Labour Day

Well I guess it’s official – summer is over in a Montreal-kind-of-way, not a “Sept.21st”-kind-of-way.  Labour Day is today, most kids have already gone back to school and the leaves are already starting to fall (even through last week’s heat wave).  This summer for me went by way too fast albeit it started a little earlier than usual as the weather was really warm in May which allowed S. and I to run through the Parc des Royaux water sprinkler park.  She was brave and loved it.  She ran through the water like she was 3 years old but nope, this little one was only 15 months at the time (she’ soon to be 19 months).  Then I took a one-week “renocation” which I bored everyone with on Twitter in addition to my friends on Facebook.  I would come back in after a few hours outside and tweet how I was working through the heat wave.  That was crazy in hindsight but my vacation had been reserved and I felt like I had not much choice (note to self: cancel next time on the Monday itself and work it out with my boss for another time instead).  A couple of the mornings, I was waking up at 4am to get started at 5am to strip paint from brick by hand with a gel paste, scraper and wire brush (never paint brick in the first place).  What I thought would be a 4-6 day project all inclusive (stripping, placing new mortar, repainting brick, sanding down balcony floors, repainting floors and maybe even maybe have time to strip down and properly paint my backyard metal stairs) ended up being a 6-day paint-stripping job + 4 additional days to do the mortar during weekends.  Other than a jazz festival visit and a family parade, that was basically my July.

August went by way too quickly.  Met some new Centre-Sud neighbourhood blog friends to potentially work on a St-Eusèbe church project.  Everyone was into it but starting it got delayed with some temporary health bad luck where I had to pull back for a bit from everything including renovations and my park committee work.   We also had an unfortunate happening at the very same time, it’s not something I want to publish but at the same time it’s something that happens to a lot of women and unfortunately my wife and I lost our baby at 12 weeks and 3 days… and exactly 3 days after we started telling people.  We don’t really know what happened, the heart just stopped and the doctor said that it was common within the first three months due to chromosomal deficiencies.  Anyhow, I won’t go into any further details but as you can understand this was extremely hard on me, and especially my wife.  All of this made me miss  3 days of work (thank god I have a good employer – my boss told me to go home and advised me about an HR policy on family leave) but since it was busy at work, this put me back quite a bit. About a week later I slowly started getting back into the swing of things at least rhythm-wise and redirected my mind on my work projects and at night I didn’t want to overdo so I limited my focus on the preparation of the upcoming local park party at Médéric-Martin (Sept. 11th: www.parcmedericmartin.wordpress.com) . Well, that was enough to see August just fly by.  No bells, no whistles… but it’s time like these that you realise how lucky you are.  We have a wonderful healthy daughter and we have one and another (oh and our dog Elliot too – luckily some good work friends volunteered out of the blue to take him for a couple of weekends to help us rest).  We had some help with S. and her wonderful godmother who took her for one night and meanwhile we found out how great it is getting to know your neighbours as we were immediately able to call up a couple we knew nearby to watch S. another day when we had to go to the hospital.  They said yes without hesitation and we knew that she was in good hands.  I always talk about the Centre-Sud neighbourhood of Montreal but really, no matter what area or big city you live in (Toronto, Vancouver, New York City, etc.), it’s unfortunate that we barely know our next-door neighbours so I definitely recommend reaching out and finding your community somehow through volunteer work of some sort.  How can we feel attached to a neighbourhood without knowing who lives around you? Probably why a lot of people simply move to the suburbs.  It might take a little bit more effort in the city to look out and find what you’re looking for but there’s definitely a community out there waiting to welcome you.  It just might not be your next-door neighbour per se (although mine is a nice quiet gentleman).

Anyhow, it’s now Sept.6 and Fall is upon us.  Recently read my daughter a “Clifford the Red Dog” story in French about how Clifford is sad that summer is over.  That’s how I feel too but then “Emilie”, the dog’s owner tells him about all the wonderful things that Autumn brings… maybe I can show S. how to jump in leaves, go pumpkin picking again (though she’ll understand a bit what’s going on this time), put a costume on her for Halloween and go to a few doors on the road just for kicks (she’s definitely still too young but I think she’ll find it to be funny).   Not sure I’m into the winter part but let’s take things one day at a time and enjoy the rest of the “official” summer and the upcoming Fall season.  Definitely want to spend more time next summer actually enjoying the season.  Less renos and more camping.  Good health to you all and have a great Fall!

p.s. Still hope to start that St-Eusèbe church project soon.

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