As I had feared, our ‘week’ with Evan’s gang went by in a flash. I co-conspired with Claire to get a few long standing items off of Ev’s TO DO list. He works tremendously long hours, trying to get his business established, and bringing in a steady income. Plus, his weekends are usually spent out of town, running tournaments with various paint ball aficionados’.
Job one was to clean up his garage, which is also his workshop. That took half a day, and provided the recycling folks with a major haul. Two old bikes that the previous tenants had left behind were soon detached from the rafters, and set out on the end of the driveway, to be snagged by anyone that wanted them!
Next, all of the rotten boards in his deck got pulled out, and replaced with new wood, ready for the new heavy duty finish to be applied. While the fellows were doing this, Claire and I set to removing as many weeds as we could from the small patio. We definitely made a difference in the patio’s appearance, but eventually we tired of this frustrating task. By this time, mosquitos were arriving in droves, so retiring the inside of the house seemed to be the wiser choice.
Willa’s beach party this morning went off well, with a dozen squealing preschoolers dashing delightedly from water’s edge to the picnic enclosure. It wasn’t long until they were in the water, splashing and screaming, and hurling wet sand at each other. Several parents brought their babies as well, so it was a lively crowd. Evan was in charge of barbequeing, so everything was perfectly cooked; hot dogs, hamburgers and corn on the cob were quickly dispatched and relished.
With heavy hearts, we bid all farewell, and headed to the Toronto airport for our flight back to California. Once the rental car was back with Hertz we headed into the airport. I generally follow Glenn since he instinctively knows where to go, so he was the first to steop on the ovning sidewalk. I THOUGHT that I had stepped on right behind him, but……
As it ended up, only ONE foot got on the runner. The other foot didn’t make the hop, causing me to do an informal version of the splits. OUCH!! I tumbled backwards, landing on Glenn’s new roller board suitcase, and badly bending the metal handle. I remember hitting the back of my head on the ground, but not hard. I took a couple of minutes to get my grounding back, much to the dismay of the security people that had appeared. After assuring them that I was not injured, they tried to help me up. As usual, my body likes to do things its own way, so I eventually crawled over to the railing and pulled myself up.
It is now eight pm, and we are on our way home. Sitting in the airplane seats is not helping my mangled body! My knees are bruised, my elbow is scraped, my left wrist is sore, my one buttock is going to have a large purple bruise, and my tailbone is not going to easily forgive me. Landing on the extendable metal handle of Glenn’s roller board suitcase was not in anyone’s best interests.
The trip was a successful trip for Glenn, and Apple, as a handful of candidates passed their careful scrutiny. He hasn’t heard how the rest of the company’s departments fared, but he feels quite chuffed. He was even able to stop in and see Harry for a couple of hours before driving up to Peterborough, to join me.
At the moment Harry has to live in a ‘retirement home’ in Kitchener/Waterloo. The cumulative effects of dozens of years of dialysis, then finally his successful transplant have caught up with him. He has lost most of his vision, so requires living assistance for now. He has appointments with several eye specialists to hopefully help regain his ability to see. He has always been an avid traveler, but was hindered by needing dialysis a few times per week. When the transplant came, he had rejuvenated dreams of striking out on his own and seeing the world. Now, everything is on hold, for yet another reason!
This was a bittersweet visit, but very enjoyable nonetheless. As evening drew nigh, the sounds of the night birds settling into rest felt very nostalgic. Birds in California have the same nighttime rituals, but they are different birds, with different voices. Their soft whispered sound stopped me, and reminded me of our lives in Canada, when these things were commonplace.
Willa both enchanted and frustrated us, but eloquently showed us what we miss out on by not living closer. Had we still been in Ottawa, or even Waterloo, our absences would never be so protracted. Bonnie, Claire mom, said she was determined to have her grandchildren KNOW her.
So what does this mean for us?