A return to earlier pleasures

Young Caitlin-01

Age six or seven, in our former Toronto back yard, with one of our two Siamese cats, Mitzpah and Horowitz


By Caitlin Kelly

I’m very lucky to live with a skilled photo editor and archivist for the United States Golf Association — whose ability to rescue faded, torn, wrinkled images is amazing.

I’d lost hope for this photo, which is in color and was so so faded! But he brought it back.

Me, back.

This photo means a lot to me, because it’s the only image I have of the last home I shared with both parents, on Castlefrank Road in Rosedale, a lovely neighborhood of Toronto. It would prove to be the last time I lived in a house until I was 15, as my now single mother and I lived in different apartments in Toronto and Montreal.

Bored by isolation during this pandemic, I’ve recently returned to two activities I haven’t done in decades and used to really enjoy —- swimming and playing the guitar.

In my teens, I was a skilled swimmer and used to compete, do synchronized swimming and worked part-time through high school as a lifeguard. But I’ve never enjoyed swimming at the Y — the pool is enormous and even one length daunting.

Luckily, our apartment building pool is open this summer, even if only for two months, and I’m trying to do multiple lengths every afternoon. To my surprise and joy, I’m finding it really relaxing, and a great time to stretch out muscles cramped from too much sitting.

I used to play guitar and write songs and haven’t even touched it in 20 years. But it’s time! I’m excited and nervous to start building up the calluses needed to play without pain. I love singing and really miss it.


Have you taken up new skills or activities in the pandemic?


Or re-discovered older ones you’d let go?


8 thoughts on “A return to earlier pleasures

  1. i love the picture and the story of why it is so important to you. how lucky to have jose to help bring it back to life. so cool that you took up these activities again. i really am a terrible swimmer, yet love the water and to play in it. that’s such a good exercise for so many reasons. and playing an instrument, something i’ve always admired in people. well done! as for me, i’ve upped my walking game, and began cooking more healthy food, using fresh ingredients from the local farmers. a win-win, and it’s really fun

    1. I means so much to have that image…I have few photos of me when younger and yes, I could never have imagined he could do that!

      I’m up to 15 lengths now and aiming to do 25, just working up to more every day. It feels so good…and I’m just glad our pool is small enough it doesn’t feel impossible!

      Cooking good food is such a pleasure — and farmer’s markets are the best! We have a lot of them locally.

  2. Old photographs are such a treasure, and you are so very fortunate that your “live-in photo editor and archivist” has the skills to do that. When I went through my Mom’s stuff after she passed away, I found so many treasures in the form of photographs, cards, hand written letters to her and from her. I catalogued and digitized all of them before carefully packing them safely away again.

    I have not taken up any new activities just yet, but I have been eyeing Roland electronic keyboards the last while and looking at some online piano training sites as well. My favorite instrument is the piano and I have always wanted to learn and play, so perhaps one day soon I’ll go ahead and take the plunge and purchase a good used one.

    Other than that, my wife and I play pickleball 3 times a week and golf on weekdays. Good post …

    1. I am lucky indeed! It feels like a ghost brought back to life!

      Glad you found and digitized and saved those things of you mother’s. I was estranged from mine for the last 10 years of her life and I am glad I did save some earlier letters and cards as there would be no more — and everything else? Not sure what’s even left as I will not go out to BC for a long time yet. Very little, as she died in a nursing home.

      I am in awe of anyone who plays the piano!

      We’re off to the golf course tomorrow and the driving range tonight. I am so grateful there are still outdoor activities that are safe.

    2. Daily yoga has been a lifesaver for me now that I cannot teach my exercise classes. I’ve also enjoyed a variety of online dance classes. Like you, I did a lot of ballet as a younger person and also many other kinds of 💃🏾. It’s daunting to see how my body and skills have changed over the years, but on the other hand, I’ve got lots more mileage now and still enjoy these activities. I am blessed – decades down the road and everything still works pretty well.

  3. TheCatLady

    I love how the pandemic has made a lot of us rediscover past hobbies we used to enjoy doing. I have gotten back to writing and I’ve started running which I have always wanted to do but never pushed myself enough to actually getting out there and doing it. 🙂

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