Sunday, August 30, 2009

Take Two

I tried writing earlier but the formatting was off. Hence "take two."

Settling in - for both Rob and I - seems to be taking longer than usual.

I have to force myself to write more often so I don't forget the moments when I stop worrying and am content. I can think of two (though for sure there are more.)

First is the last aperitif concert of the season that we attended with Francis Meadows a few days after Rob arrived. Francis who admits to being a jazz snob was concerned that the music would be mediocre, even abysmal as she had just returned from Marciac that hosts (according to Rob) the finest jazz festival in the world.

The evening turned out to be charming. Every summer many small villages in our region host Aperitif concerts that begin at around 7 in the evening. Most are free. This one took place in Campagnac, a hilltop town not far from ours. The entertainment was a brass jazz band that played Sinatra-like tunes and much to our surprise, especially Francis', turned out to be quite good including the male and female vocalists.

We arrived early, sat at a long table, under an awning not far from the stage. The venue - a winery - crowded with many long tables and outer cafe tables was sparsely populated. I hopped up, bought us a bottle of rose, water, some melon, cheese and bread, so we could pass the time until the music started. While Rob and Francis talked jazz, I watched the tables fill, waved to Helene - a fellow Montmirais - who joined us with her new beau, her ex-sister-in-law, and a few friends.

Truly, the evening was lovely, especially for 2 Canadians who felt privileged to be there, under the stars, looking over a glorious vista of vineyards, sipping wine, nibbling, talking, as the band played on. (And though money wasn't a consideration, we liked that the evening cost around 10 euros for the 3 of us.)

The second event that did my heart good was the two days and one evening that I spent in Toulouse with my precious daughter who has written about our time together so well, I need not attempt to.

Summertime and the livin' is easy

One of these mornin's,
You's gonna rise up singin'
Then you'll spread yo' wings
An' you'll take to the sky.

I was going to call this blog-post "worrywart"
because I can't seem to stop myself from worrying
about every little thing - like how to do what I want
without a vehicle, or how to manage to clear our
goods through customs when they arrive in France,
or where to find a large wardrobe to provide storage
space, and on it goes - such nonsense, silly stuff.

When I went out on the terrasse and saw
what a beautiful day it is, I wonder about my sanity.
I know that I worry too much, that soon all will
find its place and I'll be able to alight and write

Or perhaps simply to write (to hell with beautifully.)

I will return and continue in a hour or two.

I went to the market in Cahuzac with Clare and
bought some saucisse, lamb chops, pate, bread,
and ham. We than stopped at Caves de Tecou
and I bought a dozen bottles of wine and a
box of everyday vino that Rob loves. After
a sampling, we climb up to the terrasse. Rob
has not experienced it in summer, says he
doesn't want to go back to work. I wonder
if the proceeds from our house will allow
this. Probably not.

(Something weird is happening with the formatting
of this post. I'll try again later.)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Mother's Love

Monday, August 24, 2009

She's a Miracle

Friday, August 21, 2009

This number is no longer in service

I'm sitting at my bedroom window, in France, watching the sky lighten. Long stretches of sleep elude me. I finished a novel that I began on the plane. And this morning finished another. I should finish unpacking I tell myself and then drawl nah, I can do anything I want.

I can do anything I want. The thought makes me smile.

Gill is here. Last night she made a beautiful nicoise salad and we ate it on the terrasse. The night before, the night I arrived exhausted, she barbecued steak and spicy chicken, and zucchini from David's garden, under the stars, on the barbeque - the first thing Rob wanted to buy when he arrived. Brendan beat him to it.

I think I'm in heaven.

Leaving home, or rather leaving our home left both Rob and I a little stunned and emotionally drained. The phone was cut off before we thought it would be - Rob couldn't remember what he'd told Telus. (When Marlene and Maggie tried to reach me they both heard the automated message "this number in no longer in service." And somehow this short sentence made it all real. We've had the same phone number for 26 years. Gone.)

The next day, the last day in our house, the internet disappeared. There was little left in the house but still we managed to fill a number of boxes for Michael and Mackenzie who arrived to help with the final cleanup. Heidi arrived unexpectedly with a pair of rubber gloves to join the cleaning crew. We left the house sparkling.

After M and M left with the vacuum cleaner (yeah) and I stuffed the last of our stuff into a shopping bag, Rob and I walked through the empty house. We paused at the smallest bedroom and I asked Rob if he remembered the white and red squared wallpaper we had on the wall when Gill was little. We decided to change it and so let her go wild on the paper, drawing and colouring anything she wanted. We have a picture of it somewhere. So many memories and I know there must have been sad and angry moments in the house but I can't remember any. All I can remember at this moment are the happy ones, like our Friday pizza and movie nights, when all the children were still living at home. And the time, Gill and I returned from France and Bren and Mike happily sitting down at the dinner table commenting on the tablecloth and candles. They had missed them.

We paused at each room and then Rob and I said goodbye house out loud, left all our keys save one (to be given to the real estate agent for the new people), and shut the door. The next day we walked by and all I could think of was what a pretty house. I hope the new family appreciate it. Rob drove by yesterday and saw a work van outside. The woman told me that they were going to rip up carpets and paint before they moved in. I wonder how they will transform it, making it theirs.

How do I feel? Sad. A little scared. And excited. We have no choice now, we have to move on and create a new life.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Count Down

Saturday, August 08, 2009

The good times are all gone... I'm bound for moving on...

Our farewell party brought it home that we'll never have another celebration in this house and never, as Helen said, bring such an eclectic group together again.

I am feeling sad and disagreeable. Everything irks me.

The house is nearly clear and I have cleaned several rooms thoroughly including washing walls and filling nail holes where pictures hung. I want to leave all immaculate. Perhaps to make up for the scuffed floors, shabby carpets, and the numerous little chips of paint missing on baseboards.

I am also battling with the morning glories and blackberry bushes in the garden. No matter the weather, they thrive, multiplying like crazy, threatening to take over the whole back yard.

I remember years ago when three big guys lived in the house and none thought of using the lawn mower, let alone the weedeater unless I begged or bribed. I asked all three if they minded that ours was the messiest garden on the street and all three said no, they didn't care.

How I envied them.

I was the only one who hated the chaos. I am just too middle class, I thought.

And though I admire people with wild gardens and messy houses - which says to me that she or he has more important things to do - I find it difficult to live like this though I did and do to a degree because there is never enough time. And though I could hire casual labour who could do the job faster and better, I always hesitate because I bring in next to no salary and compensate by trying to do everything by myself.

Soon I will no longer have to worry about the upkeep of a house. And a garden. This pleases me immensely.

I'm tired. There is a little over a week to go before the big move and we begin living our dream. It damn well better be worth all this work, I whine.


Gill passed on this award to me this morning because I am brilliant and write from the heart. Read the rules and conditions on her site. This is the second award I've won for my blogging and unfortunately, the donor of the other award has locked in her site with a password and I can no longer link you to it.

I am supposed to award and challenge 7 more bloggers who are "brilliant" and link you to her or his site so here they are in alphabetical order:

And thirdly, I am to give you 10 truths about myself. (I wrote a long list and will only give you the most interesting, to my mind, but most of my readers will know them. I think it would be more interesting to ask my readers to tell me 10 truths about myself. "Disillusion me with truth," as Saint Teresa d'Avila once said.)

1. I am addicted to nicotine.
2. I am a kind person and more often than not give too much of myself.
3. I love being alone and moving to my own inner clock.
4. I wallow in my own inadequacies and although I have learnt that even the brightest I know are riddled with complexes too, still I sometimes have a hard time picking myself up.
5. I don't like driving a car but hate being driven.
6. I love reading tacky novels but also read my share of good literature.
7. I occasionally go to MacDonalds for breakfast or lunch.
8. I bore easily.
9. I look at my face in the mirror, see I am aging rapidly, and despair. Meanwhile I declare, that I will grow old gracefully.
10. I birthed and raised three extraordinary individuals.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Farewell House Party

There is just too much happening to write coherently at the moment. Soon.

But here's a few pictures of our farewell party. More and more this crazy plan of ours becomes a reality.