Monday, August 16, 2010

The worst about the going is the leaving....

We have returned from our vacation in Nova Scotia.  We arrived home at around 8:00 on Saturday night and I cannot even tell you how wonderful it was to get out of the car after two days and 18 hours of driving. The children were unbelievable for the journey, including our not-quite-there toilet training 3 year old. I will say however that I am unsure how I would do that drive without portable DVD players... there are only so many kids songs to sing and road games to play....

We had the best time as per usual. We stay with cousins on a dairy farm-they have 4 children, about forty seven toy tractors and patience and love unlike any family I know. I sincerely mean that-they are hands down the most wonderful family I have ever been around. I am not saying they are perfect-I am not saying we would live the exact same way-but my oh my, it is just so warming to be with them. Gracious, welcoming, nurturing and the best food you can eat!!!!! Taken care of for a week-who wouldn't love it.

Of course something so good is so bad to leave. It aches, it stings, it smurts (as we say in Newfoundland..)While I love my life, I love my home (okay, that is a stretch, but you get the point), it is hard to drive out of that driveway and away from that life and those people. Seamus did really well. He said good-bye, which was more than he could do last year as he was crying in the back seat. He really talked about getting home and playing with his friends here. He really was fine....until we pulled in the driveway and he jumped out of the car and just stood there. I went to him, kneeling before him and he began to sob. I don't mean cry a little tear, have a little moment.... I mean SOB. I held him, rubbed his back, carried him in the house.."now that I see my house, I really know we are home mom and I don't want to be here, I want to be there." He begged and begged for us to get back in the car and drive as quickly as we could back to the farm, his cousins, his family, the life he wants to live.  I just held him and told him I know he misses it, I miss it, we will be back again, how wonderful we have somewhere to visit with people who love us, and on and on.... He continued to sob, shaking, losing control. Cold cloths, reminders to breath..

Wow, the depth of the sweet is matched with the depth of the bitter....and oh how sweet it is...

                                                        The view from the front yard.

                The beloved table, where we were served the best home cooking and where we spent literally hours of our time. 

The ocean-Seamus' first request is to go back to the ocean-the walked the shores for almost 2 hours, discovered a waterfall and secret caves. We then ate fish, caught right at this spot, and after supper, returned to the shore. The tide was in and there shore was gone. Of course, that just meant we stood in it and felt the cold ocean water and felt the power of the waves. A highlight of the trip as it was last year. There really is something about the ocean that takes your breath away.

Almost daily trips to the cottage. It is only 5 minutes away, up the hill. This literally is the way we drove there. I know, I know.... I am sure a few laws are being broken here, but we survived....

The cottage-where we sat, relaxed, swam, cooled off, played ball, ate.....

The Fisheries Museum...Oh what fun that was in an historic community-Lunenburg, home of the Bluenose. The whole town has been designated a Unesco World Heritage Site, so it has to remain true to its history. I loved the colors of the homes-purple, yellow, blue... Breathtaking. We had a horse drawn buggy tour of the town, we explored all the sea creatures and boats, and the boys ended their day with a boat tour, where they went fishing, saw "the tail of a whale mom I am sure" and saw the most beautiful seal-5 feet from the boat, showing off for them. Magnificient!!! It really was a great day, even with Mahone breaking down towards the end... really, what could you expect!!!!

                      We spent an afternoon at Halifax Harbour. I love that city!!! We had an amazing time with exploring everything. The Navy boat was it and Mahone LOVED the lighthouse. It was so busy, but so great. Right on the warf, there are bouncy castles and kids activities, so Mahone and Seamus were having a ball. I kept asking-"they can't fall out of this right?" If they fell, it would have been in the Atlantic ocean... You could spend weeks in Halifax and not see everything. Simply the best city!!!!

Nightly hockey games, in which Kyla (who is 10) set up elaborate tickets, admission and assigned seating in the basement. this was serious stuff. I must have hours of video of this. Hard to keep Mahone out of the way of the puck..Mahone and the dog actually... but he became the video guy, so he was happy. These games started around 10:00pm so that should give you a sense of our non-existant bedtime routine. We basically all collapsed in the same bed the same time every night-sometimes close to 11:30. We slept in... well, the children did. Gary and I got up and had our tea before our days really started. Every morning, again around the big table for a big breakfast. I really enjoy the way these farmers eat!!!!!!

Mahone's eating companion, Chad. For almost every meal, Mahone sat with Chad to eat and most often, ate right off his plate. Chad, who is leaving this fall for Agriculture College to follow the path of his father, and grandfather, and great grandfather... well, you get it. He was Mahone's most faithful friend, taking him for rides of the tractors and Skidsteers, showing him all the cows and around all the barns. Tickling and teasing, and laughing and hanging upside down and pretending to be "baby Darth Vadar " (Don't ask me, I have no idea how you play baby Darth Vadar but apparently Mahone does!!!) I have never seen a more patient, sensible, kind and warm teenage boy!!! What a blessing he was to us. 

And we are home..... the suitcases are unpacked, the gifts and souvenirs delivered to friends, the coolers emptied. Yesterday, we were bone tired!!! The boys, including Gary, were slightly silly they were so tired!!! Mahone napped, Seamus spent the afternoon with his neighbor friends, I bought bags and bags full of groceries, and Gary watched Harry Potter. 

Seamus asks this morning "do you think we can ever move there mom, I mean ever?" We talk about all we would miss here and our really great life and all of our blessings and how much fun visiting is and how living somewhere is different and on and on.... He just looks at me and says he gets it, but again "ever mom?" 


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