Three Years

It’s been nearly three years since we moved across Canada and bought a cottage house on the outskirts of Halifax, and it has been a wild three years. I was going to list all the bad things, but will not because we all probably already know. Our thoughts lately are with our Ukranian friends and their families. They’re part of the rather small group of people we know around here. They’re the ones we have bonfires and cookouts and holiday meals with. I know they’re hurting, but they are resilient. One went to a paint class on one of the first nights of the war and painted an Oberig, which traditionally have been embroidered by Ukranian mothers on shirts, towels, and even little pieces of fabric and given to their children for protection in life and in the battles. Our other Ukrainian friends spend long hours on non-work-days, kids in tow, to put together humanitarian aid packages for their families back home. This coming weekend we’re taking over some lasagna to their house and will sit, chat, and drink a little.

This winter has been a long one with storms about every week. But tonight is just hovering below zero, and the stars are out, and it makes me happy to find these constant things that no madman can take away, no hater can destroy, no dictator can claim. Snow clings to the dark grass and tree limbs, and there’s a mighty wind tonight, similar to the winds I heard every night when I moved here three years ago, first by myself. Morgan came a month later. I would sit inside, hearing the weirdest noises from all the wind and the way it would blow our trees and the awnings by our porches.

We’ve been busy lately with the house and getting it ready for spring. We finally painted the sun room and will get some screens replaced soon before the weather turns hot and humid. Two things I want to do is to build a bat box and find a jasmine plant. Before the holidays I made soaps and candles for gifts, and one of my scents was jasmine. It’s probably my favorite flower. In May I will go to the local nurseries and try to also find some decent garden veggies to replant. The only things I want to grow from seed are herbs, beets, and turnips, because they do so well here. I have the worst luck at tomatoes and beans, though, and I crave some shucky beans. Two nights ago I made some pea soup and realized we had one jar of green tomato chow chow left, which we canned after our first summer here, and I was so happy to find that in the hutch in our basement. I think this year we will do more canning. We do still have a few jars of pickles and several jars of green tomatoes with other veggies. Tonight we made hummus, which is now a daily staple of mine. It has protein and fiber, which is good since I don’t eat meat. This hummus is the best.

Sometimes I sit on Friday nights, near the fire, and talk with Mom. Occasionally I open the door and imagine that in just a few months there will be no fire. There will be stars and crickets and I can keep the door open to the night.

Well, this has been a short journal entry, but it’s nearly bed time, and I thought first I would just stop in for a tiny visit.