Our two-week staycation is over and, once again, life must resume a regular pattern. My husband is off to work, our youngest is at nursery school, and, by the end of the week, our oldest will be starting junior kindergarten. As sad as it is to say goodbye to the calm laziness of summer, I’m really looking forward to this new routine. I am hoping it will free up time for me to pursue certain projects, as well as hang out more with my youngest son.
We were away all weekend visiting family in the Niagara region, where it was so oppressively hot and humid that my girl cousins, my aunt, and I would make periodic dashes to the outdoor shower behind the guesthouse and dance around under the stream of icy cold groundwater that comes out of the showerhead. It was the kind of weather that makes sleeping almost impossible. Naked, lying on top of the sheets, tossing and turning in search of a cool spot on the pillow, the heat-saturated air hanging motionless in the room, it was a grand finale for summer. As we drove four hours north, however, the temperature dropped steadily until it was down to a paltry 15 Celsius. I was shivering when we got out of the car. Fall has arrived with a vengeance, I see.
I love visiting my Niagara family. It’s where my aunt, uncle, and grandma live on a beautiful old farm close to Lake Erie. It’s not a functioning farm, but an oasis of stunning gardens and a warm, cheery home that’s always bubbling with live music, delicious food, and loud laughter. I love that it’s filled with interesting finds from my aunt and uncle’s travels all over the world – paintings from Paris and Havana, a wall hanging and carved drums from Zimbabwe, Pakistani rugs, a lamp from Iran, clothes from Nigeria. There is always something to look at and wonder about. Oh, I can’t forget the airplane parked in the barn – a three-seat plane that my inventor-uncle built and flew years ago and he is now trying to convert to an electric motor. (These are the kind of interesting things he does for fun.) Best of all, though, are the stacks of diverse books piled on every available surface. Sit in any chair in the house, and there will be a great book within arm’s length. I always leave their home with a much longer reading list.
It was hard to say goodbye because my cousin Emily and her husband Tyler will soon be moving to Laos for three years. They will be working as agricultural consultants, helping the country move toward greater food sustainability and localized production. Emily will be out in the fields and Tyler will be a legal advisor and liaison between the government and farmers. It’s hard to imagine them being so far away, but all the more reason to take a trip to Laos. I’ve always wanted to explore that corner of Asia anyways, where Cambodia, Vietnam, Burma, Thailand, and Laos are all squished together below China. I just need to wait a couple of years till the boys grow up a bit. That also buys me time to convince my skeptical husband that it’s a good idea.
Happy Tuesday to all!