Let’s start this blog off with some really good news. Some really, really, really good news. I have kept this news tucked in my heart for a couple weeks, notifying all the appropriate personal parties before shouting to the world, and now it is time. Time to stand on the edge and shout across the distance. Time to alert the media and call Peter Mansbridge. Time to send it to the masses, write it across the sky, put it in the history books, and make it front page news. I am coming home! For good! You may remember when I was home for my friends wedding a couple weeks ago well I also had a job interview that week at the Benmiller Inn & Spa in Goderich for the pastry cook position. After a fantastic interview on a gorgeous Mid-Western Ontario day I was offered the job. Elated and stunned I accepted. After a week of sharing the good news with family and friends and talking it over with my boss at Anne of Green Gables I have decided to come home in October. Yes, I am coming home. It feels so refreshing to say those words and to mean them. Knowing that I can come home, I will come home. I am no longer in a, “I will see where God takes me” limbo, because I can see that He is taking me home!
However, with the promise of coming home that means I have to leave the Island and that makes me sad. What if I don’t want to leave? What if no matter how great it is to be home, nothing will be as great as red sand, lobster, and sea breezes? I don’t want to leave! Oh my lanta, there I go again, being all emotional and dramatic, some say it is one of my more charming qualities, but I think it’s a pain to be this flamboyant. It’s understandable that I have reservations about leaving and I have to keep in mind that I still have an entire month and a bit to still enjoy the Island. I have a month to bike out the country, stroll the beaches, and watch the fiery red sunsets. I’m not done with the Island yet, and it isn’t done with me, it still has a few secrets it wants to share with me.
So I began this week with the endless to do list of packing, organizing, and important tasks. All the while managing to steal a few vacation like moments to soak up my beloved Charlottetown. Before I move home to Ontario I have to move into a new apartment for a month. I am moving into a beautiful home on the edge of Charlottetown, however that means I am no longer within walking distance of all my favourite haunts. If I want to stroll to the Governors garden I need to bike ten minutes into town when before it was a ten minute walk. Cordelia’s and the Basilica are no longer four blocks away. And when I sit in my living room and look out the window I won’t see the stir fry of colourful, inventive, multi-cultural, multi-aged, and multi-demographic of people strolling by. Instead I will have suburban folk to watch and imagine what kind of story they have. I realize I am judging my neighbourhood before I am there and that is rude, it’s just that I don’t want to leave my down town apartment. It was my first Island home. I had so many adventures here. I got hit by a car 100 feet from my front door. I watched as men in hazmat suits invaded the apartment building beside ours and fumed it for bed bugs. I watched as police surrounded that same building and carried out a dead body. I’m not really painting my neighbourhood with the best colour am I? No worries mom, I am still safe and sound. I will miss watching the children in the apartment behind ours play in their back yard. I will miss watching the elderly man walk his dog every morning at 7:00 around the block. I have become so attached to this little place.
However, I need to look at all the good things my new neighbourhood will have. For one I am living in the basement which means I will be nice and cool and curl up in piles of blankets every night, instead of stripping off layers and fighting with the heat of sleeping in a third story apartment. I will live in a quiet neighbourhood, void of the noisy college students partying at all hours of the night. The streets will be safer so there is less chance of getting hit by a car again. And I will have a big back yard to sprawl out in and nap Saturday afternoons away. To top it all off my new roommates are friends from church and they have a dog! Yipee!! Maybe this new place won’t be so bad after all.
With the pressure of moving into a new apartment by the end of this week on my shoulders and realizing I had plenty of things to use up to make packing easier I embarked on several creative adventures on Monday. With the day off work I woke up at my usual time, you would think that having the day off would encourage me to sleep in but I love waking up early on my days off, there is more opportunity to accomplish all the things you need if you wake up.
I took over the kitchen table and spread out sheets of colourful paper, my box of rubber stamps, lined my markers at one edge of the table, and tucked a pencil behind my ear. I set out making as many cards as I could make in a 24 hour span. With the living room windows open allowing a constant flow of sweet air to flow through I kept my head down and dove into the curious world of my creativity. Paper was cut, folded, stamped, and glued. Cards were written and tucked into envelopes and rushed to the mail box. After burning my brain out with coloured paper palettes and glue I turned my creativity to the culinary side of things and made homemade pizza. I doubled the recipe and made a mountainous Mama Jo Approved deep dish pizza! It had two cans of pizza sauce, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, green peppers, and Italian sausage. Ohhh, Italian sausage, my life would not be complete without you.
Despite all the packing and stress I managed to escape the confines of my mid-packing shambled apartment and get out and enjoy the rich down town. On Friday night I attended an art show for Kim Nuamann, my favourite local Island artist. Her art is inventive, playful, and vibrant. When you look at a piece of her art you look into a world that is so playful and inviting. If life were a Disney movie we could step through the canvas and sing and dance across the brush strokes. Her range of brush strokes, detailed houses, and objective eye landscapes are captivating. For me personally they warm my heart and make me smile. I stood in awe at her interpretation of the world around her, how she uses playful brush strokes, doilies, antique paper for collages, and a pin for more detail. I wandered around the gallery space for a good hour filling my eyes with her work and studying it, noting the intensity of the colour, the thickness of the collage, and the bulk of the subjects. She has a dream like Disney quality to the characters she paints. Painting curious looking chickens, languid cats, happy pigs, and cuddly horses. I love her work, all of her pieces, I loved her work so much in fact that I purchased one of them. Now I will have a very special piece of the Island to take home with me.
The weekend went on with the rhythm of packing, packing, packing, and just for good measure, packing. I was sad to leave my first Island home on Sunday afternoon, and after loading up my new roommates car I gave one last glance and let out a sad sigh and I left my room exactly as I had found it one year ago.
To beat off the sadness and calamity of moving into a new place my roommates and I went out to dinner at Brits Fish n’ Chips, the best fish n’ chips in town! As I sat there sinking my teeth into a delicious forkful of battered haddock a memory popped into my head. The first time I moved to the Island I went out to dinner at Brits Fish n’ Chips, and now that I am moving into a place on the Island I am again dinning out at Brits, huh, isn’t that funny. Brits seems to be the place to celebrate change, however a better place to celebrate such things I have not found.
I am happy to report that I am half way settled into my new place, cozily tucked into the basement of a beautiful home. I am exhausted from a day of lifting and organizing and will sleep well tonight.