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Nova Scotia

My prime objective right now is to get settled, to re-establish the patterns, routines, and life-organization that makes me feel secure. It's a need to nest at full-term pregnancy proportions.

Then along came Thanksgiving and a pre-arranged trip to Nova Scotia to be with my parents and visiting aunt and uncle for the holiday.

My mom, the consummate party planner also wanted to host a celebration for the completion of our hike. So we came and celebrated.

In addition to the fabulous food, Mom's speciality, we gave a mini-presentation about our hike to Mom & Dad's friends (whom we all know personally from our many trips to NS and six months of living here three years ago).

It was fun to share stories of our hike and answer people's questions. Good practice for the future speaking we hope to do about our experience.

My sporadic roiling belly anxiety followed me here, plaguing me at times. But I am loved, just as I am in this home, in these relationships. This is a safe place.

And then there's the music.

I come from a family of musicians and singers, mostly talented amateurs but some professionals also. Music is my roots and returning to my roots is one strand in three of the post-hike wellness strategy I've mapped out for myself.

I have plans for how to incorporate more music making in my life but this little trip brought the gift of family music back to me. After a few piano-less years my mom recently bought a keyboard because she too wanted to bring more music back into her life and my uncle bought a guitar last week in Mahone Bay, his Nova Scotia guitar, to leave at my parents for their annual trip out east.

Singing together old church choruses, with the rich alto harmonies and male tenor I've known since the womb, is like coming home for me. I am so very thankful for my family, my heritage.

Yes, I have some post-hike anxiety. And I am struggling with lost confidence and self-doubt.

But I also have this. I have love and acceptance. I have my mom hugging me in my tears, reassuring me that I may not have it all together (in this season) but I have her, always. I have music in my blood, and a voice that loves to sing. I have a history, a loving family, roots.

I have security in these relationships.

This summer my parents celebrated their 60th birthdays. They were both born in the same year, one month apart, to the day.

Mont Richardson

My grandparents were friends. And so my parents have one of those love stories. The kind of love story that made me wonder as a child, which boy, out of those I'd known since toddlerhood, would one day be my husband.

Next week my parents will celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary. They've actually known each other for 60 years and have spent 40 of those years as life partners. 

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I think this is a pretty big deal, the whole thing.

I think it's a big deal that my parents are so vibrant, healthy, and active as they enter their 6th decade. And their marriage, still going strong after 40 years is a definite cause for celebration.

So next weekend that is what we're doing. Having a 60/40 celebration at their home.

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It's easy to suggest to my parents to throw a party. My mom is the hostess with mostest. I grew up in the bosom of family parties and get together's. Throwing a big do is second nature to my mom and one of her gifts. But I want to help cook and clean and decorate and then sit in the warm embrace of their friends and few family (most of our family lives out west) and celebrate this milestone year in their lives. 

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It's also Canadian Thanksgiving on Monday.

At the end of last winter, as I was coming out of my worst bout ever of the winter blues, we left the house on a whim to celebrate Easter with my parents. At the beginning of April, I was already emotionally fragile and the thought of spending a holiday apart from my parents (even though we have spent more apart than together in the past decade) broke me.

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You know I'm desperate when I get really spontaneous, which is what I did. On a Thursday morning (I still remember the e-mail I sent my mom), Damien and I made the 5 minute decision to head out early the very next day to drive to Nova Scotia to spend Easter with my parents. 

That trip showed me that it's really not that hard to get together for holidays. Not when our work is mobile and school is optional.

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I decided that weekend, in the beauty and love of my parent's home that we would make the trip for Thanksgiving. It's a good eight hour drive, a full day, but totally doable. 

(We saw my parents a whole lot over summer also. Here, there and everywhere it seemed. It was wonderful.)

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Here we are. Thanksgiving weekend. And since we were going anyway, we thought, "why not take a weekend backpacking trip also?"

So, that's where we're headed tomorrow, the Bluff Wilderness trail outside of Halifax, with my parents. I told you they were healthy and active. Two days of rigorous exercise to kick off a week of celebration.

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Have a great Thanksgiving weekend!

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(Photos from last weekend's hike on our home turf of the Parc national de la Gaspésie.)

These were going to be last weekend's The View Around Here. But there was too many to whittle down, and I wanted to post the sailing photos. So, here I am, left with a bunch of great photos I am compelled to post with no real reason to do so except I want to.

Good enough for me.

I don't have time for too much commentary to accompany these photos. I've got a couple big posts I'm writing. Doing my best to deliver on that homeschool series I promised to finish. More than that though, I am downright busy in our home.

mom's garden veggie harvest

veggies becoming "ferments" in my mom's kitchen

On this trip to Nova Scotia we rented a U-Haul for the trip back and brought with us the last of our earthly belongings - some furniture, kid's bikes, and the trampoline - all stuff we didn't need when we moved to Québec last November. With our furniture now here we are finally able to finish unpacking and settling into our new home. 

Dance Party!

This is not a complain-y post but I will say I am sick and tired of moving. Actually, not sick this time, just tired. And as usual, with each major transition in our life (and there have been many this past year), I'm fairly stressed. Stretched thin.

the boys' fort in the woods

It's a state of overwhelm. I've been here enough times this past year to know this too shall pass if I just Do The Work, rest, eat well, read (The Seven Storey Mountain - fascinating religious autobiography) and try to be kind to my gracious family. This too shall pass. This too shall pass...

But then there was Nova Scotia. A little break from moving and settling into our latest home. A time for cousins and grandparents, aunties and uncles. Sailing and backyard tenting. The Lunenburg market and LaHave Bakery. Hirtle's beach and secret forts in the woods. Family chess tournaments, dance parties and the Olympic games. A time to live summer. It was very good. A little calm in the middle of this storm of a summer


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