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Life gives you lemonade...


Oh Phil. You are so right. It is time to make life go, ‘whaaat?’

This week I had lunch with a good, wise friend. A friend whose laugh is infectious and whose optimism I want to capture and bottle and spray on me whenever I am feeling down. He talked about the whole idea of life and how life is going to happen no matter what. Winter is winter. Sometimes winter is very cold and sometimes it is mild – but winter will come. It will come right after fall which will come right after summer and so on. It is inevitable and it is part of life. What are you going to do with the winters of life that hit – some colder than others.

This week has been a lemon week (a cold winter) and the weekend upcoming feels like the lemon is going to be squeezed pretty hard. Here’s the things that have been sour:

  1. This past week our home was broken into. Yup! This farm girl has never experienced this sort of thing. We came from the farm where we didn’t even know what a key was for other than to start a car. Then we head to Gretna where now we knew what a key was but half the time couldn’t find it when we wanted to lock the house when leaving for vacation. And only if the vacation was longer than three days. Then Winnipeg where the first house had an alarm – which we set off by accident – well, Dexter set it off and couldn’t shut it off… haha, it was funny. The alarm wasn’t hooked up to an alarm company – just our own little alarm. But we locked the house because it was what you do in the big city. But we weren’t too concerned. Cops lived all around us – literally! Then 2nd house in Winnipeg where we don’t have a fence or gate – bikes are in backyard all willy nilly. We bragged about our great neighbourhood and how safe we were. We did lock, but sometimes when we went for a walk, we didn’t.

  2. a) LEMONADE however – to the policeman who came to take our report. He was fantastic. He was in love with my wooden walkway and took pictures for his wife – haha! He had a gentle manner and made Ashley and I feel better about the whole thing. When Bentley came home he took him and Thea to the police car for a tour and opportunity to turn on police lights and siren (MAN- is that siren loud!)

  3. b) Now. However. We will. All the time. It makes me sad. It makes me sad to know that our space wasn’t worth respecting. It makes me sad that my daughter-in-law had to come home to a ‘crime-scene’. (That sounds a bit dramatic, but it is what it is.) It makes me sad that my daughter is coming home from a great photography learning experience and is afraid to be alone. It makes me sad that someone stood by my bed and rummaged through my drawers (literally and figuratively (probably a little surprised by the array of granny panties – haha!). It makes me sad that I have to ask Bernie to put a bottle by the front door the first night before we changed the lock so that if someone opened the door, we would hear the bottle crash. It makes me sad.

  4. c) Not much was taken – which almost makes it kind of creepier. They took jewelry – lucky them, guess they don’t know they could buy those necklaces at 50% from Reitmans at the right time of year! But there was a couple rings that Ashley had of sentimental value. They found some stray cash and some old cameras. But left all the tv’s, xbox, dvd, iphone, ipads, etc. So they were in a hurry but still went through our rooms. They weren’t messy and didn’t wreck anything so we are grateful for that. They got in using our spare key that they found on our back deck – also creepy.

  5. d) I know that Winnipeg police make their presence known in classrooms and stuff – and I hope they continue that. I want my grandkids to know that they can trust the men in blue. There are a few crooked ones out there, but we are blessed to live in a country where I feel quite safe letting a policeman into my home – I feel safe calling for a police officer – I trust what they say. Other countries aren’t so blessed. So for the police to make sure that newcomers and present residents know that police can be trusted in Canada – that is important.

  1. Tomorrow we are going to start our deck in the backyard. This is part of phase 2 in our yard work. We were busy moving rock last weekend and moving cedars in order to prepare the space for a deck. For those who don’t know Bernie and myself very well, these pictures might lead you to wonder, ‘What the heck are they doing? There are holes, there are rocks, and there are sticks.’ For those who know us, you may, as a dear friend shared, be thinking, ‘I can’t decide whether to be excited for you guys and your renovation or feel sad for you!’ But for all of you, as you look at the pics… trust us, we have a plan!

We are excited about the backyard becoming more than just grass and dirt – but a planned space.

So why is this a lemon? Because it will be the first reno project, I think ever, that I have tackled without my dad. He was our go to – our mentor – our project manager. So tomorrow, when all the boys are out to help with the deck, the baton will be passed – Bernie, the student, will now become the teacher. (Lemonade Side note: to help me get through this, Nick has promised to be the part of my dad that took breaks with me and enjoyed a cold beer or hot coffee and chatted. Thanks, Nick. I will need that!)​

3. Sunday is Father’s day. Enough said. Lemonade: Jodi and I will be walking for Simkin Centre (where my aunt Hilda is living). They are fundraising for Therapeutic recreation items. My aunt is dad’s sister and so we walk in honour of him with his sister.

LEMONADE: Tonight – life will go ‘whaaat?’ as we get together with our infamous supper club and celebrate Spanish style! It will be the perfect sweet accompaniment to a rather sour week. I look forward to laughter and fun with good, good friends. Friends whom I can cry with, laugh with, snap with and just generally feel right at home with.

Ps. We did have a great start to the week as we had our MCI kid, Klose Chen, come down with his parents (out from Beijing, China) for supper to celebrate his U of W grad this week. It was a great evening – with Klose interpreting constantly – he must have been tired! It was great fun to watch his parents be totally enamored with our grand-kids. The evening ended, in fact, with his parents on the floor in our living room playing cars with the grand-kids. And the grand-kids teaching them English words for colours. ‘A yellow car. A blue car.’ Then they would repeat and Bentley would affirm them. From the mouths of babes! It was beautiful.

Pss. Stay tuned as I will update you on our reno project!!! As much as it will be hard – lots will be good. Last weekend we worked very hard and were very sore, tired, dirty. But I will tell you, it was one of the best weekends I had been through in a long time. We accomplished. We laughed. We argued. We ate ice cream. It was really good. I truly look forward to tomorrow, even with the tears.

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