Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Summer that Was and Wasn't

Kids are back in school, Labor Day is behind us, and leaves are starting to fall.  I am simultaneously feeling:
1) wistful that we did not have a "real" summer vacation,
2) guilty that we never got into a good routine for our summer days together, and
3) relieved that the burden of structuring my time and that of my children is no longer mine alone to bear.

Rather that obsessing over what I did not accomplish or what was not feasible, I want to cultivate a spirit of gratitude.  There were a lot of very good things that happened this summer, and some of them were even on my summer "bucket list."  Here are the things that come to mind.

In July:
  • My husband's parent's came for a visit.
  • We explored the Saskatchewan Science Centre for the first time.
  • Grandparents babysat while we went out for a dinner date in the big city.
  • I got my official Canadian passport!
  • I was able to switch my part-time work schedule and get to know some fascinating co-workers.
  • We found and picked a pitcher-full of local Saskatoon berries!  I've been itching to do this since our arrival in Saskatchewan last summer.  With the fresh berries we picked we enjoyed Saskatoon berry applesauce bars and berry topped pancakes.

In August:
  • My parents came for an extended visit.
  • We went out to celebrate our 13th anniversary while my parents babysat. 
  • We went on a family history tour to see the area where my mom and grandparents were from.
  • My husband got to teach new EFL teachers in Cambodia.
  • The kids and I went strawberry picking.
  • Friends let us tend and harvest the produce in their garden while they were away.  I've missed having a garden of my own. 
  • We made lots of yummy jam.  My mom brought us more delicious jam from her kitchen.
  • My mom also helped us catch up on laundry.  Yes, we can actually see (part of) the laundry room floor now!
  • My husband finished the first draft of his Ph.D. dissertation!  We started this grad school journey six years ago, and now the end is in sight.
  • I got a second-hand (or third or fourth-hand, more likely) bike that works--and it was free!
  • We finally got an offer on our house in Nebraska!  It's been 12 months since we packed up and headed north.

There are still a few question marks in our lives right now.  When will our house deal finally close?  Will we continue to rent here or will we dive into the local, more expensive real estate market here in Saskatchewan?  Will my husband graduate in December?  If so, will we risk traveling in December to attend the ceremony?  Should I keep working part-time after the house closes?  We need wisdom and patience from above.   Seasons of waiting and uncertainty are hard.  I am ready for closure.  Nevertheless, God is good, all the time.

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