all the things

Dear Ruthi,


I’m trying to write in the morning, which is just plain weird for me. I want to tell you and show you and ask you all the things, but it’s Leaving Day. That’s big! I have no idea how much work is ahead of me.

I want to talk to you about “Spring’s Slumber” and how stunningly perfect that image is with the landscape of snow pressed grass, bare branches, the sap steam dancing in front of the sap bucket which is one part background and other part focal point. LOVE IT! Don’t even get me started on the words. So beautiful.

Then there’s “Pearly Off-Whites.” You have no idea what you walked into there bringing that up with me! Oh man! So many stories. So many tender spots. And the big answer is, “I don’t.” I don’t do it. The adulting. The flossing. The kids part of feeding, brushing and dentist. Oh, how I suck. Oh, how I get it.

You ask how I’m feeling as I prepare for return. I’m all the feels. As usual. I love your questions on leaving behind and importing. Such awareness they have brought to my departure.

Although our trip has been two weeks, I’m leaving behind a year of childhood. Seeing my kids in this repeat annual setting highlights their growth. It strips a year off. It catapults us a year into maturity. It’s such a bittersweet thing.

I’m wrestling with regrets and my desire to leave them here and not import them home. I come here laden with expectations and desires and lists of opportunities and traditions and all the Cans and Shoulds and Wants and Needs – mine and the four others that come with, and the others that meet us down here. I’m realizing that I’m a lazy, loungy, spectator of an individual with aspirations (aka delusions) of being a non-stopper, go-go-go kind of gal.


I have this huge, complex story about a simple little sand dollar hunt that will take me hours to sort through in my head, let alone get down with words. I would have never thought fairness around the distribution of 150+ sand dollars unevenly collected by four children would be such an issue. What a case study! What a learning opportunity.


I want to tell you about these two lovely and incredibly different aquarium volunteers. And about Carson’s Lighting Welch and the urchin “hugging” Avery.


I want to tell you about starfish! You probably already know all of this, but after years of aquarium visits, I’m only now really discovering them. Did you know they have these little suckers?! Amazing.


Did you know they were soft and flexible?! When they’re touched they go hard and constricted and seem inert and inanimate. They are anything but. I loved the image of this starfish and deeply related to its outstretched arms and “head” thrown back in stretch.


But when I got back to the condo and looked at the photo, what I saw was a slouchy, pale, droopy-headed, saggy-nippled, puffy beast. I deeply related to that as well. Ha.

And then there’s this kid. Oh man, I love this boy. The stories to tell! His blossoming sense of humour.


All the cool finds.

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The amazing things this dad had to say about him and how he interacted with his sons this past week.


How he just decided he was going to do 15 laps (a lap was there and back, so really 30) a day of front crawl. And did. And I loved every moment of it and how he is my dad! He sinks, but perserveres. Even the sound of his arms in a slow crawl sounds just like when I’d sit at the lakes edge watching and listening to the heavy slow arm movements of my dad swimming. On top of which, I’m that rare, negligent parent that didn’t take her kids to swimming lessons. Did I really just admit to that?! And how I loved to watch Ben teach him some stroke tips and how I loved to watch Ben do his lengths. (See I’m a spectator.)


Ack! Ack again! I’ve gotta go but I haven’t told you about this amazing kid…


Or this one…


I haven’t told you about how Ben got hit by a car while road biking on Monday! I know! Right?! How he walked away from it with a little less skin, some bruises, a swollen finger, a bent handle bar and a dent in his helmet – but he walked away and THANK GOD!

And then there’s Hugh here and his half-brother Buffet and the 74 heads of lettuce they eat a day and how we go every year to see them.


And there’s still all the fun and beautiful things too…


In what way is this a Shirley Temple?!


So much. Overflowing abundance. All the feels. And all the things. Shared here and still left unsaid.

Miss you.


With love,



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