Well it has been almost a month since I posted anything. I have been busy, and not busy, over the last few weeks. It has been a challenge adjusting to life back here, reverse culture shock I guess. There are many things I have to adjust to, and they all will just take some time. One thing that is taking some adjustment is my place here in Toronto. Every other time I have gone on a big trip it has been while I was in school, I would come back and everyone would be more or less as I left them. This time I left just after graduating from university, and I have come back to find that I don't have a place just to slip into. I am no longer a student and the community that university offered is no longer there. My friends that graduated with me have moved onto other things, either more school or jobs, many are not in the city any longer. I have made contact with almost everyone, but we are all so spread out doing different things so it is not the same. I really don't know what I expected, it is not like I didn't know about the different things my friends were doing, and that not everyone was in the city, I didn't exactly expect nothing to have changed. I am currently adjusting and reconnecting. I would love things to be the way they were when I left but they can't be....more of that growing up stuff I guess. I was never a supporter of that stuff by the way.
I met with my sister Ashely's good friend Becca the other day. Becca is working at War Child Canada. She did her masters degree in England and has since returned here to Canada. Becca was able, of course, to relate to my situation. She has things a little more compounded- Becca is from Ottawa, and went to school at McMaster, then went to London England, then after graduation returned to Ottawa and now works in Toronto. Most of her university friends left Hamilton after graduation and she also found herself lost in the post university social world with friends spread everywhere and no job. It took Becca about a year before she felt adjusted and rooted again within a community of people. I tell you all this about Becca because her telling of her experience helped me to feel better about my own situation. I know I JUST got back to the city, and I need to be patient, things will sort themselves out. But I am not the most patient person on the planet and after a year of not feeling like I belong (until the last few months), I just wanted to come home to that- belonging, fitting, home.
I should add that living with Jen, David and the kids is great. Theo and Piper could not make me feel more wanted, loved or needed. I had a nice time in London with my parents. Thanksgiving at the cottage was monumentally fabulous! We had 25 people both big and small (6 kinds under 7). We had the largest turkey I have ever seen in my life or ever want to see. 25lbs of free-range goodness, how it ever supported itself on those legs to live the free-range life, I will never know. I wish I had pictures, it was all so much fun. Those of us staying at the cottage did yard work and never had to look far for ways to entertain ourselves. So many jokes, so much laughter. My family is really good in those two areas. My student from Japan who was here for a week to visit and got to experience some cottage life (not thanksgiving) just loved how lively we all were, how much laughter we share, how much we tease each other...anything for a laugh. To me this is just my family, but seeing it through Miho's eyes I realized that this is not the typical family experience and it is special. I know, I know....starting to get sappy. I will cut it off there, but you can imagine where I could go with that and the tears I could shed while typing.
Oh, I also got to see pictures of Ashely and Geoff's trip to Newfoundland! The photographs while still in digital mode on the computer, were breathtaking. There were a few that showed how cold Newfoundland can be in the summer but most where taken on bright sunny days, even if they included closeups of icebergs!! They challenged themselves physically and mentally, I know the adventure was not always pretty, but their photos tell the fairy tale version of their odyssey to Gross Morne National Park - a national park that comes with a warning label! And no Meredith, I had NOT seen those pictures yet, I have been in JAPAN!!! (yes darling, I know you so well I can read your mind.)
So that has been my month so far. I know I haven't spoken much about Miho's trip, but we did so much in 10 days that this entry would go on forever! Okay, to sum up: Brought Miho to London to parents house, beautiful,sunny. Went to Stratford to see a musical. Went to the cottage for the weekend, Chris, Misa and kids surprised us- fabulous. Went on Wanda steam ship for cruise of lakes, went canoing...Miho fell of the dock while taking the boat out of the water- she was very scared but I told her that she was okay...nothing broken, still alive=all good. Then we went to Ottawa to tour our capital, visit Ashely, check out some museums, churches, galleries, were surprised by my Aunt and Uncle who were in the city for a conference...more family for Miho to meet. Then it was back to Toronto for me and to Niagara Falls for Miho (she did an organized day trip and had great fun). We had a fabulous dinner in To, I showed her Trinity College and UofT, then we said our goodbyes and off she flew. I am now accepting the title of master tour guide- personalized tours of Tokyo and southern Ontario.
I hope that makes up for not writing for a month.