Time Marching On

Time is moving so quickly right now that I’m referencing spans of time by hair appointments, as in “I feel like I just got my hair cut last week!” But, you know, it’s been a month.

It seems like yesterday that Second Born Son got his driver’s license, but it has been four months. But maybe I’m not a good gauge of time since I think this was last year….

Cutie Patootie!

…when this was last year….

You don’t want to know what went into this document….

 

So you will understand why I’m a little twisted around about the idea of this infant going to ANOTHER COUNTY on ANOTHER CONTINENT for TEN DAYS!!!

Seems like only yesterday that he told us about the planned Vimy Ridge trip, waaaaaay off in the Spring of 2017. The trip sounded amazing and included a couple of days in England, followed by 8 days in France. Several students from his school are going and they get to be part of the the 100th Vimy Ridge Celebration on April 9th.

I am proud and jealous at the same time, but mostly excited for him and the experiences he will enjoy. This is a wonderful age to travel and observe such an important tribute to Canadians and their contributions and sacrifices in World War I.

So, the bag is packed, the documents are in place and the momma isn’t going to get weepy when it’s time to say goodbye.

‘Cuz we got him a great cell package and I’m sure we’ll hear from him daily…..

 

 

 

 

Aren’t You Afraid You Asked?

Welcome to October. You may be saying, “It’s about bloody time! Where have you been?!”

I am fully aware that my last blog post was in August, but folks, there weren’t no way in Tarnation that this girl was going to have the time or brain cells to publish anything cohesive in September.

To be clear, I’m not a huge fan of September. It’s always a rush to get the kids back to school, and although it’s nice to have a change of routine, its usually to a much more hectic routine. Then there’s the weather. Although this September might have been an exception to the rule depending on where you live, it always rains on September 22 where I live. Always. I know this because that is my birthday.  Again, not a fan.

But this particular September was especially chaotic.

First Born Son started his second (and final) year of college.

<PAUSE> Can I just take a moment to say, WHAT THE HOLY HELL HAS HAPPENED HERE? FBS is a CHILD! It’s impossible to think that he’s ready for the “real world” in less than a year. Who determined this? I’d like a review on this decision. I call foul on the play! I APPEAL!! If you are looking at your child right now and he/she is under the age of 10 BE PREPARED. You are going to go to bed one night and wake up with them driving, drinking (not at the same time – he was born with a brain) and ready to cash their first full-time pay cheque! I understand the going to college thing, but the GRADUATING from college? NOT. COOL.

 

PRETTY BOY POUT 1

Yup, I’m going to trot this picture out any time I have a chance!!!

Truly people THIS is what he looked like last week! It’s ok….I’m better now…. <PLAY>

So this kid moved in with three other friends into a brand new apartment complex. It’s nicer than anything he’s ever lived in before. Hell, it’s nicer than anything I’VE ever lived in before, which should set him up nicely for a lifetime of disappointment, frustration and failure knowing his living arrangements peaked at 19 years of age.

Second Born Son is away from home more often than not! A number of school trips for various educational and extra-curricular commitments means that he’s constantly bringing home permission forms and asking for signed cheques! When he’s not broadening his horizons, he’s at work, heading to work, or just coming home from work. No worries here with his work ethic!

At least he’s home on weekends. My niece, MM, moved OUT, as in “has a different permanent address” at the beginning of September. How did Little Sister take this development? Well, that’s a good question. I believe she thinks she packed up her eldest daughter, who is also her co-worker, in a box when she relocated her salon. Yes, moving a business is a huge undertaking, and one that LS knows well. She’s done it twice now. You would think she would have remembered how much it sucked the first time!

Because we Bowery Girl sisters believe in drawing all the B.S. the Universe has to offer, LS also sold her house late this summer. This resulted in a closing date of late September. Great news for her, but it launched a chain reaction of events, as she had an offer in on our parents’ home. This meant my Mom was going to be moving in September too. Sweet Baby Jesus what have we gotten ourselves into here?!? LS was packing her house, packing her work, renovating her new work location, moving her work and then moving her home. Yes, I agree, she DOES hate herself. While we tried to help as much as we could, she still had to live with the day to day of upheaval everywhere she looked in her personal and professional lives. She’s amazing. Or crazy. Or amazingly crazy.

Now moving can be a very emotional experience. Personally, I didn’t find it so hard when I moved from our first house to our current house, but I know my Mother had a lot invested in her home. She helped design it, was the general contractor when it was built, provided countless hours of personal sweat equity and lived there longer than any other home she has resided in. This was going to be tough for her. A saving grace was the fact that LS and her hubby Thing 2 were going to be there so it would be loved and maintained, but I’m sure the first time she walks in and sees painted wood, my mother will have a stroke.

As with any challenge, a job half planned is a job half-assed. No. A job well planned is a job nearly done. No. Well, anyway, we had a strategy which was that we would treat it like a Band-Aid; just rip that puppy off and get it over with all at once. That is, get a truck once, move twice. Yup, we were going to try to move two households in one weekend. I must say I am somewhat disappointed in my circle of friends, none of whom had the nerve to say, “Hey Sarah, you are bat-shit crazy to be part of this.” Nope, they did the equivalent of smile and wave as I marched off into battle.

It didn’t help that I went into the weekend very tired, since my work required that I attend a week-long exhibition that involved standing outdoors in a tent with various lighting and temperature conditions. By the time Friday came, I was most definitely punch-drunk. See what I indicated above about the Universe. Not. Kidding.

As we all know, there are some do’s and don’ts for moving, and while I would think they are universal, apparently some people didn’t get the memo. While most of the moving went smoothly, there are always one or two people that you wish you could choke with their coffee cup or at least ask them to secure child care for their pre-school aged children. It’s never a good thing to roll a piano on a toddler! No, not referring to my nieces and nephew, who works like soldiers the entire weekend.

But I digress.

At the end of the day…er weekend, we had two households in two different households. Mom was fairly settled, while LS has pretty much the next 6 months worth of weekends planned out for her. If she and her hubby aren’t building shelving, they are going to be in the garage sorting the possessions that preceded them in the multiple trips that were made with non-essential items. That’s when she gets over her version of the wicked cold we all developed the day after the move. If the Universe had an arse, I’d be kicking it right about now….

So “in a nutshell”, “alls well that ends well”, or “at the end of the day”, or “we can all look back and laugh” or some other such tie-a-bow-on-it statement we survived, barely.

I jokingly told The Big Guy that since Mom and LS had new homes, it kinda gave me the “new home” real estate itch!

He just started talking to me again yesterday….

 

 

 

Full Circle Moment

Once upon a time, a little boy invited all his friends in his neighbourhood to come to his house on his birthday. The date was set and his friends promised to come.

The day of the event rolled around. All of the children from the neighbourhood arrived at the allotted time, dressed for a party with gifts in hand.

The only problem was, it wasn’t the little boy’s birthday at all. And he hadn’t told his parents about his guests. His mother, mortified, sent the children home. With their presents.

This took place approximately 70 years ago.

******

Last week, First Born Son came home told and told me about a conversation he had with the young son of a family friend. His birthday was coming up and he wanted to invite FBS to his party.

“You can bring your Mom too!” he stated, and FBS recounted with a laugh.

Touched by the young man’s thoughtfulness, and chuckling over his precociousness, I headed out to find the perfect gift. Two John Deere T shirts for a “hard working” young man.

Although FBS couldn’t join me due to his work schedule, I took the gift to the wee lad’s house. There was no party. His parents weren’t even home from work. His grandmother, who is a caregiver for him and his older sister, was taken aback to when she came to the door. The boy and his sister were delighted to see me, and he gleefully took the gift and shredded the colourful paper. The grandmother sputtered appreciation for the gift, how kind the gesture was, how unexpected, how her daughter and son-in-law would be surprised to learn their son, the birthday boy, had made such a bold invitation.

This boy’s birthday was June 10.

The first story is about my father. His birthday was June 9.

The only thing more striking is the resemblance between this little boy and his grandson at the same age.

The only thing more striking is the resemblance between this little boy and his grandson at the same age.

Although it’s been two years since he passed, I found it somewhat comforting that this story, that he told us many times, came to me in the moment that I realized that I was invited to a party that wasn’t happening; for a young man who just wanted to have some people over to celebrate.

Happy Birthday Duddy!

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1st Anniversary – Dad

DAD 2015

People say the first year is the hardest.

They say that you missed Father’s Day, our birthdays,

Your wedding anniversary, Thanksgiving.

People may feel badly that you weren’t in your chair at Christmas,

Missed out on New Year’s celebrations.

That you were absent for Valentine’s Day and Easter.

What they don’t realize is, that you are the reason we celebrate Father’s Day,

You are with us when we sing Happy Birthday,

Your anniversary is marked regardless, and we are Thankful in October.

That you are as much a part of Christmas as you ever were,

And New Year’s marks another year of loving you.

We see you in Valentine’s and Easter’s flowers.

What people don’t understand is that you are with us –

When we hear your favorite songs,

When we see you in photos,

When we snuggle in your old sweaters.

They couldn’t possibly know that you are all around us when we are in the bush,

Sitting around a fire pit,

Swimming.

You are with each one of us; alive in our hearts, present when we are together,

And Loved as much as ever.

~ From All of Us

The Pie Man

Most people know how much I love to bake, but one dessert eluded me – PIE!

Now I have tried. Lord knows my mother tried! A dedicated pie maker herself, Mom tried on more than one occasion to teach me the art of the pie crust, to no avail. I continued to persevere on my own, with hope building up each time I saw a recipe entitled “No Fail Crust” or even better, “Really No Fail Crust”.

Guess what, they FAILED! Or, perhaps I failed, depending on your definition of womanhood and one’s ability to whip up a good ol’ fashioned apple pie!

So what I lacked in pastries, I made up for in cakes, cookies and muffins! So when First Born Son came to me and asked how to make pie, I hung my head in shame and told him I was not the woman for the job.

But his Gramma is!

So before you could say “Pumpkin Pie” we dragged her to my kitchen and armed her with pie plates and flour.

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With an interest reserved for only for antique trucks and farm equipment, FBS was riveted. He worked the dough just the way she asked. He rolled the pastry with the utmost care!

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She taught him the fine art of crimping the crust. And crimp he did!!

Gramma crimping on left, FBS crimping on the right! His fingers are considerably  larger!

Gramma crimping on left, FBS crimping on the right! His fingers are considerably larger!

It was heart warming to see them in action…

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Delish!

Delish!

…because we finally get to eat pie again!

Time Warp!

The most remarkable thing has happened!

This wee lad…

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woke this morning looking like this!!!

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It’s hard to believe that Second Born Son turns 14 tomorrow. The same kid who required two hour-long trips to the hospital in order to get into this world, is now in high school! It seems like yesterday that we took him to speech therapy! Yes – don’t get me started on the fact that I devoted hours to helping get this kid to talk. I’m painfully aware every time he starts discussing his latest video console obsession!

SBS is such a wonderful combination of light and fun. He hates it when animals or the elderly are endangered. He could care less about what other people think of him. For example, he’s not fazed by an unusual coat or jeans he’s grown out of; after all, he’s comfortable!

Our son has impeccable comedic timing, so it’s no surprise that he’s joined the Improv Club at school. He’s always been a fish around water…
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and has now earned Bronze Medallion with his eye set on the Bronze Cross in the spring!

His artistic ability is amazing!

Original on left, SBS's rendition on the right…crazy, right?

Original on left, SBS’s rendition on the right…crazy, right?

Artist at work!

Artist at work!

He’s a good friend, a great brother and a wonderful son!

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I cannot imagine our lives without him!

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Happy Birthday Sweetie!

Roundup Reading

There has been far too much going on to focus on any one topic, so here goes nuthin’!

1. Graduation

DSC_5528

It was a pretty big day. Second Born Son wore my Dad’s going away suit from his wedding to my mother 46 years ago. Some minor alterations and a trip to the dry cleaner, and he was the snappiest grad in the room. Dad gave him the suit two months ago and seeing the outfit that night was a very emotional part of the event.

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If you think he was excited about the Graduation certificate….

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…and the Athletic certificate (with a broken arm for half the year, no less)…

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…imagine our surprise when he received the Principal’s Leadership Award.

My mother and I were too busy commenting on the various other awards being handed out, to listen to what the principal was saying about our Grad!

“Each year, the Ontario Principal’s Council donates a leadership award to go to a deserving grade 8 graduate. This student demonstrates many great qualities such as leadership, and citizenship, and kindness, and humour, and respect. He’s helpful, well-liked. He’s willing to go that extra mile for peers and for adults. He’s supportive of on-going social causes and has been active with the Me to We group. He approaches life with a great positive energy and unbridled enthusiasm. I am pleased to give the OPC Leadership Award to SECOND BORN SON!”

Needless to say, we are very proud!

2. The Kindness of Others
It has been truly heartwarming to experience the outpouring of support and kindness in the weeks (a month already!) following my father’s passing. You find out who the people are that you can count on; those who truly care.

It is a unique situation; losing a parent. Those of you who have not yet experienced this, there are no words to prepare you. People can tell you their stories, but your experience will be as unique as your relationship. To those of you who have lost one or both of your parents; wow – I cannot believe how much this situation sucks. It’s like the world is spinning on a different axis. The sun now rises in the North. You almost lose trust in yourself. You don’t even realize you go days without crying and then a single phrase can knock the wind out of you.
I want to feel better and forget about this. I never want to feel better and I will never forget this.

3. Hail Mary – Good News!
Anyone who has followed The Bowery Girl knows that employment has been a delicate top. Need a refresher? Try here.

In the past three years, there has been a lot of frustration, some revelations and a great deal of change. The job I’m going to at the end of the month is a compilation of every job I’ve ever had, including my most recent. It’s interesting how the universe will make you think you are heading out into the wilderness, only to find your Utopia!

I’m very happy to be back to work full time, even if The Big Guy and the boys will have to make do with a little less homemade baking!