The spring surge, decluttering stuff, organizing the archives and other weekly happenings

It was a glorious week of spring.

It's possible that what I'm experiencing is the calm before the storm. I catch myself wondering if I'm allowed to feel so good, with no impending storm on the horizon.

Deactivate the vulnerability shield Renee. Experience the momentary joy without anticipating the worst.

Brene Brown has a name for this "paradoxical dread that clamps down on momentary joyfulness". She calls it foreboding joy. And in my attempt to be more mindful (the subject of the essay I've been writing all this week for the Kitchen Table) I need to stop doing this. Let's start over again.

It was a glorious week of spring.

Sunshine and roses. Ok, not roses. The only thing blooming in the yard is coltsfoot, but sunshine and coltsfoot doesn't quite roll off the tongue.

Oh sunshine days of Spring, how I love you.

I'm finding it hard to go to bed at 9:30, an intention I laid out in my previous post.

I think my summer energy surge is starting and I probably don't need such an early bedtime. But I've been going "to my bed" at that time anyway, enjoying the spring air through the open windows, reading while I savor the quintessential sound of spring - male frogs trying to attract a female.

In the winter my body depends on long hours of nighttime sleep, preferably 8 1/2, but I can get by with less in the summer. Sometimes a lot less.

I had forgotten this because the same was not true during our hike. The farther we hiked, deeper into summer, the earlier and earlier we tried to go to bed. We had to in order to break camp by 7:30 the next morning and put in fifteen to eighteen mile days. Even falling asleep at nine o'clock did not feel early enough.

But this seems to be shaping up into a "normal" spring, in terms of energy.

I wonder if this energy surge, which peaks almost into a frenzy of activity in high summer, is a northern latitude phenomena. I do know that Quebec kicks into high gear in the summer with more festivals than you can even hope to participate in.

This week Damien and I bought tickets for a Steven Wilson show at the Montreal Jazz Festival. We'll be living there by that time and we'll be able to walk to the Metro station and easily get downtown for the show and probably pick up some sushi beforehand. This is a far cry from our current date night scenario of going to Tim Hortons while the kids go to youth group.

I started packing this week. And was reminded once again, that though moving is a lot of work, it's also a good way to keep "stuff" in check. I have seriously culled through the kids' library this winter, and just yesterday went through all the craft and art supplies. Good bye pipe cleaners and wooden popsicle sticks (and a whole bunch more).

We washed the camping mats, the only gear I had not cleaned last fall after we returned from our hike. I was waiting for days like these. Warm days for washing outdoors with the hose and drying in the wind and the sun.

I thought we might have to take a school break with my energies focused on our move. But Brienne and Laurent are independent enough in their studies to continue in the basics - math, reading, and writing - without requiring too much of my time. (Celine is completely independent with some oversight from me, but no teaching time of mine is required). This is a middle school years reality, and wasn't true for elementary.

Of course I'm keeping a running list in Evernote of ideas for summer school and next year's curriculum but I can't spend a lot of mental energy on homeschooling as we prepare to move.

I'd like to finish that homeschooling through high school blog series but I've been writing for the Kitchen Table this week. Everything has to take its turn.

In April 2013 we did a serious overhaul of the blog. In that process I had envisioned creating pages of posts grouped according to the major themes and popular posts at FIMBY. Taxonomically speaking, these are different than my my nested blog "categories", which function more like tags.

I'm still working on that overhaul and hoping to complete it before we make the next upgrade to FIMBY in 2016.

In the past two years I finished Homeschool Help (which I'm now updating a bit) and Homemade Soap, Body Care & Herbal Skin Remedies.

In the interstices of my life I've been working on three other such compilation pages: Wife Mother Blogger, Homemaking, and Adventure Living.

As we prepare to move I've been reflecting on past moves and subsequently working on the Moving & House Tours page of Adventure Living (that page is a mess so I'm not sharing the link yet). Feel free to click over, if you're interested. Moving & House Tours is almost done, and here's the intro.

In our first fifteen years of marriage we lived in two countries, three different states/provinces, and eight homes. (And there's the house we bought but never lived in.) Alberta, New Jersey, Maine.
Our last house during this time, the home we bought we Maine, we lived in for six years. A record of home stability. Then we had a four year season of moving, moving, and moving some more; two provinces, five houses, and a six month hike on the Appalachian Trail. Nova Scotia, Quebec, the Eastern United States.
We've lived in thirteen houses in nineteen years of marriage, but I've had the same email address since forever! Our plan now is to stay put until our youngest is mostly grown, because I'm done moving for a while.
These are the "stories" of the houses we've lived in, and our moving from one to the next, since I started this blog.

I was thinking this week I'd like to write a bit more about the current house we call home, Julie and Tony's house on the hill. Maybe someday.

We're housesitting, living in someone else's space, surrounded by their personal possessions and the intimacy of their family photos. Naturally, I have some reservations about how much of that is my story to tell, in writing and my photography.

That's the week-ending around here. It's a work weekend for us as we work on our taxes, self-employed folks have till June 15th to file.

Monday is a statutory holiday, it's Victoria Day throughout Canada but Patriots Day here in QC, which apparently is a day to remember the "importance of the struggle of the patriots of 1837–1838 for the national recognition of our people, for its political liberty and to obtain a democratic system of government" (from wikipedia).

Even with my recent personal and homeschooling Canadian history studies I have no idea who these patriots were and what they were struggling for. Modern Quebec politicians love to spin history according to sovereignty agendas. I think this holiday belongs in that camp.

Regardless of the agenda, as self-employed people, with no paid holidays, we're not taking the day off.

Victoria Day is the unofficial start of the Canadian summer. But really, how can it be summer when the leaves aren't even out on the trees yet?

I think summer will start for me the day after we've moved our belongings to Montreal. Till then I'll savor every warm spring moment I can between packing and sorting our stuff, and anticipate the blossoming of more flowers than just the coltsfoot.

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  • Heather-Lee

    Heather-Lee on May 17, 2015, 12:33 a.m.

    How exciting! And different from the seasonal experience I've had for the past few years living in Alabama.  I'm originally from Maine, so I'm familiar with the summertime elation, activity, and festivity.  Now, living in the South, we'd best get our celebrating done before the nighttime temperatures rise into the 70s because life slows wayyyy back down again.  I hate to give up on the outdoors, but between the mosquitos and the intense humid heat there's not much to be done but hunker down in airconditioned interiors.  I'll be checking in on your adventures to vicariously enjoy some of the summertime feelings I remember from my childhood.


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