To play a little bit of catchup- we moved out of our awesome apartment/horrible neighborhood in Hamilton, Ontario on April 1st. We weren't planning a move, but the location and constant fear for my life, lack of greenspace, constant parking tickets (there were only metered spaces anywhere near our building), and just general depressing energy of that neighborhood finally got to us. When we found a rental in our favorite town in the GHA we jumped on it and broke our lease. We ended up in a sweet 1.5 bedroom with a great yard in Dundas, a posh little British'y town about 15 minutes outside of the city. The Bruce Trail picks up at the end of our street. My CSA share is a block away. There's an amazing butcher a block from us. We live next to a chiropractic office that closes before we even get home, with a privacy-fenced back yard, so we can walk around in our skivvies with nary a thought. We've been in domestic bliss for the last 4+ months.
The entire first night Emma slept outside. I realized that night just how depressed she had gotten with no access to the outdoors, even with twice daily walks or the almost daily outings to the dog park. Emma, more than any of us, needs access to be outside, followed by her mama. I sat outside wrapped in a blanket every night until the weather got warm enough to let the warm air swirl around my toes. Noel actually slept an entire night in the hammock on top of a sheepskin and under a down duvet! We put in a great lasagna garden (it's a type of gardening, not that you couldn't make a lasagna out of the harvest!), some medicinal herbs (especially catnip to keep our babies close to home) and sit outside every night while we let the day wind down. I've always been a nature loving girl, but I just now realized how desperately I had missed being able to take in fresh air!
Other than just getting unpacked our lives have been relatively stable. Working, hiking, visiting family in Buffalo, chilling. That's about it. We came into a bit of cash from from tax returns we finally filed, so we took a holiday to one of our favorite places and one new place (for Noel, at least): Vermont and California. We spent 5 blissful days in Vermont with our friends Denise and Brian. Five days was just enough time to remind me why we love it so much there. It was kind of painful to go back, visit all of our old haunts and say hi to old friends. I felt like I had to float on top of the experience lest it pull me into the vortex of green, mountainous vistas, amazingly fresh farm-to-table culture, rooted, down-to-earth people and abundance of Subarus. When we left, we felt like we were leaving home again.
The second half of our trip was dedicated to exploring as much of California as we could in 9 short days. Definitely not enough to do it justice, but we still had a great time. We met up and stayed with friends in Sebastopol, Santa Barbara and San Diego and had one lovely and completely naked 24 hours in Orr Hot Springs. We had a great time in California. It was wonderful to see so many old friends at once, eat awesome Mexican food, explore the ocean and forests, gratefully accepting the doting hospitality of our hosts, and basically just letting our hair down and letting the days flow into one another.
On the third day of our trip, my landlord emailed me that he needed to speak with us ASAP. I called him and he broke the news- he's getting a divorce and needs us to move out October 1st.
At first I experienced a great sadness, mourning the sweet little nest we were still creating for ourselves. Then anger came up- how could he? Doesn't he know how much our home means to us? Then bargaining- couldn't he take pity and give us a few more months? Finally, acceptance kicked in, because we are, unfortunately, only mere renters, and his drama trumps our life. I forgave myself for being an unsympathetic asshole and grew a pair (of boobs!) So, we started looking around. And talking. And looking. And realizing...
Pet owners are seriously discriminated against when it comes to renting.
But, aside from that, we really started thinking- why are we staying in Ontario?
We were immediately pulled out of the sleepy lull of our vacation and went into self-preservation mode. We drove right by the Pacific ocean and barely saw it's splendor. We felt out of control, powerless and frustrated. So, we made a conscious choice to not let it get us down, to enjoy our vacation and deal with the mess when we touched down and recovered from our trip. About twice a day for the rest of the trip these waves of anxiety and sadness flowed through us. We acknowledged it and let it pass and dissipate. I think the beautiful surroundings and the awesome friends had something to do with that!
So, we're at the crux of some major decision-making right now. Where to go from here?
I can't answer that right at the moment, but I can share a few of my favorite photos from at least the VT leg of our trip. Enjoy, and if anyone has any wisdom on this front, please share!
|Noel at Granville Gulch, VT.|
|Our friend's beautiful home in Johnson, VT.|
|The view from Mt. Mansfield, VT.|
|Noel enjoying the water at Granville Gulch, VT.|
|My favorite goatygoat who lives behind our friends in Johnson, VT.|
|Mt. Mansfield, VT|
|Granville Gulch, VT.|
|Bus stop near Prickly Mountain in East Warren, VT.|