Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Surprise Toronto Visit
Michael’s mother just sold her house of 35 years. It’s the house Michael grew up in, and there are a lot of memories. He had been looking for flights to Toronto for quite some time now – ever since he found out that the house was being put on the market – so that he could go back, help his mom with packing and other moving-related tasks, and visit the house for one last time. Airline prices have been ridiculously expensive until suddenly, this past Sunday morning, flights came up that were not to be passed up. In fact, they were so good that we have all decided to go. The catch was that we had to leave in four days, and return 7 or 8 days later. We reserved the tickets right then and there, and it’s good we did because the deal was gone within hours. We spent the last couple of days packing and getting the boat ready to leave.
Here we are now, on our way to Toronto. We are very excited to see family – in addition to Michael’s mom, his two sisters and their families, as well as my mother/stepdad and two sisters and their families all live there. It’s my niece Hailey’s birthday today (HAPPY BIRTHDAY HAILEY!!) and we’ll also be there to celebrate my nephew Ethan’s birthday. We usually go for three weeks in the summer, so in comparison this will be a quick visit – but we’ll take what we can get!
The visit will likely be a bit nostalgic for Michael especially. I remember when my mother moved out of her house after my dad passed away, and after spending a couple of days going through some old boxes in her basement, I was melancholy for days. Even for the newer members of our family, we’ve formed some great memories in that house. It’s had me think about what makes a home, and living on a boat has confirmed for me that it’s wherever you choose to make it. Memories made in a home become a part of you and help define who you are and what choices you make, no matter where you go from there. Although change can be difficult, it’s comforting to know that no one can take your experiences and memories away from you. I know it will be the same for Michael, his mom, and everyone else who’s been so vested in that vibrant home, so full of activity and love.
Toronto: Here We Come!!
Signing off from somewhere in the air en route Mexico City to Dallas,
Addendum: We are now back ‘home’ on our boat and the trip was a huge success. It was my first time out of Mexico in seven months and what I found interesting was that I have begun to feel the same level of familiarity in Mexico as I do in Toronto. While Toronto was once my 'hometown', it has changed drastically since I left in 1994, and I found myself not knowing the city as well as I used to. On the other hand, we have stayed in several Mexican locations long enough to know our way around and where to find things we might need.
As far as the purpose of our trip, we helped Michael’s mom pack up a bit (his sisters already did the vast majority with her), and Michael did some other moving related tasks (Craigslist listings, disassembling and assembling things, and so on). We saw family, celebrated birthdays, did lots of catching up, had a lot of laughs and even more food. It was a whirlwind – a pace that we are no longer accustomed to so it’s been great to slow down once again. But the trip was everything we had hoped it would be, and Michael’s mom is well on her way to her new life in her beautiful new home, with all her memories in tow.