Getting broken in
However, we did manage to get out the door by 8 p.m. on Thursday, so things could have been a lot worse. It was a long drive, but we rolled into Jason's parents place at 2:30 a.m. The kids did well on the way down, except Noah kept waking up and fussing--not sure if he was just uncomfortable sleeping in his carseat, or what.
Anyway, Friday was spent just hanging out with Jay's parents, and it was so nice to see them again and get caught up a little. The kids got to jump on the tramp and play with Iggy (the dog), and despite Noah twisting his knee a little, seemed to have quite the good time. We even got to see Jason's brother Nick, who stopped in briefly (I think he was just done work or something.)
Saturday was slightly less relaxing. After a somewhat leisurely start to the day, due to the fact that we all slept in a little bit, we got out the door and I dropped Jason at Sunnyside Camp around 11 a.m. He was to spend the day with the new Director, Dave H. (still not sure what his last name is), filling him in on what's what around there, while I went to Red Deer and did errands, then headed out to Grandpa H.'s farm to go through his estate with the rest of my family, and at some point re-connecting with Jason again.
It was a strange day for me. Driving to the camp, seeing the old house, driving out again along that oh-so-familiar road, gave me a strange sense of deja-vu--I was seeing double, with my new, still somewhat unfamiliar life super-imposed on the familiarity of the life-gone-by. Then there was the sheer pleasantness of being able to accomplish my errands in Red Deer, even with three kids in tow, simply because I knew where everything was.
The topper--spending the remainder of the day with my family going through my grandparents' belongings--some precious, some useful, some just plain what-the-heck-did-they-keep-that-for? junky. There were a few trips down memory lane, but overall it was not as difficult as it could have been. Of course, after Grandma died in '98, a lot of her things were given away then. And Virginia (Grandpa's second wife--they got married the same year as Jason and I) and Grandpa had already given some stuff away since then.
I remember poo-poohing Grandpa only last summer when he was telling me he wanted me to have the electric piano after he died (yes, I finally remember him giving it to me.) I was in denial--I didn't want the end to come so soon. And really, he seemed as healthy as a horse--there was no reason to suspect that a heart attack would take him home within a few short months.
In addition to the Roland, I also ended up with some other treasures I never suspected I would want, but am so glad I was there to speak up for: the old metal stool with TRUE vintage shabby chic built right in, due to the chipped multiple coats of paint; several wooden orange and cherry crates; some big brown one gallon glass jars (that apparently held aloe vera gel at one point - ?!); some lamps; a dresser; a bookshelf; a clock; a set of canisters; Grandma's food processor (YAY!! been needing one forever); an armchair and a recliner; some afghans that Grandma made; and the deacon's bench, the one thing I had my heart set on. Jabin and I also got a cold as souvenirs, since it was a chilly day in Sylvan Lake, with occasional snowflakes floating down, and the doors of the house were wide open all day long. I don't think the colds will last long, though--they already seem to be diminishing.
We crammed as much stuff as we could into our van (which fortunately, had one of the seats removed for that purpose) and made the trek home on Sunday night. I was glad that we actually got to spend a little one-on-one time with my dad before we left, as we caught him at home on Sunday before we took off.
The bittersweet end to the trip--we had to make one last stop at the camp to drop something off on our way up Hwy. 20. Jude saw the outside of the old house, and was almost inconsolable for the next ten minutes because he wanted to "see the old house!" He didn't want to go to the "new house." How do you explain to a three-year-old in a way he can understand that even if the new owners of the house were to let us in, it wouldn't be what he remembered--that things can't just go back to the way they were?
Going home, as I still think of Sylvan Lake, was like putting on a pair of really comfortable, well-worn jeans. You put them on and you just think, "Aaaah. This is easy. This is me. I can just BE in these jeans."
Coming "home", to where all of our stuff is now, was like taking off the comfortable jeans to get into a pair of wool dress pants. Not broken in yet, and a little scratchy and uncomfortable. I know, in time, the wool could be magically transformed into cotton denim with some faded patches on the knees and cheeks, but I imagine the transformation will be slow, and one day I will look down and say "Hey, what happened to those scratchy dress pants? When did I become so comfortable?"
Until then, I may as well try to enjoy the process of getting broken in.