Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Moved

I'll remember the summer of 2015 as the summer that never was; and the summer in which everything changed. We're moved. Sounds so simple and easy to write, but the truth be told, in the past three months I was tested to my limit, and survived by looking only at what was in front of me at any given moment, and not too far ahead. "Eye on the prize" was our mantra as we juggled the responsibilities of our life, keeping all the balls in the air. I've never felt so exhausted and depleted in my entire life.

But it was all worth it.

As I packed my life into tidy little boxes I resisted the urge to revisit memories of what was, avoiding the emotional upheaval that comes with leaving a home of almost twenty-eight years. The empty rooms echoed with the laughter and chatter of little girls and countless famjams, and shadows of heartbreak still remained. But I couldn't help but smile as I excavated precious treasures -- baby teeth left behind by a forgetful Tooth Fairy; Kidlet's will that she wrote when she was thirteen; notes and lists written in my mom's handwriting; and old journals. I was truly moved.

In the midst of preparing our cottage and home for sale, we were in wedding mode with my eldest daughter Lyndsay marrying her sweetheart Jenny. My family and I love any opportunity to celebrate and rejoice together and I didn't want the wedding overshadowed by any anxiety or fatigue I was experiencing. I needn't have worried. The ceremony was deeply moving  and the love that filled the space was palpable. The wedding was like being in the eye of a storm -- calm and serene and FUN.
The eye moved on and we moved to our new home two days later.


It took a village - but we made it and came out the other side. Our parents showed up offering support, food and drink and we christened our new home in fine form.

The very first night that Hubby and I took possession of the schoolhouse, we slept on a blow up mattress so we could wake up to the view of the cathedral of trees and greenery. We didn't get much sleep, but it did not disappoint.

And as I sit here amid stacks of partially opened, unpacked boxes, and a chorus of crickets chirping, I feel overwhelmed in the best possible way. I marvel at the goodness that life has delivered to me and I am grateful. Grateful and moved.

PS- I'm back!

Went to sleep amid the chaos of unpacking 

Woke up to this view

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Earn it to Deserve It


How ironic that the book I have been reading on my travels includes the story of Job - a man who was tested beyond belief. Tonight, at the midnight hour, I find myself relating...

Okay - I suppose we cannot compare having your tribe wiped out and being cursed with seeping sores with having the washer flood, the landscapers forget the curb appeal part of their contract, flooring that won't stick, wallpaper that won't unstick and icing on the cake -- having the  pitter-patter of little feet - paws - romping across the ceiling. Yup - we got company, and just in time for us to get our house ready to list. Hubby has been working around the clock to get our place ready to sell.

Don't get me wrong -- there's been progress - new carpeting, three freshly painted bedrooms, one partially upgraded bathroom, overgrown trees removed and the hedges trimmed. But we've miles to go before we sleep --literally.

And it doesn't help to be doing most of this after the work day when we are tired, although we have had the help of our families. As I was mopping up the laundry room floor with already musty towels to the tune of hubby cursing the tiles he was trying to match to the uneven wall, it occurred to me that we are really earning our new dream house. We have to earn it to deserve and by Job -- we deserve it.

And now - I will officially call this pity party to a close. And tonight as I lay to rest my weary bones, I will give thanks for all that is to come.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Dreamscape

Once again, an outcome that seemed to profoundly disappointing, was just a stepping stone to one that was better than we could have imagined. For months hubby and I fixated on what we felt was the perfect country home for us. We decorated it, developed the property and spent countless hours discussing the possibilities of this "perfect" home. But it was not to be.

When it sold to someone - not us - my experience reminded me to trust that this outcome was the best one for us - that something better was in store. My heart was right.

Hubby and I will soon be the proud owners of a historic stone schoolhouse with four lush acres on a quiet country road, minutes to the quaint village we love. A magical property more than 100 thousand dollars less than we bid on the other house.

Sometimes the universe has something better in store than we allow ourselves to dream. So dream big. And be grateful. And tonight I was reminded - and filled with gratitude. I predict a very good night's sleep.


Sunday, May 31, 2015

Next!

It is more than 150 years old - steeped in history and limestone. This historical country school house is on my dream pursuit list. Hubby and I have been scoping it since it hit the market and when we toured it up close and personal, it did not disappoint. It is a special property - four acres of lush that includes century old trees, perennials, lilacs, fruit trees and even a babbling brook.

It will be an hour commute - time to practice my Swahili - which would be a challenge in winter. But I want to try. I don't want to NOT try it because of fear.

This weekend my eldest daughter and her love moved to a new home three minutes away. I know they will soon start a family and she wants assurances that we will all remain close and engaged as a family.

Change is inevitable and can be unsettling but if we embrace it, we can make it be a catalyst for something even better. I have one eye on our next adventure with the other on ways we can preserve and even strengthen our relationships with our family.

Next!


Monday, May 18, 2015

Slow Time

If all goes according plan, our lazy weekends at the cottage are numbered. But for right now - it is still ours to enjoy. We drove the three hours Saturday morning; Friday night after a very l o n g   work week would have felt rushed.

On the drive up north, I glanced up from my book occasionally and snapped my mental shots for posterity of the very familiar landmarks and roadside sights. The rugged, raw beauty of the steep granite rocks that flank the highway seem ed to usher us along on our way to our little piece of paradise. I wondered how many times more I would take this drive.

Saturday was a chilly overcast day - dead quiet on the lake. Hubby and I slipped our hoods (that's why we call it a hoodie) over our heads to keep the black flies at bay and headed for the dock. With not a neighbour in sight, the illusion of being the only ones on the lake was complete. We leaned back in the Muskoka chairs, legs stretched out and quietly reminisced.  The lake had delivered every hope and dream that we'd had when we bought it. Now we must let it go to make room for another dream. The chill in the air meant a fire was in order and Hubby stoked the flames until we turned in.

We awoke to the sunshine flooding the room. The weather was nothing short of perfection - clear blue sky, brilliant sunshine and 25 C temps. A gift. Perfection. And a first -- the first dip of the season in the frigid lake.

It's funny - minutes tick by slower; colours are more vibrant; songbirds provide the soundtrack; life is good at the cottage. Nature is a balm for the soul and a day at the cottage is like a mini va-cay. It occurred to me that we have to find a way to recreate the tranquility of the lake when we are away from it. To slow it down a bit. There are the same 24 hours in a day - whether here or there; the trick is to be in the moment, to be mindful of my surroundings, to drink it all in with all of my senses, and to take pleasure in living fully in the present. Slow time. That will be my new speed. And for all the time I've had immersed in nature, I am truly grateful.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Breath of Fresh

I was burrowed away in my office, juggling my seemingly endless to-do list listening to the raindrops pelt my window. With a trusty alibi, I contemplated skipping the lunch hour walk that I am committed to with our current workplace healthy walking campaign in full force. It was raining - no excuses needed!

Then - as suddenly as it started - it stopped raining and the skies cleared. I made like Clark Kent and changed into my super hero walking costume. I plugged my peaceful tunes in my ears and walked boldly out the front doors, leaving my bruised banana and sour apple behind. I started humming along with John Denver, "Sunshine on My Shoulders" (my favourite) - and I may have been singing too, judging from the strange look the lady at the bus stop threw me. I could feel the tingling of happiness creeping in,,,starting with my toes and moving up my legs. I broke into a slow jog -- maybe more of skip -- and the heaviness of stress and angst lifted with every step.

Maybe it was spring fever. Colours seemed more vivid and the air, a little fresher than normal. My senses were on overload and the world seemed to be sending me little messages. I couldn't help but feel cheerful as I walked through the pink tunnel painted with school kid messages.

It was only thirty minutes but it was enough to energize and relax me for the rest of the day. As I changed back into my office appropriate attire, I had a few words with myself - and promised to make moving a priority - all cajoling aside!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Dreamchanger

Five years ago Hubby and I went out on a limb; make a snap decision; and boldly bought a rustic cottage on a tranquil lake (that means alot to both of us) -- without even stepping foot inside. It was perfect for us, and we knew it instantly. After visiting the bank for suggestions on how to buy a cottage with no cash, and after three days of it being listed, we owned our dream pursuit.

Over the past five years we enjoyed every moment we spent in the cosy cottage, inhaling the kind of peace that only comes with being immersed in nature, swimming in the pristine lake and cherishing those quiet moments that inspire creativity.

But Hubby and I want something more; we want our tranquility to last past the weekend and we want to fall asleep and wake up to a chorus of birds chirping and crickets singing. We want to live in the country. So this weekend we listed our beloved Falconridge. And as if in support of our difficult decision, we were blessed with one of the most private and peaceful weekends we have had in two years. It was truly special and just want we needed. We worked hard to get the place in shape for showing. Hubby exhibited his Herculean strength in lifting the dock ramp and connecting it to the dock, and lugging the Muskoka chairs and canoes down to the lake. He admitted that he was grateful that this would be the last time he had to do it.

Then we exhaled. We reminisced about the wonderful, special times we'd shared at the cottage and then turned our focus to the future. It will be hard to let go of something so special, that had become a part of us, but we both agree - there is something exciting for us in the future. A new dream. And the pursuit of that dream will be thrilling and invigorating, just like all the rest. And that is what makes life so rich and wonderful. Life is good.

And for that, I am truly grateful.