who loves me buys me a mansion in Halton Hills with all that greenery, hills and God-given beauty and we live happily ever after. Okay okay I did say I dream!
On my way to work on July 7th I did something different. As I was passing this part of the 401W I started thinking about all my female friends and what they have been through so far this year. In my la-la land fantasizing about the Halton Hills I started thinking about my friends that had good things happen to them finally relationship wise. I thought of my own young sister that got married end of June. She and her husband are so in love you can’t help but just feel happy and giggly in their presence. Halton Hills is so beautiful, Mississauga hello!!!!
I thought of my friend CK (I have no permission to mention her name) who finally found love in someone she had known for more than 10 years but had totally overlooked him. Like me I have taken this drive for the last 3 months but am only noticing now that all the things I find calming and soothing, like lots of greenery and water are in abundance along the 401 W. CK is even changing her thought process for the last “donkey” years and is open to the idea that home is where the heart is and not necessarily in Canada if the heart is not there.
Another friend REM is getting married this summer. My friend had the worst luck in relationships of all the people I know but all of a sudden she met this dude. She is so happy with him and he is such an amazing person. Not to mention he is quite handy has helped me many times with fixing malfunctioning gadgets in my condo. By now I have passed the Halton Region and only the good God and transport Canada plus my GPS know where I am but I am still ok am still on the 401. There is plenty of valleys, hills and trees…so beautiful and calming. Drive on Ms K and cruise control gizmo thingy!
Another friend who lives in England finally found the man that lets her be who she is. My friend is a strong-willed, no-nonsense woman. But finally this guy has allowed her to be who she is in a way that made her see that in a relationship you have to compromise. Like hey it is not all beauty along the 401 there are some areas that I would not even consider visiting. They look so industrial and ugly. Don’t get me wrong industry is super good for the economy but I just don’t have to live there or stop and “smell the coffee” . So I keep driving knowing very well that there is more beauty a few kilometers away.
Another close friend of mine found out something that was devastating and life changing in April this year. She hasn’t realized yet that as much as it was “tragic”, it is actually good news because it is good riddance to bad rubbish. But you know how the heart works. It takes time to process some of these issues and what they mean to us. I have confidence in her that when she finally sees this whole situation from a different angle she will realize that she has been given another opportunity to change her life for the better by whomever she believes in; if it were me I would say by God…but I think she believes in the “universe”. Either way I know she will eventually get to that mind space where things will be better for her and not so painful and tragic.
By now I realize that I am passing Guelph. I can easily see myself living here. It’s the university that draws me to this part of Ontario. I love some of their graduate programs. I also love its proximity to Toronto and the airport. Hey I am a “travelin’ black chick” to the core so living near the airport is a must for me. Guelph also has some beautiful areas and accommodation is not as expensive as Toronto.
I am always smiling when I reach Guelph because I know then that I only have about 35km before I get to my Hwy 7/8 exit. Moving along and still on cruise control – what a gizmo! Thank you intelligent thinking people for coming up with this beauty. I wear high heels so you can see why I am raving about cruise control!!! Rest the heeled legs and let the car drive itself!
I am done with female friends who have had major changes so far this year relationships wise…now on to my female friends who have a lot to celebrate this year. Last weekend I went to a friend’s baby shower. I had lost touch with this friend for a while and I am glad that we have reconnected. This baby is the reason we have resumed our friendship and for that I am grateful. She is a lovely smart young lady. All the best hon, you are one hell of a yummy mummy!
ZD my other lovely kind friend is right now exploring South America as only she knows how to. She is the only other person I know who can not stay put in one place for more than 4 months without jetting off somewhere like me. Have fun hon I know you will. She is gifted in that she knows how to find joy in life even when there are other things going on. Rock on girl you do you!!!
I have always liked Cambridge for no reason but just because it sounded like a place one could live in and raise a family doing the whole white picket fence thing. But my work mates tell me Cambridge is known as “Lameridge” in the Wellington-Waterloo region. Ouch…now I gotta change the way I think. I am now about 15 minutes away from work. I always listen to Chum 104.5’s Marilyn Roger and Darren Show in the morning because they play “zonke zikathi” (that is mixed bag…anything goes music. Biggie Smalls, Cold Play, Michael Bubble, Chris Brown…you get the picture right!). I love listening to this radio station and I have to say it is the reason I have been safe on the road so far. They are funny and very good at their job. Big ups to 104.5 CHUM FM Toronto.
This brings me to my firecracker dynamite friend LH. This young woman is amazing. She has a brain that goes at 1 000 000 milliseconds an hour with amazing ideas and just goodness. It’s amazing to see her in action. I know that this year is going to end well for her. LH you remind me of Waterloo and St Jacobs. I don’t get to drive through these 2 areas on this journey but I know they are just beautiful from previous drives. Here’s to you darling!!
My mama taught me to celebrate other people’s glory and happiness. She said your own will never come or you will totally miss it if you can not take a few minutes to celebrate other people’s achievements. That is why I took my 401 west journey this morning to celebrate my female friends’ glory, achievements and milestones. Next week it will be my male friends. Oops nearly missed my Highway 7/8 exit off the 401 with all these thoughts on my mind. Release the cruise control function…take over accelerator control of vehicle. This part of the journey is not that exciting. I have to be on high alert to manoeuvre in and out of this traffic and get to work on time. That reminds me of my life right now it’s on HIGH alert…lol.
Eish life…16:00 hours where art though?
- What’s Your Favorite Piece of Automotive Tech? (ridelust.com)