Sunday, October 08, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving from Calgary


Thanksgiving Greetings from the Willowjak boys in Calgary! I wish I had some clever photos of the boys dressed up in autumn-feeling colours, but that just wouldn't be real life, now would it?

I must admit (though I refuse to say it out loud), that I am feeling a bit homesick this weekend. It's something about October and the autumn that makes me feel the most nostalgic for everything "home". Family, friends, hot cider, pumpkins, Hallowe'en and great food. I really, really miss the Knox Farm right now. I miss the smell of fresh air and the crisp sound of walking through the fallen leaves. I miss looking for fallen chestnuts and visiting the new baby animals in the barn. I miss seeing Jenny and Ian all dressed up in their farmer pumpkin clothes and seeing Farmer Ken ride by on a tractor, pulling kids for a hayride. I love everything about Calgary. Everything. But when our leaves fell early, within the last three weeks, with hardly any brilliant display of changing colours, I was a little jealous to hear that at home in Bowmanville the leaves are just starting to turn.

But.. I also think that there are new traditions to be made out here that will make me love Thanksgivings and autumn in Calgary just as much. If we could only fly all of our family and friends out here to join us, it would be perfect. I have the Calgary's Farmers' Market (located perfectly in the same Army Barracks where the boys go to nursery school) that I visit every Friday morning. It is filled with fresh produce and one of the most brilliantly coloured flower shops you've ever seen. The ladies there make gorgeous arrangements to suit every season and I have been splurging on myself by keeping fresh flowers in the house on a weekly basis. Last week I bought a carved out pumpkin that holds a chili-pepper plant and it's so perfect as a centerpiece for our turkey dinner tomorrow. Jake and I have started to do some bird watching in the backyard and we have attracted many birds that I have never seen before with a couple of new bird feeders.

This is one of our new bird feeders. There WERE at least 4 birds in it, but when I snapped the pic, someone let the dog out and she scared them all away. Oops

Thanks to my Poppa, who gave me a perfect North American guide to bird watching, right before he passed away, Jake and I are spending some quality family time looking up the new visitors that we've got in the backyard. Last week a mature male bald eagle was circling over our neighbourhood (we kept Matilda inside). I'm digressing... back to traditions. We haven't driven out to the mountains in a couple of weeks, but I think that as the boys get older, trips into the Kananaskis region will be the perfect way to watch the fall colours in September and October.

Kananaskis Region, Alberta

We have invited friends over for dinner tomorrow night. Lisa, Craig, Owen and Ella will be joining us as well as Monique and Wayne with their son, Eric.

Jake and Ella... future romance??

All of us have come to Calgary for the same reason. To access better services for our sons. Monique's family arrived last Sunday and I'm sure that they are feeling very overwhelmed at the moment. We are all still filled with a bit of uncertainty about what our future holds. We all question if we have done right by our children and we all feel a bit lost without our support from back home. But we all have a lot to be thankful for. All of our kids are adjusting well and they all seem happy. Speaking for ourselves, I know that we have made the right decision. It has been three months and the improvements in Owen, Will AND Jake are obvious. We're carving out a little niche for ourselves in this city and it's suiting us. I have said it before and I'll say it again. We are all so grateful and thankful to everyone who has helped bring us to this place and you will not be forgotten in our prayers tomorrow when we give thanks.

From our family to yours, may you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.

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