Friday, 27 August 2010

this vacation

Was a hoot.

After spending a few days with my parents in New York (and watching both my fearless five year old and my mmmmph-old father go down an incredibly high water slide and come out smiling (and go again) and going back to Michigan and seeing my stepfather and gathering up reminders and momentos of my mothers life, we drove (and drove and drove) through some very gorgeous parts of Canada to get back

and now I have more laundry than God and a house that's really too small to hold the big stately old furniture that I brought back with me.

We went through Audrey's beloved Maine - green and blue, with overcast clouds and a full-on fast drizzle not dimming the enthusiasm of the canoeists and kayakers. No wonder that state inspires such loyalty - despite having faces full of rain and wind, the people I saw still looked as through they'd rather be there than anywhere else.

This trip was wistful for more than a few reasons - I took my family to the house where my mother lived and died (I kept expecting to turn around and see her, and the ghost of her laughter lingered in the air) and this is assuredly the last trip we will be able to convince Rosey that farms with hay-rolls sunning themselves in the fields are marshmallow factories.

Another Rosey-note: R was convinced she had a seagull friend that was following us. From Lake Canandaigua to Lake Huron, from Port Huron to Toronto, we always seemed to have at least one seagull swooping and wheeling in the far-flung sky. We giggled about it privately, but hey - who could tell?

Cass discovered the joys of flinging sticks into the woods and chasing frisbees with dogs, stories on i-pods and the fine art of insulting your sibling until tears flood the car. (sigh.) He also discovered the fine taste of fresh raspberries, KFC mashed potatoes*, and a tall frosty glass of (glurk) diet vanilla root beer. (No, not together.)

B drove the whole way, consoled and diverted and ran interference for me when I needed a time-out, and was my shoulder to cry on. And he didn't complain - not once - about spending his vacation in a car with two (sometimes) whinging offspring, or piloting a car and trailer through high-speed city traffic.

It amazes me how you can leave your home, come back in two weeks, and how everything looks different. Not shabbier, or alien, but spaces seem elongated somehow and shadows seem wrong. Did the trip home always seem so long? Was that empty lot always there?

But the remembered wonderfulness of your bed, with your pillows and your blankets? Doesn't change.

*In Canada, Kentucky Fried Chicken doesn't serve mashed potatoes. It's all fries.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

things I wonder about

There are things I wonder about, you know.

Small things, inconsequential things meshing in with the big questions, ponderings that strike in the shower and follow me through my day.

What will we do when one of the cats passes away? While Lucy is still technically a kitten (although she's as round as the moon and twice as tricky) Chumba of the Motorboat Purrrr is twelvish and Kate The Venerable seventeen. I like having three cats around - I enjoy their camaraderie and personalities, but really - litterboxing for three? Not fun.

What do people do with the nose pads on their glasses when they get dirty? There's obviously some trick to it - everyone doesn't wait until they get good and filthy and then slink into the optometrists to ask, all red faced, for them to be changed, do they? Judging from the muffled snickers that drift out from the back room where all the twee tools are kept, they don't. So there has to be some rhyme or reason to it, and poking at them with q-tips doesn't seem to be working. (She said, huffing indignantly while picking at bits of fluff caught under the threads of the screws)

I wonder whether this vacation (a trip to see my father and step-mother, then a rocket ride up to U-Haul some of my mother's belongings out of my step-father's garage) is going to be more happy then sad. Gosh, I hope so. It's been ten years since I've been back to where I grew up, and I want to show my kids everything.

Is B's head is going to pop clear off his neck when the kids get their hair highlighted? (It was their choice as a reward for getting awesome grades. B, sweetheart, it's just hair. It grows back. But be warned. I took your preference into mind and scheduled their appointments for after we get back from seeing my family, but September 2nd? 6 pm? It's on.)

Yeah. Those things. So if you're standing behind me in the grocery and I look glazed and troubled in the canned food section? I'm probably not pondering War and Peace. Feel free to interrupt.

Seriously. Anyone know the trick to cleaning the damn nose pads?

Monday, 9 August 2010

toothless magoofalis

Rosey lost yet another tooth last night. She's down to one front tooth (the stubborn one that won't fall out) and no bottom front teeth - what is this, a babyhood regression?

Poor kid is going to be gumming her food for awhile.

She's actually a bit freaked out about the whole deal - learning to chew on the sides of her mouth, trying to remember that she can't bite raw carrots anymore - and so I guess I wasn't surprised to hear that the Tooth Fairy doesn't get this tooth, either. Not that I blame her. Baby looks like a boxer. Or a hockey player. I'd probably hold something against the Tooth Fairy too.

Three teeth now live in Rosey's jewelry box, hidden from the Tooth Fairy's grabby paws.

Of course, the first thing she did this morning was excitedly look under her pillowcase. Whether or not the Fairy got the goods, she was sure to leave money, right?

And of course, B (who I still haven't seen with the gauzy wings and foofy wand that is the Official Fairy Costume 'round these parts, what's up with that??) had snuck in.

'Looth! The Faiwwy weft me money!'

Of course she did, honey. Of course she did.

Excuse Mama while she giggles picturing your teachers trying to understand you in school, won't you?

"Mama? Whath tho funny?'

Nothing, grown-up girl. Nothing.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

the unbloggability of normal

Well. I deleted a post.

Not because I don't want to tell you what's going on (because frankly I would love to get some opinions about this) but because I'm not sure I can write it down.  Too raw right now, so to speak.

Suffice to say we're all fine here, and skip to the next.

My passport finally came yesterday - hmm, think the long waiting period has anything to do with them being valid for ten years? And still no sign of my permanent resident card. I'm on a fast-track list, but the government has very pointedly sent me an email stating that there are no guarantees that it will be here before I leave.

(something unprintable)

Government agencies make me mental. Oy.

I'm getting excited about our trip - I'm going to see my parents and my stepfather AND my brother AND my best friends....what's not to like? Now to face the daunting task of packing....


I took about a hundred names off my facebook friend list tonight. Really, it went surprisingly quickly, with only a few 'who was this ag...