Our plan was to depart our last home on Monday. We ended up staying an extra day to be there while the movers loaded and not leave Graeme’s mom with all that was left to do. This decision also allowed us to spend most of Sunday visiting (brunch, goodbyes, supper) that we would not have felt we had the freedom to do if we were leaving the next morning. After the craziness of Monday – loading, cleaning, last arrangements for things, we spent a lovely last evening/night with friends, leaving from their house on Tuesday morning. The trip went well. It was long, but uneventful. Unless you count that Noah was sick and threw up Wednesday morning in the motel. By that afternoon he was clearly well again, for he didn’t sleep and talked non-stop. We had the kids split between the two vehicles for the trip. Graeme and I communicated through two-way radios and hazard lights (a signal to turn on the radio), which worked out very well. We drove through some extremely heavy rain on the second day, having to slow right down so as to not hydro-plane off the road.
This was taken after the worst of the rain. Yes, I was driving, but it was perfectly safe. I didn’t look through the view finder. I simply rested my camera on the steering wheel, pointed, and shot.
We arrived at the house late Wednesday evening. Betty was here already. All of the kids woke up (of those that were sleeping) except for Ben. He waited until the middle of the night to wake up, and somehow managed to find Graeme and I in the pitch dark, unfamiliar house.
Much to our amazement, the truck arrived the following morning with our stuff. They had to take it off the big truck at a nearby truck stop and transfer a couple of loads into the five ton truck to get it in here. It was a busy, chaotic day, and the chaos has only diminished slightly. We have minimal garage space, so things are kind of piled everywhere as we pick through them trying to find/make their new homes.
The kids occupied themselves very well that day. They found and photographed many dragonfly nymphs morphing into dragonflies. They caught and photographed several species of butterfly. I think that by our second day here they had caught eight different types of butterflies. Zach knows the names of them all instantly from his frequent field guide reading.
Before we met the neighbors and they brought over two wheelbarrows for us to borrow, Zach started moving soil with this sled.
On the second evening here Jaska got blasted in the face by a skunk. It was on the doorstep and when we called him to the house (again… pitch black) he ran right into it. Poor guy ran off and in the morning he had scabs on both sides of his face from trying to rub the stuff out of his eyes. A lot of our stuff was and is piled in that area and holds the lingering odour of skunk.
We were invited out to a BBQ the following evening by some people that are friends of friends. So on Friday evening we went to that and met a bunch of new people.
Some of the family enjoying breakfast with the loons and a view.
We spent Saturday afternoon at the beach, which is a short walk from our house. I walked home to get snacks and brought my GPS (b-day present from Mom and Dad) back. It was exactly .54 miles to walk. (It was the first track I’ve laid and I haven’t figured out how to set it on metric yet.) Anyway, the beach was fantastic. All the guys swam.
Merrie called me on Saturday and tried to talk me into going to the contradance (part of their Canadian Celtic Celebration) that evening. It sounded like so much fun and it was a hard decision, but ultimately, we all felt like we just needed to stay home. Next year….. we’ll be there!
Instead, we got a run-down on how some things work (like the sprinkler system) from our landlord. Zach lit a fire down at the lake. The little boys finally got to bed at a reasonable hour. Graeme read Sherlock Holmes to the boys by the fire. It feels like we’re camping all the time, except that we have a house to sleep in and running water.
Betty left Sunday morning. We are so, so, SO grateful for all of her help on both ends of the move. Josh, Tasha, and the kids came on Sunday afternoon. Josh put together our IKEA island for us! That was a huge help. Then we all scrambled out of here right after supper so we could make it to the final concert of the Celtic Celebration. The van was in the same state as when we arrived from our 17+ hour trip….. garbage, soiled clothing, a bag of musty laundry that I washed at Bonnie’s and then forgot in the van, toys, clothes, shoes…. seats were still folded down. Anyway, we threw some things out and some things in and lashed down the box on the roof and were off. On the drive in some friends drove past us and we all pulled into the concert. More friends were at the show. It was kind of like a little reunion. Fun times. The show was great. A house photographer was announced for second half and that was me, so I was glad I had my camera in the van. Danica cooperated and stayed contentedly with Graeme while I snapped some shots. Noah came with me, but since brothers and friends were sitting up front he was content to sit and watch me from that distance and not hang off my leg. Danica loved the music and got especially excited whenever the step-dancer was on stage. There was a little square dance demo at the end of the concert to give everyone a taste of what happened the evening before. It looked like a LOT of fun.
We were almost completely out of food, so we went to a 24-hour grocery store after the show and I threw whatever I could think of in the cart. We got home at 11:40pm. They all slept in, but it was obvious that the late nights were catching up to everyone! I ended up sending Noah and Ben to their rooms “just to rest”. They crashed in about two seconds. Josh and Tasha returned in the afternoon. It was nice to get to visit more with them. The big boys were ready for an early bedtime, but Noah was up very late because of napping. At least he was in a much improved mood.
That brings us to today. Graeme woke me up to tell me a bear had been here last night. It opened the door and went into the shed and took the garbage bag that was in there. It also knocked down some metal shelving and a bin of bird food (not opened or dumped, though) which was next to the bin of dog food. We didn’t hear a thing. There wasn’t a trace of the garbage. All we had was circumstantial evidence. Jaska slept inside in the mud room and was very excited about the smell when he went out this morning. He went across the road and barked. I’m wondering if the bear was still there and he chased it off. We went over to where he had been and sure enough, that is where the garbage trail started. Proof. Well, I’m sure Mr. or Mrs. Bear will be back for some more easy dinner. We’ll be rigging up a lock on the door (because the freezer is in the shed as well) and storing the garbage in the garage. Also, we’ll leave Jaska out on patrol tonight. He seems really happy here. He monitors the perimeter of the property all day. If the boys are out he plunks down nearby and watches them. He does run over to the neighbors on both sides to chase chipmunks and squirrels, but so far, he pretty much just stays on our property. We are so happy that he’s not chained up in the backyard anymore.
What else? The kids have been loving it here. They’ve seen several bald eagles, one with a fish in his talons; a pelican; common merganser with eleven ducklings; pelican; gulls; and more. Gabe is very keen to get out in the canoe with me. I’m hoping that Graeme will be home in good time and the weather conditions will be right to get him out this evening. It’s high priority to get the big boys competently paddling in the bow this summer. The sooner they can do that, the sooner we can take the family to White Otter Castle or any number of other trips.
Well, I think Danica will be ready to nap soon and then I will get back to unpacking.
Thanks to all our friends we left behind for your help, goodbyes, kind words, and mostly – your friendships and just being YOU. I will get around to writing to you individually, but for now…. the blog will have to do.