Day 59 – Life at the moment

This…

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This pretty much sums up my world over the past week or so. Life at the moment is messy. We’ve been slowly moving to the new apartment piece by piece. It’s just down the street from our current place and we’ve got time so there’s no big hurry, no big rush.

Except…

Except that when you move slowly, everything has to kind of come out on the table until it has a place in the new environment. And, I have to tell you, I can’t live like this. I can’t stand this clutter, this disorganization. It stresses me out beyond what I can rationally express. It makes me want to scream and cry and run away when it’s not making me want to crawl back into bed.

Doesn’t seem that bad you say?

Well, I get that “normal” people may not see this as a horrible, stressful mess. I, on the other hand, am the opposite of a hoarder. I am a neat (not clean) freak. A minimalist if you please. I can tell when someone has been in my office just by the way a pencil has been turned. I’m not sure what that behaviour is, and truthfully, I’ve never been one for labels anyway. Regardless of what anyone calls it, living in a mess stresses. me. out.

I need to get back to yoga class I think…

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Day 58 – So many surprises!

Usually I’m not one for surprises. They kind of freak me out. But today, we had the best kind of surprise possible!

Katie and Charline hadn’t left for Sudbury yet and we decided to hit the canteen at the beach to grab a snack before they made the drive home. We had just parked the truck and I was going to get a tag when this vehicle pulled up with a woman smiling and waving. I looked behind me to see who she was waving at (I never again want to be that person who’s waving at a stranger while they are actually waving at someone behind them).

It was a really long 30 seconds until I realized, “Oh my God…that’s Ela and her hubby David all the way from Sudbury!!”. Ela and David were passing through town on their way to Prince Edward County, saw Chuck walking down the street with Katie, and decided to stop and say hello! Talk about timing!

 

So there we all are, the six of us standing and talking in the beach parking lot and I feel a tap on my shoulder. I turned around and there was my friend April! April had been driving down the street, saw Chuck walking along with Katie, yelled out the window to him, and met us down at the beach parking lot too!

There are very cool coincidences in life. And am I ever glad I got to see one big one today.

Day 57 – Katie and Charline

Katie and Charline are a mother and daughter that I met my first year teaching Intro to Art and Design at the college. Charline was my boss, and Katie was in my very first group of students. Talk about pressure right?

As it turned out, Charline was the best boss anyone could ask for and Katie, well, she was an alright kid I guess.  (Hee hee hee…she’s reading this right now and making faces…I can tell). And even though I haven’t been at the college for…4 years??…now, we still visit and catch up whenever we can.

Katie was actually an awesome kid. And, we’ve ended up working with her on many different projects. She’s an incredible photographer in her own right, and has also trained as a hairdresser.  We came to rely on her for many of the shoots that required an understanding of how things will look on screen, and the skills to make them look like that. Plus, she can also make Chuck look like he did back in the 60s.

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We took this mother/daughter super team out to do the rounds…farm, graveyard (Katie is superstitious and it’s fun to torment her), dinner, new apartment, drive and walk down to the beach.

And, if you’re at the farm, you MUST take pictures with hay bales. It’s a rule.

 

Days 55 and 56 – Helping hands

Everyone has certain strengths. Putting things from IKEA together is not one of mine. I cannot read illustrations or diagrams. It’s a talent I do not possess. The words, “some assembly required” strike fear into my heart. In fact, I’m pretty sure if we had tried even one more time to do this together, Chuck and I would be looking at divorce papers. So, I had relegated myself to “helper-only” status when it comes to assembling anything.

Until Melanie showed up from Sudbury that is. Her and I, we can work together just fine. She reads the instructions/diagrams and tells me what we need to do. Then we do it. And it works. Without her help, I’m pretty sure that Chuck would still be sitting there trying to get things put together with me laying on the floor beside him having a melt down.

Of course, you can’t have someone drive six hours down from Sudbury and build IKEA furniture all day without feeding them, taking them to the beach, and seeing a lovely sunset now can you?

Mel, it was so good to have you come visit. Come back soon. I think there may be some extra pieces that need assembling. 🙂

Day 54 – Omens

I’m a superstitious person and I freely admit it. I throw salt over my shoulder. I watch for coincidences. I sometimes read way more into things than I should. And, this should be no surprise, morning sunshine is the best omen of all.

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When you wake up to a sky like this, you have to know it’s going to be a good day. I’ll fill you in tomorrow on whether I was right or not! 🙂

Day 53 – Safe haven

I’ve been sitting here listening to a Rammstein playlist for over an hour and trying to figure out how to write tonight’s story. What’s making it so difficult? I think it’s because I’m trying to find a way to explain how essential it was for me to come home…and how all the people and places and experiences fit in. But here’s the truth of it all; it can’t be summed up in one post. So, instead I’ll just tell you where I was this evening.

After a particularly hectic day, we went over to the Manning’s tonight for a quick catch up. I’ve been at the Manning’s place periodically for around 33 years. I’ve cried there and laughed there and drank too much there. I’ve slept on the floor, and on the swing, and in a bed, and on a couch there. I’ve eaten food that I’ve never heard of before, while listening to the most beautiful piano being played there. I learned what true friendship was there (thank you Laura…).  I was taught that it was safe to tell the truth there. And, I found my first taste of trust and freedom there.

 

As a teenager when my world was falling apart (and it fell apart quite regularly) the Mannings were there. And not just mom and dad Manning either…Laura, Bruce and David all took a turn at being my sanity, whether they knew it or not.

Everyone needs a safe haven when they are growing up. This was mine. And, on coming home after 30 years away I realized, it still is.

Day 52 – Craft beer, unplanned adventures and an amazing friend

Meet Josie. We went to high school together. When I came back to town after being gone 30 years, Josie was the first person to come visit. She lent me her mom at Christmas to help with my first attempt at baking. And, I credit her with both helping me quit smoking, and getting me started on a wonderful journey of getting healthy again by introducing me to yoga.

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Anytime we get together we have good adventures. What makes them so neat is that they are usually completely unplanned, like today. We started off with a basic idea of going up to the farm and ended up going to a really cool conservation area (that was actually on my summer must-see list by the way), stopping by a craft brewery, and then grabbing lunch at The Tall Teepee in Alderville.

The really cool conservation area is called Crowe Bridge Park and it’s kind of a hidden jem. The riverbed is limestone and Josie was telling me that this year the water is really high, but normally a lot of the river bed is exposed by mid summer making it a beautiful spot to just relax, do a little paddling around or take a chair out into the river and sit.

 

After leaving Crowe Bridge Park, we decided to work our way back to the farm to pick up Chuck and go for lunch. But, we couldn’t pass Church-Key Brewing without stopping in. Owner and brewmaster John Graham was working and gave us not only a sample of some of his brews, but a tour of the facility (which is located in an old Methodist church by the way…how awesome is THAT!), and a neat history of how he started the business (17 years strong now). I had to buy some of his Northumberland Ale and Josie picked up a bottle of CSIS (Canadian Style Imperial Stout). Thanks for being such a great sport John!

We grabbed a quick lunch at The Tall Teepee, another maybe not-so-hidden jem. If you want a hearty, tasty meal served with a smile and a laugh, that’s the place to be. We’ve never been disappointed with the food, or the atmosphere. Unfortunately, I was way too hungry to take pictures. So, you’re going to have to just imagine my incredibly yummy cheeseburger and fries platter and Josie’s fish and chip daily special.

How do you top a day like that off? Well, Chuck and I figured the best way was a nice long bike ride.

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Ah, summer…how I love you…