Author & Teacher

Plus ça change…

Since the school musical wrapped up in January, things have been such a whirlwind, I’ve barely had time to process the changes that are coming.
We are on the final countdown to our new home. It’s energized our family, allowing us to clean – no, to scour – every corner of this place. After one weekend, we have a truckload of garbage, a truckload of donations and a truckload of recycling ready to go.

I’ve been obsessively looking at pictures of the new place, trying to decide what furniture will go where, and how I’ll possibly fit all the junk we couldn’t part with into a smaller place. The only thing I know for sure is where my piano will go – front room, centred on the wall.

I find I’m sad about strange things – the perennials I finally got to grow last year, but that I can’t take with me. My Jackmanii clematis– it was always a goal to get it to grow as full as my grandpa’s. It went crazy last year, growing right up onto our deck.

My hardwood floor – the new one, while installed on the bias (beautiful) is not as dark and swirled as mine. I remember my son, right after we had the floor installed, say to a friend who’d come over on a playdate “Be careful – don’t scratch my mom’s floor. She really loves her floor.”

Rooms we never got around to renovating. Bathrooms. Kitchen.

And my office that my dad and husband built. While my new room has a lovely bow window where my curved desk will fit perfectly, I loved my little office. Of course, my new writing space also has a killer three-sided fireplace in it, so there’s something to look forward to.

I’ve moved often in my life, and this one is way overdue. Every move I’ve made (I think it was six times by the time I was ten, seven since) has brought new people and experiences into my life – getting stuck in the mud in my rain boots, walking to kindergarten with my mom, surviving The Pas, raising four Newfies in the city, Prince George, Quebec, Calgary – I’ve never regretted a move. It would be nice, however, to do renovations on a place and stay to enjoy them, rather than letting the next owners reap the benefits. Just once…
Soon, I’ll be less than a five-minute run to the river. I’ll be able to walk to the coffee shop and bookstore. My kids will get out of the suburbs and be able to spend more time at their activities, at festivals, and volunteering. There is a great church close by. Downtown is within walking distance.

This whole move has completely consumed me over the past few weeks, and yet, it’s come so fast. So much left to do.

I’m happy with all the culling we’ve done. So much junk, so much dead weight to jettison.
I’m proud to have a family that embraces change as I do. (Though not without sadness – the little one is really struggling with leaving the only home she can remember.) And not so little, I guess, as she’ll be a teenager in two days. (More change…)

Our real estate agent mentioned that the people moving into our place said it was their dream home. I’m more than happy to pass it on to them – it’s a lovely house, with great additions and upgrades, and I think they’ll be happy here. I hope they can build memories like we have – it was the perfect house for young kids. It was our dream house, too.

But, dreams change, and now we have new ones. The older one has decided what he wants to take in university. The little one has decided where she wants to go for high school. They both have definite musical goals, and each has athletic and work goals they are looking to achieve. It’s as though we’ve all been hibernating, building up our stores for the challenges and changes that are coming. Turn and face the strange…

One of which is getting started on next year’s musical…here we go…

Song on repeat: Wherever I Lay My Hat (That’s My Home) by Paul Young  (That voice…)
Running route: Red-Winged Blackbird Pond in Tuscany (No blackbirds yet, it’s a slough not a pond, and it’s not the Tuscany in Italy, but Harper’s neighbourhood – yeah, I’m a romantic.)

Book: The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr



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