my cup runneth over

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There was no cell coverage on the road from the ferry, until we reached the main highway. I knew as soon as the service came back because my phone started beeping with text messages, voicemail and phone calls from my sisters, Mom and Dad welcoming us HOME! Our first stop was to drop our camper at my parent’s cabin in Spreadeagle.  It is one of my favourite places in the world – the sun was shining and the ocean was sparkling.

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A quick photo op before we had lunch – my Dad had burgers ready for us! Thanks Dad!

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Once we arrived in town, we swung by to pick up keys and say a quick hello to our nephews.  My kids are so happy to have cousins close by.

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Then it was off to Sister#2’s house where we all met for supper.  All the little kids did not make it into the photo (can you imagine trying to get all 7 kids in one place at one time looking at the camera?). How cute are they!!!

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We had some bubbly to celebrate. HAPPY!

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The highlight of my evening was getting cuddles from my almost 3 year old niece who snaked her hand up my sleeve, snuggled close and sucked her thumb in my lap.  Is there anything better than the feeling of a relaxed child in your lap? Nope.  I can’t think of anything else right now.

My cup runneth over.

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small peaceful gestures

When I graduated from High School, I really wanted to explore my (then) dream of being a dancer. So I flew to Toronto during the summer and auditioned for the School of the Toronto Dance Theatre with two friends. We were accepted into the Professional Training Program and moved to the Big Smoke in September. There was so much I loved about TDT, and I will forever be grateful that my parents supported me in choosing to try it. But I realized during that fall semester that I really wanted to head back home and go to university. I think I always knew I would end up going back to school, but these sidelines in life are sometimes just as important as where we end up, and TDT was a sideline that I will always cherish.

When I moved back to St John’s, I think my parents were relieved. Not only to have me home, but that I wasn’t going to have the unreliable life of a dancer. I knew they hoped I would choose to come home to MUN but they never once pressured me to stay. But once I was home, they hopped into action to help me do what was needed to start MUN in Jan, and that included my Dad lining up at the Thompson Student Center to register me for my first year courses. (that was before telephone registration – remember that??).

Adjusting back to life at home had its ups and downs at first. Looking back on the experience, mentally adjusting to the idea that I wasn’t a dancer anymore was harder than I realized at the time. For 16 years I had identified myself first and foremost as a dancer and suddenly I was cold turkey – no dancing at all. And of course University was challenging (as it should be). Probably I was putting extra pressure on myself to make university really work, since the path I first picked turned out not to be for me. If I wasn’t going to be a dancer and I couldn’t succeed at university – then what??

So when my first round of midterms came along I was STRESSED. Totally wound tight and not coping. And the day of my first midterm my Dad came and sat next to me and laid his hand gently on my arm and quietly and calmly assured me that all would be well. And just like that I started to feel better. More ready to face my week knowing he had confidence in me that I could do it. This small, peaceful gesture alleviated some of my worries and made me love him even more for recognizing what I needed in that moment.

It’s one of my most comforting memories of my Dad.

I’m lucky to have this wonderful father and fabulous Grandfather to his seven grandchildren.

Love you Dad.
m1

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my homing beacon is calling me

Directions have never really been my thing.  That internal compass some people possess, just doesn’t exist in me. Turn me around and I’ve lost track of where north is. So not being someone who likes feeling lost, I have learned how to use a map REALLY well and can navigate anywhere as long as I have map in hand (not that helpful in the woods, but great in the middle of Paris lol).

So in those times when a map is nowhere to be found, I always joke that my “homing beacon” automatically takes me East – towards that place I still call home, even though I haven’t lived there in almost 20 years. Being a Newfoundlander is a special thing.  I definitely didn’t appreciate it when I lived there, and couldn’t wait to leave when I graduated from university.  But over the years, in each visit home (and each homesick moment here in Ontario) I have re-framed my view on that beautiful place way out in the Atlantic Ocean. Along the way we have instilled in our two children the importance of home and family and now it is time to put our money where our mouths are, so to speak.  The four of us are packing up the house and moving back to St John’s this summer.

Not an easy decision, since our life in Ottawa is pretty sweet. But it’s now or never. My kids are teenagers and getting older by the second (eek!). The pull towards our family and the ocean has worked its magic and we are taking this crazy exciting leap and moving “home”.

My dh has an amazing internal compass.  When we are off the beaten track, he has led me down many paths. And each time I implicitly trust him to lead me home (left to my own devices unguided, it is debatable whether or not I would make it myself lol).  This new path we are taking is a combination of that gut instinct of knowing in your heart where you need to be, combined with a figurative map to help us make the best decisions we can.  This blog is about our migration home and any adventures on the way.

My homing beacon is calling me.