A Couple of Loners


Legit have had this convo with my momma! hahaha I feel you, Lisa! from: http://imgfave-chat-herokuapp-com.global.ssl.fastly.net/image_cache/1344738261495361.jpg

You know that 2 years ago we packed everything up, our house, our kids, our lives, and literally moved home, to my parents’ house.

There were a few reasons for doing so, and, frankly, we at the time thought that we were going to end up staying back in the area we had both grown up in (we grew up about 10-15 mins from each other).

I have to admit that 2 years ago, I was SO not handling the Mister’s exit from the Church well.  I mean, really.  I wasn’t ready to face it. And I DEFINITELY couldn’t accept it. I insisted he came to Church with us every week because it’s what we do as a family and how this family started in the first place. PRETTY sure I even told him that if he stopped coming we’d have to talk about separating because we obviously wanted such different things.

Eye roll. Oy vey.

(Sorry, babe).

And, 2 years ago, after being in the same ward for 10 years, I felt I had no one. Not a soul I could go to for help, for support. I had no friendly shoulder to cry on or listening ear.

My two best friends were completely not even a member and an ex-Mormon going through the ANGRY stage of her leaving the Church.

I needed a Mormon. Desperately.

So, we moved home. (Again, for lots of other, REAL reasons, too. I’m not that vapid that I’d force my family to pick up and move because I felt lonely. Give me SOME credit.)

I was excited to go home. My parents are members. His family are members. And we were returning to the area where so many of our friends and memories are from, and some remain. We were sure it’d be just like old times with people.

But, of course, as busy as we are in our careers and raising kids and juggling living with parents/grandparents/inlaws, so are all of our old friends.

So, we moved. And we still had no one.

And I had no one.

I even begged, like, LITERALLY begged, an old friend who occasionally gets together with some other old friends for girls’ night to PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE invite me! PLEASE! I’m so desperate, please don’t post pictures of you guys without me, let me come! I need to come!!

But I wasn’t in the next round of pictures. I guess desperation really is that off-putting! hahaha (I’m totally picturing Kate Hudson’s BFF in “How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days” one of the best Rom-Coms EVAH).

We tried a couple of times to host parties and get out to events, but people are just too busy. We’re too busy. Work and kids makes us all busy.

So we had each other. And my parents. hahaha my poor parents! (Love you guys!!)

I learned a lot feeling lonely at home.  I learned how to listen a bit better. So when I got the promoting that maybe I needed to lighten up and give my man a break so he doesn’t grow to hate and resent me, and my religion, I was able to hear it. It was MY idea he stop coming to church with us, a far cry from the initial this-marriage-is-over-when-you-stop. And it was so good for us. I think it was the first time I was actually able to say, okay, I’m okay. I can do this. We can do this. You are a good person no matter what our dogmatic differences are.

I realized what I was doing to him by forcing him to come. I recognized that I was hearing what he was saying to me but refusing to accept it, to accept him. How can it be okay for my friends and other family to not be in or to leave the Church, and I’m loving and accepting of THEM, but I can’t be the same for my own husband? Who I love MORE than the rest of them? (No offence, folks, but he’s still my fave!)

So he stopped coming. And I started the Sunday Single Parent gig. Which is HARD! But when I do it I look around and see the every-day single parents – every single freaking DAY you rockstars do that!! You amaze me – and the other Sunday Singles who I’d never batted an eyelash at before because their spouses are off serving in various stake callings or wherever else. So I joke about it, but I’m good. (And sometimes we even come home to lunch ready-made for us! What a treat!)

And now, we’ve moved. And we’re back where we started our time together. In the ward we started in when we got married. In a different area, in a nicer house, but the same ward. And it feels like it used to.

Absolutely, completely like it used to.

Except now, maybe it hurts a little more? Maybe just today, though. Today has been a funk-day.

We were here for 10 years, and for 10 years I tried to fit in. To feel accepted. To be part of the group. But I just, I couldn’t do it. I’m not one of them. I’m too different. I don’t have anything in common with any of them. Everyone likes me, at least, to my face, but no one CARES about me, you know? Not that they don’t care, but like, hahahaha they don’t care! I can’t even come up with a better way to describe it.

But we knew that’s what we were coming back to. We knew I felt this way before we left, it would be the same when we got back.

I just hadn’t expected in the short time we were gone for there to be so many new people, so many new people who have done what I couldn’t do. In 10 years I couldn’t infiltrate and in under 2 they have.  The bonds these people have…I just have no words. I want that. I don’t mean to be so envious, but it makes me ache watching, and knowing I’ll never have it.

I’m just not made that way. I’m not made to get along with other Mormons.

Mormons are hard.

Good thing my hubs isn’t Mormon 😉

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The best holiday ever.

Christmastime is usually a pretty insane time of year for everyone; starting with deadly stampedes in Black Friday mobs running through the entire month of December with ugly sweater parties, work events, extended family get-togethers, in-laws, outlaws ;-), Santa, bankruptcy, and OH yeah, that whole remember-the-reason-for-the-season stuff we Bible-thumpers plaster all over Facebook (is it really offensive for someone with a different religious view to you to wish you a Happy Hanukkah or, heagen-forbid, generic Holiday Season? Really?)

The kids come home from school, the presents are hidden all over the house, the tree is a baby-and-pet magnet, the weather is FRIGHTFUL….

Well, let me tell you what made our Christmas holiday season just, just that WEE bit extra AWESOME this year.

We live in Southern Ontario. In Canada.  Which I know some of you think means we live in igloos year-round, but if you actually look at a map, we’re further south than about half of the United States soooo…. yeah.  So we don’t have weather as easy and balmy as I hear you schmucks out in British Columbia get (I’ve never been there, though, so excuse my naiveté on that one…) but the last few winters have been pretty easy peasy on us. At least where we’ve lived.

So when it actually looked like we might have a white Christmas this year it was a bit odd, and nice, because if there’s ever a day in the year to enjoy snow, December 25th is it!

Then the ice started.

Have you ever experienced freezing rain?  It’s quite something. It coats EVERYTHING, in a way snow can’t, because it’s RAIN; it’s wet, it’s liquid…and it’s ice.  And it was COLD.  Whether you’re on team global-warming-is-real or global-warming-is-a-giant-consipracy-theory you cannot dispute that we’ve had a pretty frigid couple of weeks down here.

(NOT as cold as the rest of you crazy Canucks who actually live in the North, OBVIOUSLY; how do you LIVE there?!)

So the rain, and the ice.  And it’s frozen.  Totally frozen outside.  The trees, the roads, the yards, the cars….. if it’s outside, it’s literally coated in inches of solid ice.

And ice is heavy.

So the trees fall apart. And take down the power lines, and thousands and thousands of people in the Greater Toronto Area and around are without power.

 

Ours went out Saturday, the 21st, at 7:30pm.

It was dark.

It got cold.

Thankfully there’s a gas fireplace and a gas stove here, so we were able to keep relatively warm and still cook our food; much more than some – we know we’re blessed and SO grateful.  My SIL lost her car to a collapsing tree, my MIL couldn’t get out of her home for all the wires down and debris…it was something.

So, fine.  No power.

At Christmas.

No big deal.  A little uber inconvenient, and increasingly cold inside, but we’re good.

This is how you wrap presents at night without power. Yes, I am this cool.

Sunday, Monday, no power.  Huddling near the fire.  Laughing at the predicament, enjoying time with friends, wishing for visibility at nighttime…going to bed at 9:30 hahaha

Tuesday.

Guess what?

The basement is flooded.

SURPRISE!

Apparently the sump-pump runs on, you guessed it, electricity! Which we haven’t had since Saturday night.  So 3 inches of water later we discover the problem.

AWESOME.

My hubs and my uncle get to work and hook up a generator to the sump pump to pump the new indoor pool out of the house. I managed to ‘evacuate’ the kids and get them over to a friends’ house, with heat and power for the day.  The boys worked and worked in the basement.

We managed to get our hands on a generator due to the awesome generosity of friends and keep the sump pump running, hook up the fridge and freezer and salvage food.

But the house was just getting colder and colder.

Sleeping beside the fire to try to keep warm 🙂

Finally the decision was made to leave the house and find a hotel; it was too cold in the house for the kids to stay and sleep!  So the boys took my girls and got everyone packed up and headed off to a hotel while my mom and I stayed behind, tidied up, and prepared for the potential of the next day’s Christmas celebrations, praying all the while that the weather outside would be warm enough that we could come back to the house and celebrate – Christmas is pretty stinking exciting for a 6-year-old. I mean, really.

Mom & I finish stuffing stockings, placing gifts, blowing out candles, securing the generator, and shutting down the house for the night.  And we head out to the car.  Start the car, back out of the driveway.

Start to drive.

“Check tyre pressure” (yes, my parents drive a car that’s so fancy it spells “tire” with a ‘y’).

CATHUNK-THUNK. BUMP. 

Mom: “can you call Dad.”

……yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s a flat tire. On Christmas eve. On our way from evacuating the powerless, heatless house.

Me: “HI, Dad! The car says ‘check tire pressure.'”

Dad: “Don’t worry about it.”

…..so we don’t worry about it. But neither of us are TOTAL idiots, Mom or I, so…. we’re pretty sure we’re driving on a flat tire.  Which is brilliant.

And, honestly, we’re killing ourselves laughing; what are the odds?

Arrive at hotel. Verify flat tyre. Yup, it’s flat!  And now ruined, too! Cool!

Fun, eh?! You can feel EVERY bump in the road when the ‘tyre’ is flat!

Merry Christmas to us, Merry Christmas to us! Merry CHRISTMAS to uuuusssss…. Merry Christmas to us!!

Inside we’re warm, we’re comfy. The girls are both still wide awake at 11pm. But we’re snuggling and laughing and we’re okay – we’re calling it a Christmas to remember, the Christmas from Hell, Christmas by Candles, and whatever else.

Which one of those tyres is a donut? hahaha

Christmas morning.  My hubs checks the house, and all signs look like power has been restored sometime in the night! 4 days without power, and our own Christmas miracle; it’s back on in time for Christmas day, opening presents, and roasting a beautifully stuffed turkey. (Mom makes the BEST. STUFFING. EVER. You might think yours does, but I guarantee you you’re wrong. You’ll get over it.)

So we’re packing up getting ready to go back to the house; Mom & Dad take the kids down to enjoy a nice Christmas continental breakfast while the hubs and I get showered and ready to go.

So I’m in the shower.  Which, I mean, honestly, is a naked activity; I don’t generally wear clothes in the shower.  No, scratch generally…I NEVER wear clothes in the shower.  I find it gets me a bit cleaner to let the water actually get to the skin, you know?

I step out of the shower. Where I admittedly had been for and overly lengthy time (it was so WARM and there was a LIGHT and it was soooo….hot…shower….aaaaahhhhhhh) and the bathroom was PRETTY steamed up.  Like, a LOT of steam.

And the fire alarm starts freaking out.

What?! Crap! How long was I in the shower? How much steam is there in here?!

Until the hubs opens the hotel room door and verifies that the alarms are going all down the hallway.

Wait, what?

There’s a fire?

There’s a fire??

There’s a fire. 

I’M FREAKING NAKED.

We can’t see the fire, so, quite frankly, I’m not running out in the FREEZING cold, dripping wet, and NUDE.  I grab some clothes and dress as quickly as I can, we grab our coats and the girls’ coats, and we race to the stairs, outside, and around to the front of the building to find our kids.

And no one is outside.

????

We go back inside the hotel with the peeling bells of Christmas morning and everyone’s just going about their merry business like nothing’s going on.

Apparently someone burnt the toast and walked away to let the place burn down? Maybe he/she just knew we needed a bit more fun in our dull lives? No idea.

The fire department came, the toast was extinguished, the offending toaster not reused, the hotel company laughing merrily at the Christmas from Hell having a fire-and-brimstone aspect….

And we went home. And had a MARVELLOUS Christmas. It was just perfect.  We cooked, we gifted, we played, we ate… it was probably better a day than if everything had gone perfectly smoothly leading up to it, honestly.

And we thought it was over. I mean, there was still all the fallout – a basement full of ruined stuff to go through, sort, throw away, a hefty tire-replacement bill (Dad said it was the best money he ever spent, just getting us to the hotel! hahaha), attempts to de-ice and de-snow the vehicles…. on the 31st the hubs and I spent over an hour and a half trying to get one of our cars out of the driveway so I could go to work before we finally gave up and called a tow to drag us forward the foot we needed to get some traction – I was 2.5 hours late for work.

Then New Year’s. Nothing much to report thank GOODNESS. I had a rough day being so late for work and it putting me behind schedule so was a little on edge with my family when I finally got home, but apologies and hugs on the 1st and we’re all golden.

So back to work on Friday.

At least that was the intention.

I was driving SO carefully.

Wednesday night it had snowed down near where I work (about an hour drive from where we live), and partway there on the highway it wasn’t totally cleared; the plows had been through, the road wasn’t snow-COVERED, but there was some snow.

And as always happens, I didn’t know my wipers weren’t in tip-top wiping condition after the ice storm until after I’m out on the road and can’t blooming SEE anything.  So I’m driving, and I get behind someone, and I try to clean off the windshield….and it doesn’t work very well.

So I VERY CAREFULLY try to merge over to the passing lane to get away from the nice, thoughtful person driving in front of me spitting crap up all over my car so I can’t see anything.

And I pass, and I move back to the middle, where it’s clearer.

Do be do… driving when it’s hard to see is a bit more adventurous than usual driving, but I manage to actually CLEAR the windshield. Hooray!

Until I end up behind someone else.  Who, gosh darn it, keeps spitting crap from his tires up into was WAS my view!!

So I check. And I signal. And I’m aware of the car to the right of me, and the car in front of me that I’m going to pass.  And I ever-so-slowly begin to merge left to pass the offending vehicle.

And my tires decided they’d had enough.

I fish-tailed.

Fishtailing on the highway going 110km/hr? HOLY CRAP.  I worked with the steering to try to get some sort of control, but it’s just…not going to happen, honestly.  I got it from left, to right, and then right went to completely perpendicular to traffic, which was pretty exciting. And I got the car back to straight…and kept sliding left.  Left, left, left….until I SMASHED into the cement median, TRIED to throw my skull through the driver-side window, and then the car BOUNCED off the median, spun to perpendicular-again, and sailed ACROSS THREE LANES OF TRAFFIC and landed in the ditch.

Somehow I didn’t hit anyone else.

Someone stopped, called 911. Ambulance came, firetruck came (and left – didn’t need them, thank GOODNESS), cop came….

I’m fine. I was in shock. My head hurts. I don’t have a concussion, but I hurt. I feel pretty punk and just out of it.  Shock has worn off.  I’m bloomin’ exhausted ALL THE TIME, but it’ll pass when I’m all recovered.

School starts back tomorrow.  Our kiddo is disappointed, but apart from not seeing her constantly I’m SO looking forward to it, because I honestly can’t take any more of this “vacation” time!

How was your holiday season?? 😉

Thanksgiving Hiatus

Hiya, all! 

Sorry about the hiatus – Friday, as you know, was our anniversary, and then it was Thanksgiving weekend up here aaaand I had that one piece of writing set to post today, but I didn’t get to do the uh, “intro” about it beforehand…whoops… O:-)  

OH yeah, and we’re moving on the weekend. 

So, yeah. Lots going on, here.  

THAT said, we had a GREAT weekend. 

Which I will talk more about later. 

But one of the things that was SO FANTASTIC this past weekend was a super late, super fabulous conversation between my man and me, later joined by my brother. 

FASCINATING. 

Mr Man of Mine FINALLY, after nearly a year, FINALLY let it out, and just DUMPED on me about the Church. It was amazing. Fascinating. Incredible.  He doesn’t usually open up like that to me, and with this subject he’s been so sweetly concerned with possibly negatively affecting my testimony he’s been so hesitant to talk in depth about stuff with me.  

Anyway, sorry to be so vague; it’s late at night, I’ve got one eye on “Bones” (I love this show – the best is when Angela pops on screen with some stupidly impossible technology that twinkles and flashes and has nothing to do with her art skills and connects a bunch of impossible dots by enhancing un-enhanceable photographs or whatever…the whole thing is hilarious.) the other on the orange I can’t eat because my hands are currently glued to the keyboard aaaand my brain is flipping all over. 

Hopefully in between packing boxes this week we’ll finally have time to address some of your fantastic questions – some have asked about HIS views, why he left, etc., and I felt it would maybe be best to hear from him, but he’s ALSO in the middle of switching jobs, so that hasn’t happened yet, either. I’m one of those road-to-hell-paved-with-good-intentions types – and explain a bit more about US.  

In the meantime… ohmigosh, this episode is hilarious – Angela is looking at an image on a computer through “different colour filters” trying to read a serial number on a prosthetic, um, male part. baaahahahaha 

And on THAT note…check for us tomorrow. And if this week we just SUCK…we’re moving Saturday, so should hopefully be back to some sense of ‘normal’ routine sometime next week. 

Cheers, all! Thanks for checking in!