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Nova Scotia

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

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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


My parents live on the LaHave River in Lunenburg county. I talked a bit about that last summer when we lived here. My Dad has always wanted to be on the water and has been trying to find the perfect boat to live out his dreams.

This summer's trip to Nova Scotia, my kids were happy to oblige my Dad's passion for the water. I'm not so much of a water person but last weekend I joined Saturday's sail. Anything for a trip to the LaHave Bakery and nearby Westcote Bell Pottery gallery (I have a custom order on the way).

We're leaving today and I have mixed feelings about this. I have nearing-end-of-summer melancholy. And my kids have loved spending the past two weeks with their cousins at Nana & Papa's. Sometimes I think it would be nice to live closer to my parents, we're currently a whole day's drive away. 

But the nice thing about having distance and difference in our living situation, us in the Gaspé mountains and my parents on the South Shore of Nova Scotia, is the unique experiences we have when visiting each other. I especially appreciate the opportunities my kids have when coming to Nana & Papa's house. Stuff we just don't do with them at home - like sailing.

Thanks Mom and Dad for the great visit. We'll see you in a couple weeks when you come to experience the Gaspé. No sailing. But bakeries, yes (we call them boulangeries) and some great tenting and hiking.