Back home

Sh. & I have spent the last three weekends at least partially out of town: six days in and around Kitchener, four days in Boston, then two days in Ottawa. Fortunately there was a lot of rain here so our poor, neglected garden didn’t shrivel up and dry out on us in our absence. Kitchener was the usual whirlwind, the word I always seem to choose to describe our visits there. This time Sh. and I tried an experiment of separate visits, in which she spent time with her family while I spent time with mine, and that made things much more relaxed, although of course it meant disappointing a few people. Really, though, we can’t effectively manage more than a token visit with anyone during our trips home; there are simply too many people to see. The best way to spend time with us is to come see us here periodically, as plenty of people we know have done over the past few years. We’ve already hosted and/or visited with several people this summer, and a few more people will be arriving over the next few weeks, so we’re happy about that.

Anyways, to recap (more for my sake than yours, I expect), the trip to Kitchener was bittersweet since it involved bidding farewell to my brother and his partner, who we saw pack their car and turn their backs to the rising sun as they drove out west to settle and seek their fortunes. Since moving to Montreal I’ve only seen them a few times a year anyways, and they’ve been in Nepal and India for the past six months, but now I’m unlikely to see them more than once every few years. I’m happy for them, though; I know how much they wanted to live amongst the mountains. Also, while in Ontario I got to see various cousins and other family I haven’t seen in a year or so, so that was nice.

Boston was a fun trip — we had made plans to visit a couple we know who are both doing post-grad work there, and then four days before we left they phoned to tell us they’d just decided to get married while we’d be there, so could we please pack Sh.‘s wedding cake supplies. They’ve been engaged for ages, but had been putting off the wedding itself since neither particularly wanted to negotiate the extensive family obligations concomitant with such affairs. It suddenly occurred to them to sidestep all that by holding a small ceremony with a dozen close friends, one of whom is authorized to perform marriages thanks to the on-line form on the webpage of the Universal Life Church (handy, that). And we got to attend! We’d originally planned to spend the weekend visiting museums and sailing in the bay, but between party preparations and a few rainy days we mostly ended up hanging out with the happy couple and friends at their apartment, which was wonderful. It’s great to have good friends, even if they do live out of town.

Next up was Ottawa, to visit Sh.’s brother and see Metric play the Bluesfest. The band does a great live set but we all thought the crowd was pretty pathetic. Maybe we’re spoiled by Montréal; the one show I was able to catch at the Jazz festival this year between all these comings and goings was a kick-ass local klezmer band, and everyone danced despite the rain — there was even a conga line! At least the music was good.

And now we’re back. And life goes on…