We are on the home stretch of our Manitoba Marathon. We've been everywhere in this great province from Winkler to Winnipeg to Schanzenfeld to Burwalde, to St. Malo, to Altona, to St. Norbert and back again. Back to our empty little bungalow in St. Vital. We like it here.
Our girls have been troopers through these past few weeks. They've slept in several different beds, and on a few different floors, eating at different tables and seeing different faces every day. They have said "hello" and "goodbye" a lot over this past year and are building layers of resilience and character. You can see it in them. It looks good on them.
Do you know how happy reading the Winnipeg Free Press in the morning makes me? (Thanks to our paper-boy, Adrian). The Saturday paper is thick and meaty with lots to sink your teeth into. I'm a daily paper girl - gotta have it with my breakfast in the morning. Vancouver Sun, how I've tried to fall in love with you this year, but my heart belongs to the "Freep".
Mike was feeling all "Mad Mountain Mike-ish" this afternoon and chainsawed his way through many dead branches on our girl's beloved Pussy Willow tree. For some reason, they all have a love affair with the mangy looking spindly tree in our front yard. There were some tough moments this afternoon when they saw the transformation. They simply love it - ugliness and all. It's their loyalty to their home and their surroundings. We all have a ghastly looking Pussy Willow tree of sorts growing in all of us, don't we?
I don't like it when things change while you're gone. A few weeks ago I went with an old friend to Stella's for breakfast at their Osborne Village location. Much to my surprise, the server actually came to our table to take our order. I like ordering at the counter. That's the way it always was at that location. I like things to stay the same. It wasn't. It just didn't feel right.
I am pretty thankful to have been a witness to the "No Mosquito Manitoba Summer". Seriously miraculous. I would not have believed it had I not been here to witness it for myself.
It's been good to live on our street again for a few weeks. I kind of feel it's like living in a hotel with friends. When I want to see what's shaking, I just walk over to the neighbors, knock on their door, and check things out. It's kind of like walking down the hall at your hotel and knocking on your friend's door to see if they're reading to go swimming.
Apparently my kids aren't the only ones who grow a lot in one year.
Sargent Sundae makes really great milkshakes. I forgot that.
I got to go with my dear friend Joycie as she went to get a new piercing to mark a significant milestone in her life. I held her hand and felt like I was in the delivery room with her. I liked being a part of the marking of a moment in time.
I am looking forward to living here and knowing I have unlimited time to spend with people I love. It is very hard to disappoint people and feel you're neglecting others you want to see. I don't cope well with not meeting the expectations of others.
I hope Nella and Norah - the world's most amazing twin baby girls - will fall in love with their Auntie Karla when she sees them again just like she's fallen in love with them. It will be so hard to not be a witness to their growing up over the next 10 months.
There are no hills here. Seriously. It's flat. I think I had forgotten just how flat it is. It's kind of refreshing, really. Going for walks or bike rides or runs just seems really easy now. I wonder if it will always feel that way?
I can't believe how many dragonflies I've seen. Mike even heard one munching away on a mosquito.
Siam Thai on St. Anne's Road makes the best Thai curries in Winnipeg.
Sometimes when you are back, it feels like you never left.
I don't like living out of a suitcase. Lack of order and routine makes me kind of crazy. I'm learning to let things go and live in a state of dishevelment. I'm getting better at it.
Pulling all the weeds out of my flower beds for hours was a therapeutic process. It helped me to feel like this house and yard was mine again. When I was finished and cleaned up the weeds and quack grass I could look at 39 Robertson Crescent with peace again.
Winnipeg's Exchange District is a pretty cool place. Especially The Haberdashery on Albert Street.
I loved seeing how much all of our girls LOVED camp this summer. They went to the same camp I went to as a kid, and then worked at as a counsellor all through high school and beyond. That place holds some of my most amazing memories. I still have dear friends from my years at camp in my life.... I hope my girls spend lots of summers at Winkler Bible Camp.
Transition is hard.
Our swing set looks a lot smaller than I remembered it.