Monday, March 29, 2010

Holy Week Journey

Yesterday was Palm Sunday. I went to mass and had a lot of time to think. I could not help but draw a few parallels between this Holy Week and my week. I know my journey is insignificant in comparison but it is my journey.

Our priest was talking about the journey Jesus took to death only to come to new life and that is when it hit me. That is exactly what I am doing this week. In a way one life is dying and at the end of this journey I hope to rise to a new life. We say goodbye to this life we have known for the past two years and it is not an easy trip. So I am carrying my cross in the form of boxes, disorder, goodbyes, many endings, a very long drive south and living out of a suitcase....with a very confused dog in tow for the next week.

At the end of this journey we will be reborn in another place and yet another life. From the darkness of this week to the light of Easter.....and Sugar Land.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Five More Days

Five days until we leave Canada. My mind is having a little trouble grasping what chaos will ensue over the next 2 weeks. I sit here on a beautiful Saturday morning calmly drinking my morning tea in my clean, quiet, orderly house. The house that in two days will look like it has been ransacked. The order that I have will become extreme disorder and finding even a hairbrush will be superhuman psychic feat. I've done this too many times and I know oh too well what I am in for, weeks of feeling lost and disorganized. What is it that I have said before??? "You just have to embrace it!" Ok, I'll try.

Before we leave I have just a few more things to add to the list of "things I'll miss when we leave". Then maybe I will move on to the list of "things I am looking forward to" or "things I really don't miss". I know you are all waiting anxiously to see what that list looks like?!

Once again, in no particular order other than how they popped into my head....

Leewi Yoga- it has been awesome! After I broke my arm and hurt my knee, I was off the running track and yoga made me strong again. It has been my guilty pleasure ever since it opened.

Public transit- while we don't use it very often, TJ and I have enjoyed riding the Go Train. Every time we have visitors one day is "public transit day" and we go downtown on the train and take advantage of public transit. Having never lived in a city with transit, this has been a real treat. A Go Train to the Galleria in Houston would be nice, or downtown...that would be nice!

my bank- small things make me happy. The people at my bank know me and greet me when I come in. I talk to them face to face instead of through a plexiglass ( I assume bullet proof) window like the one I had to talk through the last time I was in Texas. Really?? What a shame! I don't remember that being there 2 years ago.

Seeing the CN Tower and Toronto skyline when I drive home from the west or when we walk along the lake. It really is a lovely skyline.

Every day has the potential to be a "good hair day"! I have had 2 years of good hair days (I guess that could be open to debate, but the frizz is gone), now a girl has to love that!

Canadians- Yes, some of my favorite people are Canadian. Always have been, probably always will be.

Our dogsitter, Miss Enid. Without her we/Sadie would have been lost. We have done a lot of traveling while living up here and my conscience has been eased knowing that Sadie is being loved and totally spoiled at Miss Enid's. She has been a treasure!

Basements- How did I lived all these years without a basement? What are we going to do with all the stuff we have in our basement when we move? Yikes! I really like the fact that my storage in the basement is a nice cool place as opposed to storing everything in the attic, that possibly reaches in excess of 100 degrees F for months of the year. Think melting Christmas ornaments.... I have enjoyed the extra living area too.

My Canadian Book Club- We have read some great books and had some fun times discussing them. As I did with my Texas book club, I will join you in spirit from afar and still read the books, well, I'll try to read all the books! Who knows....maybe I'll even show up to a meeting sometime. Probably in the middle of winter in a snowstorm! Yeah, I'll miss that.

Thanks for indulging me in my transition. The only way to move on is to say goodbye and this has been my goodbye. I spent some time last night rereading some of my posts and it really has been a good couple of years. I am glad we.... just embraced it!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Location, location, location

They always tell you that location matters. When we bought our house here, one of the main selling points was it's location. It turned out to be a good decision. We have enjoyed the location and in the end it was what sold the house.

More than just the street, the location of our house has proven to be a big plus in many ways. In no particular order, the pluses have been....

proximity to the airport- TJ and I (but mostly TJ) have done a lot of traveling since we moved here. Having a 15-20 minute drive to the airport has been invaluable! We have never lived closer to an airport and never has it been so important. TJ is flying every week, think about the time he has saved with this short commute. This is even more valuable for those early morning departures and those midnight arrivals.

living near the lake and Port Credit- this is also the first time we have ever lived this close to a village and a major body of water. It has been nice having all of the bike paths and walking paths to take advantage of along Lake Ontario. The village of Port Credit has been a fun place to explore. We have made a point of trying to eat at most of the pubs and restaurants in Port Credit. We may have missed a few but have enjoyed all of the ones we have tried. So many choices only 2 miles away! This is also nice since we are at a point in life where we eat out almost more than we eat in!

wine country and Niagara Falls- yes, we live near major tourist attractions! It has been a lot of fun taking visitors to Niagara Falls and to the wine country. I never get tired of seeing the falls. They are truly amazing. Wine country is a little treat as well. If you only go and do two wineries I'll give you my two recommendations. Go to Daniel Lenko and Tawes. They are polar opposites in every way except for their wines. Both have excellent wines. At Daniel Lenko you are welcomed by his dog outside and taste wine at the kitchen table in his old house. The atmosphere is very casual and relaxed and Daniel does the pouring. The wines are some of my favorites from this area! At Tawes, you taste wine in a very modern glass and wood building with stainless steel tanks in the background. The vineyards are beautiful, the grounds are perfectly landscaped and manicured and the tasting room is hushed and professional. Total opposites but both very good wines.

living in a place people like to come visit- we have been lucky enough while living here to have many visitors. I know they all came to see us, but I think the city of Toronto had a little to do with the visits as well. We like having visitors and we like showing them around the city. Toronto has lots to offer, so when they get bored with us, we can always go to town!

being close the the farmhouse- one of the nicest things about this location has been the proximity to Nova Scotia. Driving or flying, we are so much closer than I have ever been in my life. What a treat this has been. I am spoiled! From the first time I remember going to the shore, it took over a week to drive there. Now I can drive there in 16 hours or fly there in less than 2 hours. Sweet! We have been able to go 3 times a year, with relative ease. Why do we have a vacation home so far away from where we live? That is just the way it worked For my enitire life people have always asked why? Up here, no one asks why, they "get it". Back to explaining. Guess we are back to a week of driving or a day of flying. Totally worth the trip! But it sure has been nice to be so close for 2 years.

I think we learned a good lesson here and hope our new house has location, location, location! Looking forward to finding out.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The List Begins....things I'll miss

This post would have been easier to write yesterday, when it was very sunny and unseasonably warm. Today will have to do, back to cool and cloudy. Yes, I know...I have written way to much about weather during our stay in Canada. That is why it will be at the top of the list of "things I'll miss about Canada".

Having spent most of my life in places where the only seasons are hot and...not as hot, green and...brown, humid and...a little less humid. I have found it very refreshing to live in a place with more than 2 seasons.

I now know what it is like to:

-be knee deep in snow, in my own yard, for months
-live where winter means months instead of days of temperatures below freezing
-see the first hints of spring and anticipate the long awaited arrival of spring
-see the rivers of water produced by "the melt"
-have beautiful flowering trees in my yard, lilacs, magnolias, and cherries to name a few
-have a summer that means months of "patio season"!
-to have the shortest of days in the dead of winter and the longest of days in the summer
-to live in a place where it is a pleasure to work outside in the yard in the summer instead of a chore
-see the trees turn the most vibrant colors in the fall

I could go on but you get the picture. Seasons have been one of the best parts of living in Canada to me. I guess I am just a sucker for change.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Ending Where We Began

Two years ago our Canadian adventure was prefaced by a family ski trip to Park City, Utah. Last week we went back for the first time in 2 years. There must be something about taking a vacation before facing packing and moving that makes it all a little more palatable. Let me stick my head in the sand, or in this case the snow, and forget for a while what I need to do in the next month. I'm back home now and the reality is setting in, but it sure was nice to play for a week!

Katie and I enjoying a little break and a lot of sun!

We had a great week and great weather. Not the most snow we've ever had but still good to ski on. Three out of four kids showed up for part of the week and TJ made it for a few days too. My bummed knee survived the skiing and held me up pretty good, whoo hoo! Being there for a week allowed us to do a few different things too. This year we tried snowshoeing and went tubing. The snowshoeing was awesome! I admit, I was huffing and puffing a bit, but enjoyed every minute. Being outside in the fresh air and sunshine was great.

Kelly found a little powder at the bottom of the hill. She did this on purpose after shoeing down a steep hill, like a pro I might add.

The snowshoeing path, so peaceful.

It was nice to get back home for a couple of weeks before the move. Going away is nice but being home is nice too. I think the next few blogs should focus on things I have enjoyed while living in Canada. For now, I think I'll go empty a few drawers and closets of things I don't want to unpack at the other end!

P.S. Spring is here! I love it!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

It's Harder Than It Looks

Trying not to fall over!
Here we are with our most excellent instructors

He showed potential

Ever since we moved here I have wanted to try curling. It looks like fun and since I like to be cold, the fact that it is played on ice is very attractive to me. In our last month in Canada we finally made it to the curling rink! Our friends invited us, and taught us the basics. Guess what? It is much harder than it looks!

We have watched curling on TV and have seen our friends curl and it always looks graceful and easy. NOT! First of all, the ice is slippery. Second of all, that rock is heavy. Third of all, it is very hard to keep your balance when one of your feet just slides all around on the ice because of the slick sole. We see people gracefully sliding along pushing the stone but what we don't see is that the foot while sliding forward can easily slide sideways too. They are just practiced enough to go forward.....I was lucky to go forward, but sometimes the slippery foot wanted to go sideways too, which resulted in my sliding to a prone position on the ice! Hilarious!

A fun time was had by all, I assume our instructors had fun too. Glad we got to experience curling and now we really can appreciate the skill of our friends....and the Olympians.

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