Today, May 29, is the tenth anniversary of moving into this house that has been our home and haven. We were still feeling our way, then. A bit shell shocked, I think, and a bit giddy at the enormity of what we had done in crossing the pond.
As I’ve worked to pack up our home during the past few months, there have been so many memories. I’ve been a bit more ruthless about what I’m keeping. I have things that I haven’t looked at since I brought them here from Canada. Gone. Given to a local charity shop.
We have known such joy here, and heartache. We have fought mighty battles, and known peace and heart’s ease. We have celebrated new friendships, and mourned lost ones. We have missed our families, and created a new one in the friends we have found.
“Oh, you should see them. They’re right under the Ash!” I exclaimed the day after we first saw the Goslings last year.
“I’m going to feed them,” my sweetheart declared.
“You were going to wait until they were older,” I reminded him.
“I changed my mind!” he stated as he strode out the door with food in his hand and I grabbed my camera.
The next day, April 26, 2021, I didn’t see the family at all. I had been working at my desk most of the day; surely I would have seen them at some point.
Remembering the family that was wiped out a few years back, I was more than a little worried by 5:00 that afternoon, so I grabbed my camera and went out to find them. There was no sign of them on either pond. No sign in any of their usual spots. I became very concerned.
As I hurried around the corner of one of the ponds, I was stopped in my tracks by the sight of Papa and Mama in the high growth on the edge of the water.
This behaviour was uncharacteristic. I’d never seen them like this, ever. My hope was that it was rest time and the Goslings were nestled around Mama, hidden in the leaves. Slowly, I backed off and went back to the house.
About an hour later, I went out again. I walked all the way around the ponds and as I came back across the property, I was relieve and delighted to see the Canadians. All of them!
They were headed for the grass by the drive, so I hurried to catch up and walked with them at a distance as they went.
As the family paused in the drive, I had a fabulous photo op with them before heading happily back into the house.
Fast forward back to this year, it’s been about three days since I last wrote. We are closer to our move date, my mortgage offer finally having come in and with only a few outstanding bits of information remaining.
I’ve had a quote from a mover and am now faced with trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my unpacked belongings. All the easy stuff is done. What’s left are the odds and sods, the overlooked items, drawers or containers I had forgotten to look at, awkward things like jig saws and drills, rolls of twine and vacuum parts. And everything else that we are still using.
But I rather know how Papa was feeling when he did this, last year. What I didn’t realise, of course is why he was doing it, but man would I ever like to just get it out of my system like he does.
A bit of calm. Wow. That’s been in short supply this past eight months or so. Soon. I hope.
In the meantime, I feel rather like the Goslings … always moving and always vulnerable.
Sometimes, you just have to stop.
This is the Jubilee weekend, here. The country is awash in Union Jacks, flags, bunting, Platinum Jubilee flags. It was fun driving to and from the grocery store, seeing all the creative ways people had of displaying their affection for the Queen.
Last year, we were dreading a veterinary appointment with Aleksandra. We knew by then that something was very wrong. She was walking much more slowly, stopping to rest increasingly frequently, and asking to turn back earlier each time.
The Canadians helped keep us grounded and focussed on something other than our fears for our girl.
That afternoon, I got this series of shots.
The house purchase process is so much simpler in Canada. Here, it drags on and on with no end in sight. It can take up to six months! And right up to the eleventh hour, after months of this, one party or another can pull out, nixing the entire thing. The government is actually taking action to address this, because sales are being cancelled over it and people are losing out.
The thing is, we have no choice. We have to move. We have to work within the system here. The one constant for me, other than my sweetheart, my Wee Gurrl and the Canadians, has been packing. No matter what, we have to move and our home has slowly filled with boxes. Ready or not, we have to strike out on a new path.
As I look back at last year, I can’t help but wonder what we could have done differently. Could we have seen certain signs and heeded them more quickly? I don’t know … but I can’t help but wonder. Second guessing the past is futile. I know that … but I can’t help but wonder.
But now, we have a glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel. We are within a few weeks. Soon, we can rest a little. So lovely to be able to lose myself in last year’s family for a while as I share their life with you.
In the end, things will either turn out the way we want them to, or they won’t. The strength lies in being able to just get on with things. You can fight for better circumstances, but at some point, you need to just deal with the inevitable, when the inevitable is clearly delineated, and move on.
Living to succeed again … I like that outlook. Shit happens, my friends. My goodness, sometimes it happens in spades. It can overwhelm. It can shock and awe. But in the end, we do what we must to get through.
The British saying comes to mind: Keep Calm and Carry On.
Well, I can’t promise to keep calm throughout, but I’m all over carrying on.
I'm a Canadian who loves our planet and the people living on it. I also love to travel and take pictures. I'd like to think I've improved a little, but am pretty sure there's room to be better.
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