I am getting ready and really excited for sleep-away camp next week!
This week started much like the one last week did. Focus was really on our work week, getting Emelia to and from gymnastics practice and then stealing the moments leftover for time to connect and be together. This weekend we had Home County Music & Arts Festival in London to look forward to, and I was off Friday and Sunday to boot. The only catch in all of that was the weather forecast for the weekend was not looking great. In fact it was looking at points, downright scary. The combination of heat-warning hot and high and low pressure systems as anyone in Southwestern Ontario knows is a recipe for serious thunderstorms.
Friday afternoon, about an hour after Emelia was at gymnastics, the alerts started coming in. First we head the alert on our phone. Then on our home alarm system. Both of those shared a Tornado Warning was in effect. And Warnings are more serious than Watches. (A Warning means a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar). Shortly after we got the alerts at bay, then we heard the air raid siren go off in Arva, just north of us, and where the worst of the weather was going to hit.
We managed to get an impressive and heavy downpour. A little bit of heavy winds and some hail followed. I sat out on the front porch and watched the storm in awe. It is the first time ever that we’ve experienced so loud and long thunder. And it shook the entire porch—at moments I felt like I was sitting on a trampoline rather the usually stable wood floor of our porch. Then, as quickly as the storm came in, it was gone too. By time Emelia was done gymnastics the weather system had completely passed.
The trouble was that after we got home and got dinner, a second severe thunderstorm was in the forecast, scheduled to hit basically at the time we were going to go down to Victoria Park for Home County. We decided against going and that decision was for the better as a second wave came through, and while not as scary as the first, would have really dampened our spirits. In stead, we opted for a movie night at home together and that was better decision all around.
Saturday I was at work. And that was where and when I got the news. A co-worker – one of the managers on my team who had battled cancer about two years ago and had done well, had recently another setback and was back in the hospital. We had heard earlier in the week that things were not looking good and it was serious. As we were sharing with our team letting them know how grim the outlook was, we got the news that Christine had passed away. We were gutted. Christine had the kind of smile that lit up a room and we shared a lit in common—most notably a love of music and a passion for raising our kids to be great humans who cared for and helped others. I am going to miss her—she was a great human. I do however get to carry who she was to me with me for however long I have time on this journey. And that’s what I will do.
Having just gone through this recently losing our sister Linda cancer in May, this hits us hard. Cancer is cruel, devastating and it leaves a lot of pain in its wake. While I understand that the reality of life is that there is a starting, an ending and we never get enough time. Cancer any more is the fast-forward button all-to-often taking people far too soon. But what I am also learning and appreciating with each and every painful, thieving moment is that you have to make the most of every moment you have. And you have to swing for the fences. And I will. Because Linda did it. And so did Christine. I will miss you Christine, but I am forever grateful that I got to have our lives intersect and I am better for it. Even it if was too short.
This week summer arrived with a vengeance, extreme heat and humidity was the relentless. But with that the kids and I found lots of fun things to do in the earlier day while the temps were bearable. The fave for the kids is the jk/sk park at Emelia’s school. It gets a breeze through it and it is mainly shaded. We spent most of our mornings there this week.
Our nights were started to be filled with planning for Emelia’s camp she leaves for a week today. We got our packing list and Emelia and I made sure we picked up what we needed. She is so excited for this camp, I know it will be one of those weeks that will be her favourite from her childhood. She and the twins are so excited. She is so excited that this morning she packed her entire suitcase and could leave for camp today if we needed. Needless to say she and the twins are counting down the days.
With the extreme heat this weekend meant we were looking for just about anyway to beat the heat. Friday night and most of Saturday we spent our time in our friends pool with the Carters. Our friends were away for the weekend and kindly offered out the use of their pool whenever we wanted. And man did we take them up on that offer. Saturday alone we were there three times. The last trip over was just ahead of the big storm last night. The storm was forecasted to arrive at 9:00, but when we arrived for our swim at 7:30 the skies turned and fast. We had maybe 15 minutes in the pool before the storm hit and we had to make for a quick departure to avoid the flying tree branches. It was a bit crazy.
With the storm hitting again at the worst time that we couldn’t go to either Home County or the drive in we opted to invite the twins over for a sleepover at our place and the girls had a blast. The three of them giggled until after 12:30. So it was a full on success. And it made up even just a little for missing out on one of our favourite festivals. As it was they cancelled the last three acts of the night because of the weather.
Today we took the day at a bit of a slower pace, we got up fed the girls before they had to head home. We got some errands done and then off to Helen and Doug’s place to celebrate Helen and Aaron’s birthday. Once again it was an incredible time, we love being surrounded by family as much as we can. That is basically the week that was, we have a busy week ahead before heading camping this weekend and then taking Emelia to her first ever sleep away camp.