Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A time to visit...


With spring-like weather arriving at long last, there have been days when one has to caution against being too busy to allow for smelling the roses along the way. We are all guilty my friend at one time or another of busyness, yep all of us. The past few weeks have been crazy times over here, just way too busy for some reason with everything happening all at once.

As I sit at my computer typing up this writing, I stand guilty of not taking enough time to let my own mother know just how much I loved visiting with her recently, how much I truly appreciate her for all she is, all she offers to me and all I have learned from her over the years.

Just over two weeks ago my mother boarded her plane to fly back home again after a visit with me here in the east. I endured an ache in my heart all day long after our airport goodbye because of something I forgot to do as we exchanged mutual love and hugs together when nearing the security gates in order for her to enter further onward towards her journey home. In my silly haste not to hold her too long with the line-up of other family members wanting to do the same, I forgot to utter those three words that sum it all up; I love you. So sorry mom, that is if you noticed in the hubbub of sending you on your way. I noticed though...

As my mother is a frequent reader to this blog, let me share with you about our visit together, one that came as a surprise to both of us when she attempted to rebook a canceled flight from last year over here when our lives seemed to fall apart for a time with uncertainties and such things. Instead of being able to return in May, the flight operator alerted her to the fact she must book her flight when the ticket was purchased, and not when she was supposed to do the actual flying. That meant instead of arriving in spring, she would arrive in late march when it would still be winter here.
Greetings "Ontario-style"...

From the moment her plane touched down when arriving in our area, she was greeted “Ontario style” with this billboard above welcoming her here. Only in Ontario they say, a Tim Horton’s on almost every corner and not the more western popular coffee spots such as a Starbucks or other famous ones we were so used to before. I had to laugh at the advertising in a huge international airport. This restaurant clearly takes over and is a monopoly of the coffee market here.

She's here!

After a pleasant flight she landed to no evidence of winter, rather the weather had been warming up very nicely. Everything in the weather forecast straight ahead great as we two together hoped to get out exploring, preferring to work on impulse as our days progressed, just doing whatever would come naturally.

Oh sure there were children to take here and there and things to do as per the usual routine in our family. The difference was if she came along, the waiting times were made more pleasant by her willingness and good sportsmanship to come and mould into the family’s commitments, no matter what they were. Her secret was to always bring along some reading in progress, browsing my book stacks as necessary for new material and being perfectly willing to wait however long it took when running an errand or out to one of the children’s activities together.
A surprise visit to the girls

We took a few side road trips involving the girls surprising a few friends during our time in their vicinity. Or maybe a few road excursions involved only the younger children, the older ones, or perhaps sometimes as in other relative type visits, all of the family was present.

Discovering an ohh-la-la lovely tea shop with
antique shopping surrounding it. Lovely!

Together we discovered a few new areas near to our geographically situated new home area, and loved our little tea shops discovered during one such day, complete with antique store browsing.

Enjoying the best plate of nachos around
with five very happy girls in tow

My mother could be found hanging out nearby giving one of the family members a foot massage as she does so well each evening.

Everyone began to ask for their daily foot rub beginning early in the evenings, one and all enjoying every bit of it. One daughter said she realized if she kept my mother talking, she in turn would tend to get a longer foot massage. So sneaky...but funny.

Loving our discovery of a fabulous Thai restaurant

We were sure to visit our famous dollar store chain several times, explore shopping areas nearby yet untapped, adventure to sights unknown by the water’s edge both near and far, discover a fabulous Thai food restaurant, attend a wonderful evening when we were invited to a Creative Memories Eastern Canada evening to introduce new products with free goodies in a bag for all who attended. What a fun evening to enjoy with my mother here, the two of us scrapbooking junkies of course.
Witness to the crazy things to hit our
home when cabin fever strikes

The surprise of all surprises came when we awoke to six inches of freshly fallen snow, and for two days after it never looked as though it might stop. Winter beckoned us indoors until cabin fever hit us several days later. Before she arrived I teased her about bringing along her boots. I’m so happy she did because she needed them while here after this snow fall.

My mother was able to see what life was like for us in our new location now that most all of those dreadful moving boxes were gone. I was so ready for her companionship after such a hard winter with the difficult move, the winter snowy weather hindering the ability to get far from home , and my husband gone for those seven weeks while an in-patient in the hospital. After he had returned back to work again, the distraction of having her here was so welcomed and beyond my own ability to express the blessing it was during such incredible burn-out timing for me.

During this visit she was able to enjoy life as it was, life within our new home without many subtrades arriving to a fro to repair and leave another mess to clean up afterward. Oh sure there were still a few minor visits from subtrades, but nothing compared to what we had before she arrived.

Right to the front door, the girls surprised us all

She enjoyed our daughter riding right up to the front door with a new friend from the horse barn, both out for the day on a “hack” together.

25 mandatory classroom hours begins

She was able to see where our daughter went to her Girl Guides, another to a tutor and yet another to his Driver’s education classes twice weekly.

A beautiful day to take a photo outdoors

She attended our church with us and remarked how nice it was to see so many children there for our younger ones to play with.

There were moments of intensity when she could tell some of my days were difficult, like the two day fest of having the new abrupt challenge happen with a deadline for completion. That challenge was to find a proctor for our son to take two of his provincial end of year tests for his schooling. It sounds so simple really and in the past we’ve not had any difficulty in finding a proctor with the older ones. But, when a family moves to an area where they know no one, finding a proctor for not only one, but two tests the government decided to split them all into two parts each requiring four mornings in June for approximately 2 ½ hours each session - well that whole situation clearly represented a huge obstacle for us. In fact, we knew he had to take one test, but only 48 hours notice was given that there was now a second mandatory test!

Proctor whoas

At long last after visiting many areas in town who might have possible proctor services falling into the mandatory guidelines, and because we don’t know anyone able to assist with the hours to dedicate to such a mission, we now have a proctor at the local University at a charge of 25.00 an hour plus the cost of courier fees to return the tests to the government enclosed address. I suppose I should be thankful for two days being sucked up by an almost the deemed “mission-impossible” before us, but I pressed on to the finish line and scored this bingo bit by the end of the second day. You see those exams count for 50% of our son’s final grade! Now that was too much to drop the ball on, AND, the school wasn’t communicating properly on their part, almost leaving me in the dust with regards to the entire situation.

Breathing a sigh of relief once all was complete, I can see reason to be thankful for such a crazy thing. In the process I met the local high school counselor who was instrumental with college/university information leading us to the University in the first place. I met three other areas of possibilities by following her initial lead and my son and I were able to secure not only the proctor booking administrator at the University but also secure a tour of the campus the week later. I also knew my mother was taking the lead by praying for me during the entire process, finding something she could assist with in her own way. I loved that.

There were many other situations creeping in suddenly to suck my emotions dry, things completely out of my own hands but nevertheless present. I’ve certainly realized how much my mother was instrumental in assisting me during those times.

In her ever quiet way she gathered and completed the laundry for the family, lead a silver polish session with the younger two children, was always ready to depart when the need arose even if that meant she would have to wait in the vehicle for me while I did my bit to forge through each item at hand. She assisted behind the scenes with meal preparations and was ever present knowing just when to begin cheering from the sidelines when needed the most. She just seemed to know when/ how to help keep me calm when anxiety came to call, and was there to lick my inner wounds when I never knew they were even there.

Only a mother seems to know how to do that I suppose and someday I hope my own children will see me through their eyes as I see my own mother through mine.

And heck, we had many good times together while out and about or just feeling cabin fever at home on winter days. She enjoyed watching a few shows I was following at that time, the ones we watched either live or from taped programming abilities; “Dancing with the stars” and “American Idol”, not to mention of course “Divine Design”. She followed hockey scores with our family knowing my father back home was likely catching the games too. It gave her pleasure when the Vancouver Canucks won a game. :-)

Explanations for the food detail before us

Best of all, she was able to revel in my husband’s new found cooking abilities on the weekends when he wanted to take over the kitchen. She was thrilled to see how much he enjoyed his new apron from B.C. and helped in kitchen clean up as needed.

Our time together passed all too quickly. Later after the fact here, and while taking time to type up this writing, one thing I’ve realized is the comfort level was so great with her here, I failed to pick up my camera often enough to get those memorable shots with her and I in the photos together. Next time I guess...
We did have some very lovely days while she was here.

I love you my dear sweet mama. I miss you already. How could we depart with me forgetting to whisper in your ear as I usually do, just to ensure you hear those words, such an important thing never to forget?
Love you mom, miss you already.