Monday, November 5, 2012

Back to the Future

 My original intent for this blog was to give my friends and family in Canada a glimpse into our new daily life in Glasgow, and to have some record of our experience living in a new country and culture. Now having returned to Canada, and after a long period of separation from Aaron this spring and summer while he finished his studies and began his job search, I'm now offering my friends in Scotland a glimpse into our Canadian life, and updating our friends and family on both this and that side of the pond on the newest exploits of our children and ourselves.
It is November already and we had our first snowfall three weeks ago. When Gil woke up and looked out the window, he said with mild concern that he saw dust blowing through the air. His tone changed when I got up too and said: "Actually that's snow."  It was coming down in fat flakes and melting before it hit the ground, but over the course of the day as it continued harder, it started to stick and then he could inspect for individual and uniquely shaped snowflakes. That was the first snow.
Since then, before Halloween in fact, we had more, and the day after Halloween we had a huge dump.  So we swapped the stroller for a sled and are bundled up to three times our normal size, as we continue to attempt the impossible: to live in Edmonton without a car.  Granted we cheat somewhat, in that we have very hospitable parents/grandparents that live nearby, who graciously take us to the Superstore for a fortnightly giant shop.  But meantime we try to get by within walking distance: to the Farmer's Market every weekend, to Gil's preschool, to the Army and Navy on Whyte Avenue for family winter wear and socks, to Earth's General Store, to Mill Creek Ravine and the playground (though it is too cold to play now, much to Magda's dismay), to the space where I am leading my weekly drama group for home-schoolers, even to the University where Aaron and I have picked up some work as Standardized Patients for the medical school. And our walks most often take us to Nana and Pappi's house for lunch, dinner and play.
The bus takes us downtown to the library, the Citadel Theatre where there is a great indoor space to walk about with lots of plants (can't quite compare to the Kibble Palace though - no fish, or lemon trees...) and to Alberta College where we go weekly to our Nursing Women's Choir with our new awesome choir director who picks great music that we and the kids enjoy.
I was out on our balcony tonight over looking the wide alley behind our apartment building, as it was warm enough to enjoy a bit of fresh air, and as I looked down towards the view over the river valley and the lights of downtown, I was aware that I am feeling a strange kind of familiarity here. Its the deep familiarity of the neighborhood I grew up in, where my childhood took place, but that was so long ago and I am here with my own children now. I wish it was a more comforting feeling, but instead it feels strange, like living the memories of someone else, or maybe having woken up from a long dream or a long sleep (15 years) and finding that the trees around you have grown taller.
Or maybe being here again makes me feel a bit like who I used to be, and I don't feel like that person anymore. Or maybe its the fact that my kids are three and one and a half, and I've forgotten who I am anyway.
Go back to sleep and keep dreaming. 
Or at least go have some Ruffles All Dressed chips and ginger ale with your husband. (Ack, I'm saying chips again already... Gil still insists they are called crisps.)

(Pictures from Gil's Halloween Hullabaloo at his nursery school.)

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