Note to self: Start packing and cleaning at least two months* before the next move.

*Assuming of course you get more than twenty days (or so) notice that a new life beckons. In that case, start packing slowly, carefully, thoughtfully, (unrealistically), and then ramp up to full speed of chucking shit** into boxes hoping for the best while the movers hover in the hallway.

**Excuse my French.***

***Excuse my borrowed-British Francophobic expression.

Anyway, we are done. In every way imaginable. But I also mean the house is empty and sparklingly clean and waiting for its own next adventure.

The peas did not get eaten.

As are we.


With one and a half days until the Big Truck comes and takes everything away, we are now at full pelt.

Well, some of us are. Some of us are being four on a summer's day and contemplating life, the universe and everything with the dog. (Though, we can't assume that is what she, too, is thinking. There are many possible answers to "What is that dog thinking?")

Of course, we are hoping this is as pleasant as it looks. It is hard to know how a four year old processes such a thing as moving from the only home he's ever known. Tonight, he asked, "When will we get our house back?" I tried not to look like my heart had just squeezed tightly.

In marginally related news, a resident mouse revealed itself tonight. It too will need to vacate and this method has worked once before. We have high hopes it will again.


Only one of us is did a somersault on this birthday outing.


What will change:

~ the view

What won't change:

~ the daydreaming boy
~ the savouring of frozen blueberries
~ that bull's-eye swirl at the back of his head that I get bang on with a kiss every morning


Let me tell you a story.

You know the first bits, or most of them anyway. There was a tarot card reader. There was serendipitous friend making. There was a long distance introduction. There were many (many) emails. There was swapping of photos (and much analysing of them). There was the big Meeting in Person. There were two great weeks worthy of a Hollywood-esque vignette of the young(ish) lovers walking hand-in-hand. With sunsets. And laughter. Possibly twirling by a fountain. (There most certainly was a great love song soundtrack playing over the top, the camera lens misty at the edges.)

There has been happy (in a complex, realistic way) ever after.

While I was convinced from almost the first email that I had discovered my One True Love, what I didn't know was that the discovery is ongoing. Perhaps it is commonplace to say this, but it is amazing to me.

One of the great gifts of this house, this town, this time, has been watching my cerebral, absent-minded professor of a husband, open outwards to see more of the world around us. Where once there was a man preoccupied by solving the worst evils of the world, there is now also a gardener, a lover of bees, a creator of safe havens, a teacher of the gentle art of paying attention to all the life around us.

He credits me with introducing him to gardening. But it is he who has taught me that all bugs matter, that the little brown birds are just as wonderful as the showy red ones, that watching things grow is not like watching paint dry but like watching an absolute and utter miracle.

This garden has given us some of the best tasting tomatoes (pr. tom-mah-toes) on the planet. But it has also given us great joy. The least of which has been my great pleasure in watching my biophilic (one of his favourite words) love become ever more enchanted with the life around us.


Have I said that I don't want to move? That I find change hard?

Oh sure, adventure awaits and there's always a good case to be made for the you-won't-know-unless-you-try-its, but none of that budges the small tightness within. Yes, of course I'm up for it. It's just that, every night since the decision was made, a little voice in the back of my mind has been heard to repeat: I just don't want to. I just don't want to.

1/85 in Tiny's occasional photographic series "Things"

Normally I squash that little voice. Normally, I imagine a chorus of naysayers admonishing me for not being adventurous enough, or for showing the weaknesses of fear and resistance to change. Normally, I wish I was an enormously practical woman who just marched on through life, facing forward, looking outward.

Me. A blur of movement. Photo by Tiny.

This time I'm just resigning myself to myself. I am a thinker, I mull, I feel, I worry. Things matter to me. I am listening to the ghosts in the rooms as we pack. I am remembering the stories. I am acknowledging who we were and who we've become. I am listening to the voice. I am letting it be hard. (I'm sure I'm a real joy to live with.)

I'm hoping this strategy will help me move. Save me from getting stuck.

I hope I am creating the space to move on. Gracefully. Like a swan.

Actually, these are Canada geese. Moving on.


I am five kinds of weary.

Here is a tomato from our garden.

(pr. tom-MAH-toe)

Clunk. Zzzzzzzzzz...


Things I am not going to miss:*

My one square foot of kitchen work space.

That's it, folks. That was all we had. For every meal. No matter how many people we were cooking for.

*At least I hope I'm not going to miss it. I am making what I think is a reasonable assumption that the next kitchen will be better. Of course, on my wish list for the next house I have "Large kitchen with loads of cupboard and bench space with a massive central maple-topped kitchen island and a cast iron pot hanger [filled with expensive cooking pots] overhead." I will post a photo of it when we get there.


Things that hurt:

bottom, forearms, hands, backs of the legs, some joints in my feet, a random ache in one thigh, my fingernails, lower back, heart.


That's gardening for you.


*Suburbia is not the place for the Great Panoramas of the World. Yet, this one—this street, fence, stop sign, tree etc.—has accompanied me through some of the big stuff. Becoming a mother being the least of them. I think it deserves a little recognition for services rendered.