Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Place to Belong

We just got back from a week at Amherst Shore. May at the shore...a first for me but not a last. In spite of less than perfect weather I really enjoyed the trip. It is so different to go there and not be surrounded by the usual friends and family. It was peaceful and quiet. Still the same beautiful place with the same smells and sights I have loved my entire life. I felt at home. After so many months of not feeling at home where I live, it was so nice to go to the shore and belong somewhere. It was nice to go into the cottage and have it smell just like I remember and to see all of our familiar things and look forward to another summer with the family. I look out the windows and see the things I have looked at for years and open the windows and smell the fresh air and the freshly cut grass. I can go to Craigs and walk in and be a familiar face and see familiar faces and chat about the winter and the upcoming summer. Oh, to feel connected is so welcome.

I realized on this trip ,especially, that this place and the farmhouse when it is finished will be our family home. We don't and won't live in a place anymore where the kids all grew up and where we have a history. No place except the shore. It will always be in our family and it is where no matter where we all go in life we will always have this place to belong. It makes it so much more important to finish the farmhouse and make it our home for the summer.

Back Mississauga, it was even good to be in our house. Slowly I am warming up to living here. Not that I haven't liked it but I am feeling a little more comfortable here and have a few things to look forward to doing around here. I have plenty to keep me busy until it is time to go back to the shore. I think I will really like spring turning into summer up here. So far I am thrilled with my yard and discovering all the new plants that I have never been able to grow in the south. I really never liked gardening because I associated it with lots of sweat and bugs. Not so up here, it is so nice to go outside and feel the velvet air and breath easily. I think gardening up here will be very rewarding, the colors are so bright and things just grow so nicely here. Such a variety to choose from too, I have even planted a few herbs and lettuces. A first for me, the non gardener.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


After 2 years of planning, the trip to Italy finally happened. It was worth the wait and was everything and more than we had expected. We left Toronto on April 20 and returned on May 4. Two glorious weeks of good friends, beautiful places, perfect weather and too much food and wine. I cannot think of a better way to celebrate 30 years of marriage.

With 22 good friends from Columbus, Ga we started our trip in Tuscany. We visited Siena, Pienza, Florence, and Montepulciano from our first base in Chianciano Terme. From there we went to Assisi by way of Perugia, sampling some yummy chocolate on the way and looking out the windows with anticipation. Assisi was inspiring. St. Francis is inspiring. What a beautiful place filled with history. Our hotel was a highlight with it's views and terraces which our group took full advantage of at night. There was a very long drive to the Amalfi Coast but we stopped for a break in Pompeii. Amazing. Each stop was more and more beautiful. The Amalfi Coast with it's blue water and steep rugged coastline was very different from Tuscany's rolling hills and vineyards. Another hotel with a terrace on the top and this one had a view to take your breath away. We again took full advantage of it for happy hour! Our trip ended in Rome, a city that has so much to offer that around every corner there is something to enjoy. I could go on much longer singing the praises of each of these places and still never do them justice. How can you describe something that has survived since before the time of Christ? How can you describe the beauty of so many churches filled with frescos and history? How do you describe spending 10 days with some of the best friends we will ever have? It was a perfect trip.

Back home, the flowers are blooming and there is life all around. This may well be the longest spring I will ever experience. It was spring in Italy, then spring in Switzerland and now it is spring in Toronto. I like having a spring that lasts 2 months!
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