love umbrella

House of Dreams

“She was leaving the home that was so dear to her, and something told her that she was leaving it forever, save as a holiday refuge. Things would never be the same again; coming back for vacations would not be living there. And oh, how dear and beloved everything was... all the thousand and one dear spots where memories of the old years bided. Could she ever be really happy anywhere else?”Anne of the Island, L.M. Montgomery

The night before moving our party of five (mother and brother in law and one of his best friends along with us) went out for pasta in Edmonton at the Sicilian Pasta Kitchen, which was a delicious way to end the day. In the morning I got up at what felt like stupid early o'clock and got ready to go get the truck, which involved a very long lineup. I got the truck, which sounds angry and grumbly when it drives below 60k and is labeled in miles instead of kilometers because it is originally from the States. Initially we had a bit of a panic attack as we didn't pack things all the way to the ceiling and suddenly it was like a game of Tetris gone wrong. Thankfully one of Paul's lovely OT friends who came out to help was pretty amazing and stuffed the front of the van to the gills with our stuff, and I came down to help Tetris the whole van which allowed us to get everything in with even a bit of room to spare despite the feeling that it wasn't going to work.

I was tired when I started out that afternoon, and if I'd known how sucky the drive was going to be I'd have slept over on the floor... My drive down to Saskatoon in the giant van was fraught with blowing snow, people going either way too fast or way too slow for road conditions, and the exhaustion of six hours of driving in a vehicle with no cruise control. Despite several, "I'm going to take all our belongings into the ditch and die" moments in the dark as people passed me and threw up a blizzard behind them, I call it a success. Only hit one pothole, too. Well, more like a series of three potholes. Which hopefully didn't cause any breakages. I finally made it to Saskatoon and I stayed overnight at my parents place, where a hot chicken and mashed potatoes meal with tea, a phone-chat conversation with Janta, and some solid sleep helped me calm down. In the morning Gran made me a HUGE slice of French Toast which I slathered in syrup.

On a related note: Breakfast foods are the best. Which is why the two new breakfast places in Saskatoon are making me very happy. We're getting a Cora's (healthy, fruit-related breakfasts) very soon and I ate at Poached Breakfast Bistro the other day, which had the most incredible eggs benedict. I am glad to be back with some of my old haunts, like the late night Subway and such.

"I feel sure you'll like it, Anne."
"So far, good," said Anne, nodding cautious approval. "But, Gilbert, people cannot live by furniture alone. You haven't yet mentioned one very important thing. Are there TREES about this house?"
"Heaps of them, oh, dryad! There is a big grove of fir trees behind it, two rows of Lombardy poplars down the lane, and a ring of white birches around a very delightful garden. Our front door opens right into the garden, but there is another entrance--a little gate hung between two firs. The hinges are on one trunk and the catch on the other. Their boughs form an arch overhead."
"Oh, I'm so glad! I couldn't live where there were no trees-- something vital in me would starve. Well, after that, there's no use asking you if there's a brook anywhere near. THAT would be expecting too much."
"But there IS a brook--and it actually cuts across one corner of the garden."
"Then," said Anne, with a long sigh of supreme satisfaction, "this house you have found IS my house of dreams and none other."
– Anne's House of Dreams, L.M. Montgomery

Today I spent a lot of time watching TV and vegging before the big move tomorrow, and talked a bit on chat with a friend or two, especially my very dear friend Michael, who is getting married in May, and I'll be shooting his wedding. 
Tonight Paul and I entered our house for the move-in-inspection with our lovely landlords, and they left us alone there for a bit, which actually turned into over an hour as we toured the house for sheer pleasure - and placement considerations - we want things to go where they need to go now when we have folks helping us move as opposed to later when we're on our own. Then we sat cross-legged in the middle of the living room floor and prayed about our future in this house. (There was also a bit of a tickle fight and some dancing about with joy at the prospect of our first house together.)

I was telling Paul that the book Anne's House of Dreams has had a special place in my heart for a long time now, and that we should talk about our dreams for this new place. We spoke of a home that was known for safety, a haven for others, a door that's always open, ears that are always ready to listen. We spoke of the pitter patter of paws and little feet, of the neat separation of work and life, of the lit up Christmas tree in the front window I've dreamed of having for over 20 years and I will finally have for the first time. I talked about having tea in the kitchen with friends, keeping nutcrackers on display, and cooking romantic candle-lit dinners and learning how to use a garburator. Paul spoke of gardening with me by his side, having company in the living room, and spending the time it takes to keep an orderly, open space without clutter. 

After that we went back to his Mom's place and watched the newest episode of The Big Bang Theory, which was hilarious as always, and I spoke with our whippet breeder via email to discuss which whippet is which, or rather, which one will be ours. We should know for sure by the middle of the month. I watched a cool mini-documentary about flyball and a few videos of dog agility finals from the UK this evening, which was a nice way to wind down before bed - where I am currently about to go. I just felt like my time with Paul in the house this evening was a really special moment I very much wanted to remember. And my dog anticipation is reaching new heights - though if you asked Paul he'd tell you I'm quite obsessed. I spend so much time thinking about that doggy... Having him around is going to feel just right. Just like this house.