One year later, we are back. Our Canadian summer went so quickly. It was a whirlwind from the moment we stepped off the plane in Ottawa on June 25th until our departure August 18th. But so much good came out of it. We met our new grandson Miles in Guelph a few days later. Miles was a little over one week old. He is a big happy baby and will be well looked after by his parents Jon and Ashley and especially his doting big sister Sawyer. We spent all sorts of time with Sarah and Tommy and their girls Lilly and Edith. And we helped Mary and Brad prepare for their July 30th wedding at their new farm outside of Lanark, forty minutes from Ottawa.
Mary and Brad’s farm is quite beautiful. I think that they are still pinching themselves at finding it. There was, however, a certain amount of labour involved in bringing it up to speed, in particular the barn, and the yards and the field and the house! This is where we came in handy. We had the time and both loved the chance to work outside during a beautiful Canadian summer at all of the chores Mary had enumerated on her daily lists.
It was a celebration that everyone contributed to in one way or another. Judy’s sister, Catherine Barley, an Anglican priest, conducted the ceremony on a hill overlooking their fields and animals. The food for the reception was pot luck and we had an amazing array of dishes. Lots of children were there too. They had their own shed set up as an activity center by Auntie Pam Howard and her daughters Emma, Katie, Annie, and Laura. There was a “quiet” camping area and a “not quiet” camping area and a fire pit to sit around. Mary and Brad were happy and radiant all day and all night. It was a great event.
The other major undertaking as it turned out was putting our house on Airbnb. Have you ever de-cluttered a family home after living in it for thirty years? Yikes! All of the closets and dresser drawers had to be culled and packed away. And basically anything that you don’t want broken or damaged has to be removed too. So what do you do with all of this stuff? I had imagined hauling it all off to some corner of Mary and Brad’s barn or renting a storage unit for an exorbitant fee. Instead we packed everything in six-dollar Giant Tiger bins and stacked and locked them in the basement storage room. They fit! Hallelujah!! So the house is up and running. Yet another change we could have never have imagined a short time ago.
As much as we were enormously stimulated by our year in Egypt, it was wonderful to be in Canada for the summer. A very, very quiet street in Manotick. Running with the Run Clubbers at 6 in the morning out by the locks, then back to Laurie McLean’s for coffee by the river. Outdoor yoga at Joy and Simon’s with their turkeys trying to peck at us. Randomly running into friends from the community and church and getting caught up. Seeing our children and their children and our own sisters and brothers. We have so much to be grateful for that it is almost overwhelming. Leaving for Egypt again was not so easy this time around. But here we are.