I am loving our new life.
Although I am finding the cost of living here more than I expected, I am finding that this life in the town I grew up in to be so much more fulfilling and exciting.
Striking out and building a life that includes Jeff and the memories we have of him, but built around our needs now and our new future has been exhilarating.
I find myself wondering what is around the next corner....and not always with dread or fear. I have hope for joy returning to our lives and the little things that maintain our happiness now.
Having the forest and the ocean just steps from our doorstep is how I imagined my children growing up. Exploring, building, imagining, creating. It makes up in (small) part for the loss of my ability to stay home with them 24/7.
And on that front, I have to say, that (and I feel immense guilt saying this), that I am enjoying my time away. I come home with stories for the kids of what my day was life, what I did and how I perform a blood occult stool test (yes, this involves poop). I love having grown-up conversations, feeling in control of our income, feeling valuable and using my brain for something other than remembering the recipe for fabulous bubbles (10 parts water, 1 part Dawn or Joy dish soap and .25 part glycerin). I know that my job as a mommy is the most important thing I will do in my life.....but I also think that I need some time to just be "Jackie" and without having someone to spell me off when I need time to myself, I feel intense frustration at times. With this frustration comes guilt and feelings that I am not a good and selfless mother. I have to remind myself occasionally that Liv has had me home for seven years and Briar for four - This is entirely longer than the standard one year in Canada and the six weeks in the States.
Life is still a bit off-kilter as we settle into our new house. We are almost finished unpacking. Most of the pictures are up. The linen closet is organized. We are just fine-tuning now.
The fresh air is fabulous. I SO love the cool breezes and foggy mornings. Being in the village brings remembered faces and a sense of comfort in knowing where everything is and the names of all the streets. The kids are loving having friends close by and frolicking in the woods....Where they find strange and amazing things - abandoned cabins, huckleberries, cathedral-like beams of light streaming through the trees, gnome stumps, deer trails, little streams and "Barbie doll graveyards".
I have started working on the garden, built a compost and have started planning the garden for the start of the next growing season. I've built a larger chicken/duck yard and all our poultry buddies are pleased. The kids and I climbed through some of the bushes on the property trimming out the underbranches to enable us to put our toadstool stools under the leafy canopy for a pretend fairy home for the kids.
I am happy. The kids are happy. Life is good.