Today the garden went. I put the word out on freecycle that my garden needed to come out, and today at 2:00 some very nice people came with shovels, pails, bins and pots to dig out and cart away about 90% of my garden. (snif) It was lovely while it lasted, but now a new gardener has lavender, hyacinths and hostas, and a family from Princeton has dozens of plants for their new garden.
We did finally buy a new home in Calgary, though not in a 55+ building, as it is impossible to get mortgage insurance on a condo in an age-restricted building. But it's a nice place, in a nearly new (2004) building, it's accessible and well-located for shopping. We're looking forward to seeing old friends in Calgary again, and getting reestablished in our community there.
We also have sold our little Beach House, which is going to be moved to a new site. Hence the need for the garden to be removed. The park's new owners are pouring great heaps of gravel on sites as they are vacated, and the garden would simply be smothered under tons of rock, which I couldn't bear. So not only we three but the plants are migrating.
We've spent the last weeks running errands and packing. We're now down to the items you use frequently enough to make it a nuisance to be without them. Zak came for a week and did a huge amount of work while he was here.
But mostly we have packed slowly and used the opportunity to rid ourselves of things we no longer need or want. We have freecycled a truckload of stuff, from boxes of fabric to photo albums, appliances and garden furniture. There's something really quite satisfying in being able to share an item with someone who might otherwise have bought it or gone without.
And we've enjoyed the trumpeter swans who have come to stay on our beach, the robins who are returning, the heron perched in a tree by the side of the road, the many quail who come to eat the seed I throw out, and the large flock of Bohemian wax-wings who landed briefly in a tree just outside (presumably to decide where to go next as they left five minutes later and have not returned). The first of the warblers have arrived back. They sang Salvador and I along on our walk this morning, like little musical lemon-drops.
We went out to dinner with our neighbours Art and Ruth and the former park managers Linda and Judy on Friday night. After dinner we all went to Art and Ruth's and visited for a couple of hours. Ruth is another genealogist. As we were leaving I remarked that I'd received the first "pen and paper" request for genealogical information I'd gotten in years that day. Ruth laughed and said, "We used to do it all that way," and she picked up a worn folder with the name Christopher Hussey on it. "Like this," she said, opening the folder. "These ancestors of Art's, I don't even have them entered in the tree yet, after how many years." The pages were so worn they were falling out of the binding. But I looked at the name and blinked.
Christopher Hussey was my 6th great-grandfather. Art is also a grandchild of Christopher Hussey. Which makes us cousins of some distant degree. So now not only am I leaving friends we have come to love, we are leaving family behind as well!
And to top it off, once I looked at Christopher Hussey's pedigree I realized he was a descendant of the Bowes (Bowes-Lyon) family, who were the Queen Mum's family. So, our former neighbour (who was an English Lord and cousin to the Queen Mum) was also a very distant cousin. I wish I'd known that then. His wife would have been so tickled.
Anyway, Ian arrives Friday and we will be taking possession of our new home Tuesday week. Since I am only rambling and need to pack at least one more box to obtain any sense of satisfaction from the day I'd best go do that.