Today I am 60-Part 3

June7

My next decade between 20 and 30, I finished my degree and took off on a European vacation with Melinda, her Mom and my roommate Steph who I met at my second job. In six weeks I visited London, Greece, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Holland, Belgium and France with a side trip to Majorca, Spain thrown in for good measure.

That second job mentioned above was as the Assistant Studio Programs Co-ordinator at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. My love of the arts took me more behind the scenes in arts administration as I was pretty disillusioned about the lifestyle of an actress. I really enjoyed the artists that I got to work alongside, but my real love was actually the hospitality business. I had been offered a position as a Marketing Co-ordinator at The Keg because they were opening second (and then a third and fourth) Winnipeg location. At this time, I was smitten by a different travel bug. This one was called “the winter vacation” and I journeyed to Varadero Beach in Cuba on a number of occasions.

We worked hard and partied hard and these were pretty crazy and wonderful days. But, more and more of my friends were getting married and I decided that my wild oats were successfully sown. Finding my true love turned out to be a difficult task as I was looking for love in all the wrong places, as the song goes. Right under my nose was another of my good friends. D as he is called in this space was younger than me and off studying Hospitality and Tourism at Ryerson University in Toronto. “He couldn’t possibly be the ONE, could he”? I remember asking myself. At 29, D and I wed (he was 22). We had a beautiful little wedding reception at Brandy’s night club where we and so many of our restaurant friends had spent many happy hours.

We headed east for our honeymoon, as D had the urge to travel, as strong as I, experiencing Quebec City, Rockport, Maine, Boston, Rhode Island, Vermount and Montreal with extended time wedged in between at Cape Cod. I had already suspected and then known absolutely that I was my happiest, walking a beach. But our travelling days were put on hold for a number of years. By this time, D and I had moved to a gorgeous town house in St. James near The Keg where he was General Manager.

Beep as she is called here was born 10 months after we were married, with J1 coming along 2 years later. Boo arrived four years after that. Some say upon the arrival of babies that our “joy was complete”. There was joy all right, but despair and sadness too, as Beep suffered a catastrophic illness at age five.

D had entered into a partnership and owned and operated a number of family style restaurants. I took an extended leave from The Keg (they were so kind and gracious to me) and then everything turned upside down and I was laid off. At that time I was the Regional Marketing Director for Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Chicago. I loved my work but took a couple of years to be home with my little ones. We moved from our big old home in Wolseley, which no longer worked for Beep and moved to our present house in River Heights. Considerable smaller, we somehow made it work with five of us and an enormous dog. We did manage to travel just a bit with a trip to The Big Island in Hawaii and two to Cozumel. I was definitely smitten by the turquoise waters of the Caribbean.

To be continued……

 


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