Thursday, September 25, 2008

"How I Missed Those Loving Arms"

How I've missed those loving arms

I'm home. Thank the heavens. For one who hates to fly, I've been doing a lot of it lately. From France to England to Eastern Canada, and finally to our home on the West Coast. My body is tired. Yesterday, first day back, I limped around, unpacked my suitcase, curled up on the sofa and read, while Rob worked his last day on Night at the Museum, Part 11.

In six days, we leave by car for California for yet another niece's wedding. Around the first of November, we will hop a plane together (for a change) to rest in our French house until after Christmas. I'm excited. Rob hasn't seen the renovation and I'm looking forward to his response.

I call myself a traveller (English spelling, not American), a nomad who is happiest on the road with a load of good books. I love alighting in a foreign place, exploring, enjoying new sights and different food, and writing about the experience. Lately travel, for the most part, has been about house work.

Our plan to retire to France and travel the world was based on our Canadian house selling at a good price - one that would pay our debts and give us a comfortable income until we die - but houses aren't selling unless the price tag is ridiculously low. My realtor sister says that buyers are making low-ball offers - some under assessed value. We're in a quandary. Do we sell low, pay off our debts, bank the rest, and work for another a couple of years to make up the difference? We would have to rent when work is available. Or do we carry the debt, rent our house, and work for another couple of years, renting a smaller place ourselves when necessary? If we don't sell, how long will it take the housing market to recover? Nobody really knows the answers to these questions.


There is so much I could say about this past week but I find myself reluctant because during this week, my blog has been praised and criticized. Praised by a stranger. Criticized by a loved one. What to do? I would like to write an anonymous blog that could not be traced to me. Is this cowardice? Yes.

Although some may not think so, I think that I'm too kind in this journal. I don't lie but I don't tell the whole truth, or rather my truth, for I fear hurting someone I love. But keeping my big mouth shut goes against the grain, does nothing for my writer self. I know I repeat myself but I keep thinking of Saint Teresa of Avila who told her close friends "to disillusion me with the truth." She wanted to know herself. I would like to have her courage.


The last week in France disappeared. I left the house perfect, ready to dazzle Rob when we return. I stopped in Toronto (as I've mentioned) to attend Amie's wedding.

I was surprised to hear that this particular niece was getting married. She is not a traditionalist. She has never tried to please, and is the most outspoken and caustic of my siblings' children. She does not lack intelligence. (I see none of these qualities as negative.) She loves books. Her choice of husband also surprised me. Tommy is the son of a Finnish Mormon. His father's closest friend (who I met at the wedding) described Tommy's dad, Ilmo as the closest person to Jesus Christ that he's ever met. "There isn't a kinder, gentler, more generous man on this earth." Although I have never had a long conversation with Tommy, I would say he resembles his father. He appears timid, modest, not volcanic like his beautiful bride.

Amie says they met at a bar. She was to be his friend's date but Tommy and she sat and talked the night away. The second time they met was also in a bar. She told him that she was in a foul mood. "Let's dance," he said. And they danced the night away. They arranged to go to a movie together. Amie says the film destroyed all her illusions about love. When they left the theatre, she burst into tears and couldn't stop crying. If you can't believe in love, what can you believe in. Tommy comforted her. I believe in love, he told her. And with that statement, she realized that she was falling in love.

I arrived in Toronto exhausted, after being awake 24 hours. I slept poorly the first night. The next evening was the wedding. The evening after that the celebration. I went home with Gill and Durant and Gill and I had a day and evening together and although she was working, we still had time to catch up and play. Early, early the next morning, I took a train to Port Hope so I could visit with my son Michael and his love, Mackenzie. Although struggling financially - Michael is now enrolled in full time studies as well as doing web work - they are happier than I've ever seen them.

It was a whirlwind visit. Early, early the next morning, my father drove me to the train station and I caught a train back to the city. It was a glorious hot day and I pulled my suitcases through the streets of Toronto to the subway to the airport and home.

Monday, September 22, 2008

She'd follow Tommy anywhere...
She's in love with the boy

On the way home, I stopped in Toronto for Amie and Tommy's wedding (sounds like a country and western song to me.)

Beautiful Amie

So much to say about the last week but until today (I'm with Michael) I have not been able to use my computer and as I have only a few hours to spend with him and Mackenzie, and my mum and dad, I'll tell more a little later this week. (I fly home tomorrow.)

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Skip to My Lou

Don't know why a nursery rhyme comes to mind. My first two pages describe the work I've been doing. If they bore you, skip to the third.