My favourite two weeks of the winter have recently wrapped up in Yellowknife! School winter break and the Long John Jamboree are the winter we-wait-all-winter-for up North. The sun is above the horizon longer and radiates a palpable warmth on the back of the parka as we play on the lake and in the woods for hours, compensating for months sheltering from the wind-chill and freeze. … I get homesick thinking about it!
OK, I truthfully did not miss other winter things like my morning car seat that felt like sitting on a concrete retaining wall or the first 3/4 km of driving on square tires nor leaving the car running in the Timmies’ parking lot terrified my diesel may not start up again after. But hey, the suffering equated to bragging rights! I would feel like a twit whinging about some rain now…. Frankly, there hasn’t even been that much rain here near Seattle this winter.
Mostly I miss my community of moms, teachers, neighbours, businesses and friends who make winters fly by with a sense of humour and down-to-Northern-earth wisdom. I have been reminded that the Wet-Coast require a much greater effort to get to know people (due to everyone’s being water-logged I am sure). Fortunately, our community of Bainbridge Island shares much of the same sense of belonging and identity as Yellowknife. And it will only take some time before I feel at home (I suppose I was only reunited with my kids and Hairy Half in December).
I do feel like I have stepped through the looking glass some days: I have been puttering in the garden for the entire month of March. The grass is always green. The trees constantly block the view. Traffic accidents are more likely to be caused by sun glare than rain or ice. Cars can grow moss. …Whoa. Just wrong.
For those who know me for more than soaps, here are some personal updates. The Hairy Half is still over-the-moon-happy flying for Delta on the B757-767 (should be: gets to Hawaii at least once a month on a trip) and is home a lot (I mean, in my face, constantly). He has plenty to occupy himself with on the property and is narrowing down his search for the next great family boat. Our progeny are thriving in their new schools. Daughter belts out a mean saxophone tune now and son is leaping ahead in reading and math. More importantly, they are responding well to their teachers and enjoy the school day. They miss NJ tons though and still talk about their teachers and friends up there. The dog is as goofy as ever. But her hindquarters are pretty crippled (she is 10 after all). She does not miss the Northern winter. Not one bit.
I am slowly ramping up the soaping for select clients but am hampered a bit by the lack of proper facilities (did that workshop spoil me, or what?). The architect will be on our project for a studio/guest house in earnest this month and the Hairy-Half and I will undertake the build on our own (that is just the way we roll), so the summer will be a busy one. I will be sharing that project with you on this blog as it gets underway. After all, many of you who will come down to visit us, will want to see what we are building for you! I am still debating whether or not I want to dabble my toes in the local farmers market over the summer. I would love the chance to stretch those soaping muscles and meet new people, but there is so much to do first….