We're leaving. We're saying goodbye to a city, a house, an ocean's worth of family and friends, the familiar and comfortable, and we're leaping. It's hard and it's breathtaking and it's making me laugh. Sometimes a bit weirdly, but mostly with glee. I'm excited. I love new adventures.
So, we bought a house. I will post pictures as soon as I can, but trust me, it is beautiful. All our conditions are removed and we move in next weekend. The kids seem okay, and say they are excited about the move at this point, which is excellent. The prospect of more frequent skiing and beachcombing seem to have made a positive impact.
I vacillate. I'm overcome with grief, or fear, or both at once one hour, and excited the next. The weight of goodbyes is heavy for me. I'm sentimental and it takes me forever to put down roots and build friendships so when I do make friends, they're for life. More geography between me and them is painful. Then I google our new address and my smile is bigger than my face. There is no photo that can do justice to our view. You just have to come visit and see for yourself. And we have five! Bedrooms! And 2300! Square feet! So there's plenty of room for you. All of you.
[maybe not all of you at the same time]
I drive through roads clotted with traffic and think, SOON. There are no traffic clots in Port McNeill. I melt into a hot mess in the summer heat with nowhere to go to get away from it, and I know that soon I will live by the ocean, which nearly always has a breeze, and on the off chance it gets too hot? We live a 5 minute walk from the beach. Five fucking minutes. Also? No mosquitoes. Also? When we were in town buying our house, we saw orcas swim by not 50 feet from our cabin, in the sunset. You cannot get a more wide open welcome than that.
Now, apparently August is nicknamed "Fogust" in PM because it is a foggy month. And it rains in the winter nearly as much as in Prince Rupert (which has an annual sunny hour count of 1250 and is the rainiest city in Canada), so we're going to be wet. And it will be gloomy. But our house is so bright, and our MEC rain gear so waterproof, we won't even mind. Well, not enough to ruin the move, anyway. Also, we will live 45 minutes from "the best powder on Vancouver Island" (Mount Cain), and an hour from Cape Scott, a world famous provincial park. The ski hill is an epic example of rustic: open only on weekends and requiring chains and boasting only T-bars rather than chairlifts, but I'm pretty sure we can make do.
In other news: my Grandma turned 90 this spring. To celebrate, we had a family reunion in Summerland on Canada Day long weekend. We drove up in the van and camped in a municipal campground with my sister and nephew, cousin Sara's family, and aunt Lynne. Scattered through Gigi's house and driveway were my other aunts, cousins, and uncles, and my parents. My brother and Morgan came with Birch, although I think they stayed in Vernon at night. It was SO awesome, because from the entire family only my brother in law Casey was absent, and we had a beautiful weekend. There was a fancy dinner at Naramata Inn on Friday evening, a beach picnic the next day, and campfires and tons of family time. My grandma is so sharp; she was beautiful and vibrant and we are so many people descended directly from her, it's crazy. It was nice to celebrate her.
We were planning on staying until Monday but Saturday night three of us got REALLY sick (it was the Christmas pukeapalooza all over again, but in the summertime. In a tent). I was feeling yucky in the evening before bedtime and went to sleep early, but I didn't think anything of it. Then in the middle of the night I sat bolt upright in the tent and managed to scramble over sleeping people, unzip the tent, and walk TWO FEET from the door before I threw up EVERYWHERE. Because what Canada Day long weekend family get together would be complete without throwing up your colon in the 18 inches between your tent and your minivan?
In fact, I threw up so hard I wet my pants. It was my best moment.
I sloshed to the bathroom (200 feet away), threw out my underwear, and changed my pyjamas. I came back, crawled into bed, and laid my face on my pillow to discover Amarys had puked on it. Peanut puke. Then Riley started. All over the sleeping bags. All over the pillows. All over the air mattresses. Every time one of the kids would start, I had to scramble out of the tent and evert my guts, too. The power of suggestion, man.
Poor Brent. I couldn't do anything to help the kids because I was spending so much time being sick or sleeping feverishly. But he sleeps like the dead, so I had to yell at him every time another pukeapalooza hit, so he could catch it in a towel. He didn't get any sleep.
Next morning he had to mop up alone (including covering his wife's puke piles with sand) as we three sick people slept off our sick hangovers. Mid morning he asked me, "What do you want to do? Stay another night?"
I want to go home. So bad.
So home we went.
Then Brent got sick. Then Ayden. (But not Matthew). It really WAS Christmas all over!
Cleaning the tent was epic. I was too sick to help aside from throwing my pillow in the garbage. Let's just say the tail end of that weekend was disgusting.
I miss you guys.
(But not too soon. We are pretty busy this week).