Thursday 26 August 2021

Looking ahead

We are coming to the end of summer 2021. Today is my last day of vacation; I’m back in school officially tomorrow and students, including mine and AJ, are back in classes September 1st.

Summer highlights:
  • Music in the park on Wednesdays! Our local historical park, a beautiful location (and the setting of our wedding 11 years ago) hosted a free outdoor concert every week this summer. We went to many and what an awesome opportunity it was. I knew that the absence of live music was affecting me but I couldn’t fully grasp the extent of that loss until I was there in the moment and felt sanity and goodwill wash over me. I would prepare a picnic dinner and we would mosey off as soon as Mr Turtle came home from work. Sunshine (maybe a little rain), happy people, dancing, good food. It was the best.
  • Camping! With a little improvisation. All the reservable campsites booked up in about 5 minutes this summer. We had made plans to go camping with friends and naively believed we could get a drop in site. No such luck. Instead of taking four very disappointed kids home again and unpacking everything we drove to our friends’ parents acreage and camped there. It felt a bit awkward initially but truthfully people are people and you get to know them best when you share some problem solving. The kids had a blast and the adults had fun too.
  • Play dates! We did a fair number of these and it was great to see the kids have time with their friends and I enjoyed some great conversations too.
  • Of course there were trips as family, picnics, that sort of thing. We did a couple of wonderful hikes. I like my high quality human contact and then I like to just see trees and sky sometimes too. 
  • AJ took sailing camp and loved it! I am now motivated to learn more myself and get our family more involved in our local sailing club next summer. Sailing was a big part of my family growing up so it feels like continuing a tradition. At least one other friend is also interested so who knows….maybe an all woman racing team one day. Hehe.
  • We are ending the summer with a generous visit from my in laws who live in the states. They hadn’t been here for a year and a half so this is a privilege. The weather, which had been hot and dry for most of the summer, and smoky for a few weeks is currently my favourite weather. Sunny, a little bit rainy, and just warm, not hot. Perfect for park outings and drives where you can see for miles.
This coming year:
  • Back at the same school with the same assignment and team (hurrah!) As far as the year and pandemic stuff….well who knows. For now “everything old is new again” as we have much the same behavioural requirements in school as we did last year, at least for the next month. Vaccinations appear to be having a positive effect but the recent news is less promising. Things change so fast. But there is a bit more flexibility in that students can play in band and sports, for example and hopefully we can do field trips and off campus work experience if we can arrange it. We’ll see. My mindset is very much “one week at a time” and “take opportunity as it comes.” I’m grateful for the people around me and whatever chance I have to contribute to my community.
  • AJ goes into grade 2! Likewise hopeful that her school will continue to be a positive and nurturing environment for her, as it has been so far. Grandma pretty much took care of back to school outfits, and they go for haircuts tomorrow, so we are moving through the rituals…..I just have to assess the shoe situation.
  • Activities: I am continuing with my Canadian step dancing class/community, whom I’m hugely grateful for. Hopefully we can do some performing this year….but it is what it is.
  • I definitely want to join a church community but it is a super weird time to be doing it….so….who knows….it will happen somehow because I have no idea when anything won’t be….weird.
  • Activities for the girls! They are going to take Ukrainian dance, swimming lessons and AJ will continue with music. Our weeks will be busier! However with the exception of AJ’s music I have arranged their activities on the same days (so one commute) and as close to home as possible. Again, with Covid…who knows how things will actually look but if you hadn’t noticed, I’m all about strong connections and communities and developing skills and resilience….so we will be rocking in the free world here, every day, every way we can.
I’ll leave you with 
this story of the saint I share a name day with.  She was a total badass and very hard to kill. I’m hoping I can share even a fragment of that good energy this coming year. 

Thursday 12 August 2021

One Thursday morning

AJ reading Robert Munsch’s A Promise is a Promise. 

(Meanwhile I try to get coffee out of the jar with a butter knife. Good thing they can amuse themselves.)