L-r: Brian Richardson, Kevin Longfield, Harry Nelken, Lynne Martin, Armin Wiebe and Jenny Gates.

Yesterday morning didn’t start off on the right foot, so to speak.

It began with a rude awakening when I stubbed – big time – the middle toe on my right foot in a door jamb. It’s not broken, but it hurts like heck, and was a crappy way to start the day.

After hobbling around the house for a while, I tried walking as usual before getting down to work. About 10 minutes from home, it was clear a long walk was out of the question.

A quick look online confirmed that ice was required – duly applied – and I settled in for some healing … until I remembered I had a meeting downtown at 9:30. Doh! I could have missed it, but since I’d organised the meeting, I decided to go and wish our friend, Harry Nelken, success in his upcoming adventure at the Stratford Festival.

Since there was a strong likelihood that my by then beautifully coloured and slightly fat toe might impede my right foot’s ability to apply the brake when necessary, I check the bus schedule to figure out what time I would have to leave to get downtown. 9:08? Perfect.

Out the door by 9:01 and at the corner by 9:05, I was more than a little surprised to see the bus drive by on the other side of the street. I frantically waved to the driver while awkwardly limping across the road, to no avail. Bugger!

At my stop, a conversation with the next person to arrive considered many things – whether that was 9:00 bus running late, or the 9:08 bus running early, or the 9:05 running exactly on time. The 9:05? There is no 9:05, not according to the schedule I saw. Or was there? All I knew for sure was I had missed a bus, and despite my careful planning, I would now be late. Sigh!

There was probably a lesson in there somewhere, but my toe hurt too much to look for it.

When the next bus finally turned up – late, at least according to my schedule – there were two of them, and both were packed, no doubt the result of collecting several buses worth of waiting passengers. Fortunately, after boarding the front bus, I spied a seat right up the back and navigated my way there.

Despite the temperatures outside, inside was kind of warm, so I took off my toque, neckwarmer and gloves, and unzipped my coat. Then suddenly, an unexpected stream of freezing air overwhelmed those of us in the back. I exchanged questioning glances with the guy next to me, who said, “Just checking I’m not the only one who feels that.” With neither of us delusional, we then worked together to locate the source – a window about halfway down on the other side. The passengers in that area seemed to know something we didn’t because the window remained open, and there was nothing for me to do but upzip the coat, and put on the recently removed neckwarmer, toque and gloves.

A few stops on, a tall gentleman walking down the aisle, apparently heading for the seat across from me, sensed danger, and casually reached up to shut the window. We were happy – until it opened again of its own accord, which explained a lot.

Fortunately, the meeting with The Dotagers Play Group at Second Cup was a success, the bus ride home was without incident, and there were no plans to leave home in the next two days.

As I sit here now with some ice on my toe, which is sporting a spectacular palette of purple bruises, I’m happy to say I finally found that lesson – no matter the day you are having, the company of friends is often enough to put the rest of your day back on the right foot.