Friday, August 24, 2012

Hi, I'm back. Remember me?

Well what a time I am having. That cement between the bricks of friendship, has been attended to. It is absolutely wonderful.
Went to TO and spent an afternoon with Elizabeth, watching her prepare her lunches. 22 lunches! for one day. She is working so hard, does it so well and I am so impressed with what she does. It was a treat to see her in action. Lilly's Lunches.
Had lunch with her, and Heidi was able to join us. I was like a cheshire cat, my two girls and I out for a spontaneous lunch together. It doesn't get much better than that.
The four of us, Alex, Heidi, Elizabeth and I went to Stratford. We saw Much Ado about Nothing at the Festival Theatre. It was fabulous. We then  went to the Avon for You Are a good Man Charlie Brown. First time ever I have been bored by a Stratford production. As I was looking at my watch to see how long to intermission, I saw the others were too. We left at intermission. Very disappointed. No story line at all, just musical dance numbers, miked way to loud, and I just hope the little ones in the audience were happy. We had a visit at A&H's in Kitchener, but we were all so tired we didn't stay long. A&H had driven from Ottawa to the 2 p.m. performance in Stratford.
They are so busy now. Alex is working on the by-election in Waterloo, and they are moving this Saturday to TO. They had driven to Ottawa to see Jill, Heidi's Mom, who was in from Fredericton. Then drove to Stratford for the matinee Sunday. Busy times. It is a good thing they are as young as they are.
I have been back up to Bala. The weather changed, and it was quite Fall-like (hence the pic of the red leaf) but I have been in  swimming every day. One day I got in to my waist, it was cold and the wind was blowing. I said to myself this feels like October, I don't need this. But as the sun set, the wind went down, and I went in. The weather has turned back to like late July, warm in the day, and not dropping much at night. It is glorious.
I had my book club up, overnight. I think we did spend a few minutes on the book. Not sure! And friends have been visiting.
I am happy. Muskoka, friends, beautiful weather. It is a good combination.
(One photo is me showing off my Au Xai, from Vietnam, to my friends)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

I am in another paradise

I am in Bala. It is wonderful to be home. I don't think I ever want to eat again!
We have been so busy since arriving July 29.
We saw our daughter Elizabeth our first night here. Friends, Val and Steve picked us up at my sister Marnie's , where we stay in TO, and we went down to the pub "The Victory", (where she works, to pay the rent.) It was wonderful to see her, and to see what her work involves. The next morning we met her for brunch. Can't get too  much of her. We then drove to Bala (2 hours north of TO) and had 24 big hours here. Seeing sisters Judy and Marnie, and quick hellos. Then my Judy lent me her car for 10 days! One sister gives me her home, another gives me her car. WE picked up a rental car for Tim on our way in to the city. Pretty nice, eh? La?
To TO Sunday night. Appointments for both of us, running around, dinner at friend Jane Morgan's, running around, slushy party with old Connaught Circle neighbours, I had high tea with girlfriends at The Windsor Arms, shopping for bathing suits , saw friends at Wellspring for literally 5 minutes. Wednesday off to Kitchener to see Alex and Heidi. They could not get in to TO. So a lovely evening out, a good meal, sleepover, and from there to Bala Thursday a.m.. Friday prep for Mom's Celebration of Life Sunday. Made my chocolate cake for 100. Kids came up for the weekend. Bala Regatta Saturday, always fun, have gone every year of my life, I think. Not to participate every year , but maybe when we are back!!!!
Mom's Celebration was amazing, as I have already told you. We figure about 100 people. Mom always said no one will come to her funeral, they will all be gone. Well she was the grand Matriarch, and many came to see her off. It was a superb day.
It has been crazy since.
Friends has d a dinner party at Sherwood Inn.
We had a potluck bbq for BC ski buddies from Ontario area. 30 odd came. We had a ball. Such wonderful people,who bring the most wonderful pot luck! But they bring hostess gifts with no label. These lovely little prezzies but I don't know from whom!
Next day we drove to LOB, Tim's family place, and had 30 odd for a pot luck bbq there. Again, a huge and wonderful group of friends.
Next day back to Bala because Sunday we had cake ( bakery cake with a photo of the Tiger Airplane on it , thank you Dave Sherk- Haddon Press, and Katie at Bala Bakery), about 25 people.
I took Tim to the airport Tuesday. He is home , arrived 3 a.m. 78'!
As you can see it has been not stop party. But I am thrilled. I hosted all these parties, because I wanted Tim to see as many friends as he could, only being here, (and here is Bala, mostly) for 2 weeks. Well, we did it. I am exhausted. It was wonderful. Memories of these weeks will get  me through the lonely nights in Singapore.
I am a people person, and friends and family are the most important thing in my life. Being back to Canada, to cement those relationships has been good. I would like to take a blog to wax poetic on this aspect of being in Singapore. But right now, I am revving too high.
I am off soon for coffee at my cousins, with sister, sister-in-law, cousin/friend Ro, and other women. Oh, those hormones fed while chewing with female friends. I so need that. Yum.
I am feeling better. I am sleeping better. I am moving better. Is it time passing? Is it the cool and dry? Is it the endorphins being fed? I still have a ways to go, but it is definitely better.
I have 3 more weeks here. Lots to do. Re house, re renting it, re dealing with Mom's belongings, re re re . But I am in Bala, I am in Muskoka, I am happy.
Next weekend Stratford with the kids!

Monday, August 6, 2012

I am one happy camper

I am sitting at Bala Southwinds.
Mom's Celebration of Life was yesterday. It was perfect. I put the weather in Mom's hands. Well, the probs were 80% chance of thunderstorms.
We had a little service at the grave site. She was inexperienced, after all it was her first,  and had to do a little tweaking. We had some of the morning's rain blow on some of us during the service. No big deal. But she got the hang of it and our party at the house was perfection. Muskoka royal blue sky, cooling breeze off the lake.
At the site, we put her in the ground and we all could put a handful of dirt in to her. Well, we number 50, just Mom's children and off-spring. The great grand kids apprehensively approached and did their thing. The cemetery guy didn't show to finish the job, so my dear brother-in-law, David Sherk, whipped home to get a shovel. But he also picked up a crossword puzzle, and a sharpened pencil with a good eraser, and a jigsaw puzzle to put in with Mom. (She did both endlessly.)  So sweet, Dave. The great grandkids got the idea of covering GG and we really didn't need the shovel. Mom was smiling down. It was truly lovely.
Then there must have been 100 friends and family come to the house for the afternoon, and we served supper to those still there later. Beef in a bun, Mom's fav, and my chocolate cake which she loved. Taking the 2 hour drive from TO, and from further afield, were friends from high school, from the orchestra, friends from book club, from my  whole life. It was perfect timing for me to see these near and dear, having felt so far away from EVERYTHING for the last 7 months. It was glorious.
Then of course I had the weekend with my chickadees, and their partners and saw ALL my sibs and family. What a perfect weekend.
Tomorrow the sale of Mom's home becomes final and Southwinds changes hands. It is packed with emotion for me, and I am sure for my sibs. I am so excited, of course, but it also confirms things have changed and we move on to a new life without Mom. This place is so packed with memories of a life time, but particularly the last two years looking after Mom. Bittersweet it is.
I am  having a wonderful time, being with people who are so important to me. That is what life is all about. Singapore is great, the adventure is great, but this is where it is at. 1 1/2 years to go!