A few weeks ago, after returning from our trip to Elbow Cay, I got a call from our baby girl. As she is in the Education Program her break would be March Break instead of a reading week in February. “Mom, I really need to come home. I just need too”. How do you say no to that one, though I did turn it into a bit of reality check and made her pay her own airline ticket. Oh evil woman that I am lol!
With a quick phone call to her brother and his girlfriend DC, a quite week at home began with a bang! I absolutely love having a house full of people, teasing, laughter and stories that are probs best not told…. I cant wipe the smile off my face right now as I type this. Three extra the first night, 7 extra the next with the icing on the cake being a visit from a married friend of the kids and her children the next morning. During the visit were were able to FaceTime in the Scottish group making the family visit complete! Bring’em on! It was wonderful. Sunday evening came, the extras headed back to their reality and quiet time began here in the middle of no where.
The next four days were bliss. Baby girl and my husband began a binge watch of Shamless. I must admit, there is no way I could watch it, I tried. Honest. I just couldn’t get past the language and lifestyle. I am a bit of a baby. Though the up side was that my bailing allowed father and daughter to have some time to catch up. Chatting about everything under the sun when our good ole country internet would crap out. Or while coming into the kitchen to scrounge for what ever food they could from me.
I set myself up everyday at the island in our kitchen. The walls in front and behind me are mostly made up of windows and glass doors. On days such as today, the sunlight beams in and can cause a blinding reflection on our black and gold veined flooring. My “perch” allows me to keep an eye (and perhaps an ear) on what ever is happening in the house. Last week it was awful to almost hear the sighs of contentment and the smiles from my two couch potatoes.
Midweek, our son came for an overnight (thank you Mother Nature you crazy mixed up wench, this year anyway) for the snowstorm. Zeeman is currently working in Effort Town, so it was safer to stay the night here in the middle of nowhere. A few headlocks, whining from his sister and perhaps an argument later he was off to work in the morning; leaving behind a sad baby sister.
Getting up way to early on Friday morning, grabbing the little dog and hopping into the truck to take her down the escarpment to the train, baby girl told me that she wasn’t ready to leave. It had been a great week, doing nothing, hanging with Dad and Zeeman she said. Getting a touch, kiss or hug when ever she felt like it from Mom. With a quick “love you Mom , love you Oli”, she turned from the truck and quickly moved into the station.
I pulled away with Oli crying and barking for his girl as we left the station, my crying adding to the sad sounds of good bye.
Be safe baby girl – to the moon and back
Hard to believe dear imaginary readers, its been a week – over a week- without our big dog. I still look for him every day, when cutting peppers he would always come for a snack; eating my breakfast, share your toast please mom…..The tears are less, the weight and pressure on my chest a bit lighter but still there.
I admit I lost most of the last week to grief – actually did ab so lutley nothing on Saturday, I mean honest to goodness nothing. Don’t remember if I have ever done that without being very sick. I kicked myself in the pants on Sunday and made myself move. Little Oli no longer looks for his big buddy and has gotten used to (I think) taking walks with just the two of us. Some days though he still has that SPCA dog look on this whole body all day long.
My husband and I are off on a trip for a week and have a great lady coming to live with Oli. It’s very nice to have someone come to your house to man the pup, but I am still concerned how he will do without us here.
I did manage to work out a bit yesterday and today, even though I am sad this “fluff” still has to go. Proud of myself that I did not fall into the whole bad comfort food thing this past week. Perhaps a wee bit of gin and a little wine but not whole bottles. Positive right!?! I have been thinking of how I can work out on a small island with a group of people and not look life a goof. Guess getting over that feeling is part of the process, just gotta do what I gotta do and to heck with what anyone else thinks right?
Here is to the little steps – mental and physical that get us to where we want to go.
Almost eleven years ago our family was looking to add a “big dog” to our family pack. There was the five of us and one scrappy little general, our schnauzer Tucker. Tuck needed a buddy, some one to play with doggy style, not just with our kids. The search began with my husband giving me a limit I could spend while all the while he was thinking, “ha ha..she’ll never be able to get what they want for that amount!” Away he went to the east coast on a business trip and we began a full frontal assault of the “for sale” pages in papers and on the internet.
Low and behold..a day or so later we found an ad for “Labradoodle Puppy for sale”, the kids and I arranged to head out into the bright blue beyond to find a friend for Tuck. We drove for about an hour and came to a lovely country home where the “mom” dog had be bred to have puppies to make a little extra cash and she could have a friend. There were two pups left, cleverly named “colllar” and “no collar” catchy but we knew who was who! We had brought Tuck along as we wanted to see if there was any chemistry with either of the pups. We introduced the dogs while having a glass of lemonade in the breeders back yard. Low and behold, “collar” took to Tuck right away – hide and seek and war games were happening! After about 20 minutes I asked the kids what they thought, all were in agreement that we should take “collar” home with us.
I took a minute and asked them if they had played with “no collar”, a big resounding “no” was heard. I asked them why not? The answer “well Mom, he is hiding under the bench, he is afraid of Tucker”. I asked who they thought was incharge of the games that “collar “and Tuck were playing, and the answer was “collar”. I explained that I thought no collar was the better choice as we wanted Tuck to stay as top dog. Several phone calls later with no response from Dad we took no collar home.
We named him Marley, after Bob Marley as he was the proud owner of black and silver kinky hair. For the next almost eleven years he helped us laugh, cry over the premature death of Tucker and to grow as individuals. Three years ago, Marley got his own buddy in the form of a dog we thought was a three year old Tibetian Terrier cross that was rescued from a kill shelter in Texas. Turns out the rescue, Oliver was 10 – the same age as Mar.
With Olli came the routine of opening the blinds in the office every morning for “squirrel theatre” – so they could watch and be tormented by the squirrels out front. We all waited for and watched each days installment of “fight club – Mar and Ollie style”. And then, last week Mar got sick. And yesterday all of our hearts were shattered when we had to put him down – oh how I hate cancer. It was a quick attack – on the table as my husband and I were telling him how much we loved him and what a great dog he was he was still wagging his tail.
We had no choice, it was the right thing to do. Today, from the east coast of Canada to Scotland and several points in Ontario we are all crushed. The pressure in our chests , directly over our broken hearts is incredible. Olli isn’t eating and is either sleeping on Mars favorite pillow or is searching the house for him.
I finish writing this dear imaginary readers through tears that are streaming down my face. Dear, dear Mar…you were our big dog, our friend, Rest In Peace . Find Tuck , he’ll show you the ropes.
LOVE YOU MAR
Today is Saturday January 22 2017, I have just heard one of my favorite sounds in the world. The “POP” of a bottle of champagne or Prosecco in this case. I am currently sitting on the back porch of our rental in Marathon in the Florida Keys squinting in the sunlight as I type this. Poor, poor me imaginary readers lol!
My husband and I left home 10 days ago, leaving the SIX to head to Durham, England for the graduation of our son “The Golden One” according to our girls hahah! We landed to damp awful cold but hey, it wasn’t Ontario. I perhaps enjoyed a little toooooooo much red wine that evening, visiting restaurants and then College bars and ended up having a close intimate conversion with the great white cool throne. Embrassing!
This was our first flight with British Airways, unfortunately we also had to fly them home. It was a very disorganized bright flight to England as a light malfunctioned making it impossible to tame the herd. The front of the steerage section, us included, could not settle down. Even after 3 hours when the staff finally admitted that the light could not be turned off and offered eye shades. People milling around and screaming kids did not make for a great flight.
Our eldest daughter met us in Durham (after missing her train from Scotland and having to pay through the nose for a new one way ticket) missing breakfast at the most awesome Flat White Kitchen. If you have the chance, you must check this place out. Amazing foods coffee, reasonable portions. Unfortunately she was there for my wine induced performance. We stayed in a lovely family room at the Durham Royal County, a little cold but we were happy to all be together.
Friday was Grad day, I mean, how ofen in ones life do you graduate from Hogwarts? Our son was gowned and the procession began from Durham Castle over to Durham Catherdal for the ceremony. Both venues have been used in Harry Potter movies. It was a lovely ceremony in a World Heritage Site, we are so very lucky to have been able to attend. Dinner that night was very much enjoyed at The Cellar Door. A lovely selection on the menu with an average wine list.
The next day was up and on the way to Florida……more to follow. Yes, I know dear imaginary reader that perhaps we are bit crazy. Two days in England?!?!?! WTF
Today will be the first full day without having a single extra person in our house since the middle of December. Our Holiday Season began with the return of our oldest daughter bringing home her boyfriend from Scotland, tagging along by way of Tel Aviv was a friend our two oldest had met in La Paz a few years ago. From the time the kids walked through our door, after a visit to the Toronto Christmas Market, our front door became a revolving door, laundry never stopped and it was a mission to keep food in the fridge and in the pantry. I thought I was well prepared lol!
The youngest of our family rolled in from the East Coast and with her another addition to our family arrived from Rhode Island. Our last girls were home and it was time to truly get family on! 12 hours and 25 people later, we were all in the Holiday mood. This holiday time made my husband and I think that perhaps we CAN all survive adult children.
There wasn’t a single fight, there was help cooking and cleaning up. Loud euchre games, beer pong, air hockey and FIFA tourneys. Lots of UK Gin, good wine and amazing food. We taught our Israeli things about snow and Christmas and fun times in Toronto. Watching a 29 year old Scot and our daughter build snowmen with an almost 3 year old is enough to melt your heart. Christmas with an Israeli and a Scot, one for the record books!
Now it is time to begin the big dig out, not of snow but of detritus left behind by our band of merry revellers. Getting things organized again may take awhile, I think I may have to take time to have a cry in this empty,too quiet house. Miss them all.
Yip, December 7th….not much action around here in the middle of nowhere since my last post. The house is kinda sorta decorated but not finished. Rumor has it that we will be venturing out, probably into Effortown or close to, in order to purchase a Christmas tree today. Now THAT, is going to feel strange.
For ever, ok for at least 20 years our family has ventured out in some form to cut down our tree. In rain, snow and at times balmy weather it has always been a holiday thing ya know? This year for the very first time, none of our kids will be with us. WEIRD. In order to stay married my husband and I have decided that we will purchase a precut tree. This way there will be no bickering about carrying the tree out of the field, chance of the top getting broken off (now that was a time lol!) or forgetting exactly where that perfect tree was located.
There is only one problem, we don’t have a clue where to purchase said precut tree. While supporting the local boy scout troop sounds good their trees are not quite tall enough for our space. Oh right, size of tree…no matter what we wont be getting out of that debate this year! Guess we will be checking the internet for local tree sales and crossing our fingers.
In 10 days the first round of kids, ok our adult children and their friends descend upon us. I feel excitement and a pinch of terror as I am no where near ready. Cross your fingers for me please my imaginary readers.
Check back for updates to my real life saga – When a Scot and an Israeli come to Canada for their first Christmas.
Its 11:46 the morning of December 2, 2016 and I am having a tough time putting myself into gear. Our kids have been suggesting for a while now that my husband and I check out Suits on Netflix. Last night was the beginning of what I am sure will turn into a Suits Marathon.
See, the problem is that today is December freaking 2! My house is not clean let alone ready to be decorated for Christmas, my second cup of coffee is yet to kick in (should have made some delicious Just Us coffee urghhhhhh), and I hear the heavy thump from the tail of our family labradoodle. Next, a sorrowful howl will come from our Tibetian. Come on Mom, you can do it! One foot in front of the other, let ‘s go for our walk!!!
It is truly amazing how much structure and habit move our lives in a positive forward direction. I know I have created my own puppy problems, heck, I live my life as our dogs support system! Its like they know I am typing about them, the Tibetian is loosing his head at what we call “squirrel theatre”. Now he runs up to our bed to hop up and look out the window to get a better perspective on our street in the middle of nowhere. The Labradoodle looks up the stairway and then flops on the floor. He too was up watching Suits, guess I have a tired buddy after all.
Ok, one, two, three…..nope. Nothing there. And the count down to Christmas begins to apply pressure
Ok I give up! I have no idea how to be the parent of adult children. My white flag is in the air..that’s it, I am done.
I attended an event last week where an acquaintance shared with me that she admires the way we raised our children and that we are their friend. I thanked her very much but was a thinking to myself, really? Their friends? We raised our family away from any members of our immediate family for many reasons, none of which i will go into here. We didn’t have much but were rich in our own minds because we had our little family. We went everywhere together, a hockey game for anyone one of them, there we were. Figure skating, yip there they are again. Vacation? A road to trip to Florida, Northern Ontario, sure can we all come and bring the dogs? Joined at the hip.
We moved to the middle of nowhere and things changed a little. My husband wasn’t at home as much as he was making his way in the big smoke but when he could we were all out to support each other again. Our friends I think like hanging with our kids, playing with our kids even now that they are all grown and trying to find their own ways. But how, pray tell how in the heck do you blend possible life partners into a group that has been this close without there being issues? How do you discuss it without someone deciding that you are an ogre and not just trying to find a way to grow the family amicably.
I failed at it miserably in the last 48 hours if any one ever reads this and has the magic answer let me know