Well, I meant to publish this a week or so back, but here goes anyway . . .
The first time the Crafties took me to see their new property, back when the weather was still balmy, we stopped by the home of their daughter, son-in-law and their family. Here are a few pictures from that part of the trip:
Below, some photos along the way to the Crafties’ property and some of the property itself:
Afterwards, we drove to Thorhild, which is where my Mum and Dad were living in 1999, when I came up to help out while Dad was ill. I wanted to see the house we lived in and see if anything remained of my parents’ work on it. The lovely window boxes are gone, but the stained glass window upstairs at the back is still there. Originally there was a door leading to a very rickety wee balcony with equally rickety stairs down to the ground. Dad removed the balcony and stairs, then made a stained glass window to fill up the opening instead of the door. Behind that window is the room I stayed in while we were there. After my Dad passed away in September, Mum and I stayed on, resting and recuperating, until she sold the house the following spring and we moved into Edmonton to live in a rented house for a year. It was good to see the place again. I wish it were in Edmonton and we could have stayed in it . . . it had enough room for both of us and our various supplies and room for crafting, too, which is what my parents did when they weren’t renovating.
Well, that was then . . . and the weather was still warm and balmy;
The container was finally delivered on Monday, the 10th of November, but it wasn’t unloaded where we had planned. The driver and his helper told the Crafties that it was there (by the side of the driveway and only a few feet past the gate) or they would take it back to the yard and I would have to pay for that trip, too. Not much they could do. But, without telling me, Mrs. Crafty called her son and son-in-law (from the place with the donkey, etc.) and the two guys came out on Thursday with their four-wheel-drive pickup trucks and some military strapping. It apparently took a few hours and involved cutting logs to use as rollers under the container, but in the end, they got the job done. As my friends told me later, it didn’t hurt that the two young men are fairly competitive by nature and were determined to get the job done. Unfortunately, no one thought to take photos, so I can’t share the experience with you. Wish I had some, though . . .
On Thursday morning, I found out that Mum and my sister were no longer looking at houses, as all the affordable ones needed quite a lot of work and in some cases had mould and other serious problems. So now it was to be a condo . . . which meant instant re-arranging of plans for me, as now I was going to be taking as much as possible from the apartment where we live, as well as emptying out the storage downtown. So Thursday passed in a blur of bringing in a few boxes from the balcony, removing the protective plastic bags, then quickly sorting through in case there was something I really wanted to keep in town. It had to be done in stages to keep the cold from freezing the apartment too much. But I got quite a lot of it done. Not as much as I would have liked. By the end of the day, my left knee was acting up again from stepping over the high threshold and packing heavy boxes, so I dug out the elastic knee brace and put it on again. It kept me awake until after midnight, but that was alright; it gave me time to unwind a bit and to just breathe . . .
The last bud on the Happy Hibiscus; it never opened, though. When we were getting ready for the ceiling re-do that never happened, it just quit opening. By the time I had all the plants in the bathtub for over a week, this wee bud just dried up and withered away. Next year, though. Since then, I’ve pruned the Happy Hibiscus back quite a bit and re-potted all the plants except Mum’s newest bonsai, which didn’t need it yet.
On Friday the 14th, I woke at 4:30 a.m. to see a strange greyness outside; it looked as though it were snowing heavily, although no snow had been forecast. As it turned out, it was fog, amazingly lovely. The temperature was about -21C and felt like -29C with the wind chill. Not my preferred moving weather. I was picked up by the Crafties at 7:30 and we went straight to the U-Haul place to get the truck. From there, we drove to their son’s place, where the son-in-law met us. Then it was off to the storage place, where one unit was emptied and another one’s contents were reduced by a significant amount. That second one holds some of Mum’s things, too, so those as well as my clay pots and collapsible tables, were left behind.
From the storage, we headed up 97th Street to Mum’s place, the Crafty son driving the truck and the Crafties and I in their car. The son-in-law drove his own car, as they had to leave as soon as the unloading was completed. Did I mention that he had his sweet son, Master Z, with him? All ready for the cold with his wee Carhartt jacket and mini work boots. He didn’t mind the cold (his jacket was open the whole time; he did have on a fleece and more underneath) and did his best to help the whole time. Very impressive.
Above are a few of the photos I took on the drive north. It was very magical to see the fog-rime on the bare trees and snow still on many of the evergreens. I took so many pictures, my phone died while we were out there. Some of them will make good studies for pen and ink drawings with just a hint of watercolour to liven them up, should I ever have time and space for art again . . .
By the time the Crafties and I arrived at the property, the U-Haul was backed up to the container’s open doors, the ramp was out and the back wall was stacked with boxes. From there we switched to stacking the boxes one layer deep along each side of the container. Next summer, I will go out for a day or maybe two at a time and start the long process of going through everything and disposing of most of it. I so wish that I lived close enough to you who inhabit this Virtual Village with me, so that I could share with you all. But, postage being what it is, photographs will have to do . . .
From the property, the son-in-law and his son left for home, and the rest of us returned to Edmonton. I rode along with the Crafty son in the truck, for old time’s sake. I always loved driving the big U-Hauls, but my eyesight isn’t what it once was and I’m reluctant to drive until that’s fixed one day. Without asking me, the Crafties stopped and picked up sandwiches for our lunch at their son’s place. That done, we took the truck to re-fill the gas tank. In well over two hours of driving, we only used a half tank of gas, so that was pretty good. Just over $100 with the discount from Mr. Crafty’s card. Then we took the truck back and from there drove back to the Crafty home, arriving about 3:30 p.m., well before dark. The whole task, from loading the truck to being done with the unloading, took only just over two hours, plus the hour or so drive north. I was pretty impressed. By myself, or even with only the Crafties and me, it would have been more than twice that. In that cold, it would have been pretty arduous.
Did I mention that before we were done moving the boxes, it had begun to snow? Yep. Luckily, it was that fine, grainy stuff that doesn’t stick to anything. But I had to brush it off the items like paintings that were stacked at the front of the moving van waiting to be shifted. We were so, so lucky, in spite of the cold. and it made the hot Chinese food at the end of the day so delicious . . .
The following Friday, Mum placed an offer on a ground-floor condo and it was accepted. Much rejoicing around here! Then, a few days later, the owners changed their minds. So back to searching. Mum has an offer in on another condo now, so I’ll let you know how that goes. I liked the idea of the first place because it was about three blocks from a large mall, on the grocery store side and that mall has a small branch of the library. Also the bus stops at the back of the mall include ones for buses going downtown, which would have been pretty convenient for me. Oh, well, this or something better, as they say . . .
That’s right, my friends! I have not been idle! These are the Bavarians for my grandkidlets . . . The dark rose for the eldest of the three youngest girls, the medium rose for the next youngest and the pale rose for the wee girl born this past September.
The lighter green-blue is for the younger of the two boys and the darker one (nearly finished; I have four rows and the edging still to do) is for the elder boy.
I have two others for that family still to finish; one more multi-coloured for the eldest grand-daughter, who is now 15 and a half and a large one, also multi-coloured, for their parents. Oh, yes, and the Violets in the Snow afghan still needs a few more rows . . . and then there are two young lads and a wee lassie that I have in mind . . .
These go surprisingly fast, at least when you have up to six hours a day to sit and do nothing but crochet 🙂 These child-size afghans take two balls each of Red Heart acrylic (more washable); one of white and one of a colour. I’m not sure how many balls I’ve used on the two large afghans. And the small ones I can do in two weeks, most of the work in the first week. I truly love this pattern and I can’t thank Dani of the Teddy and Tottie blog enough. If I ever get to meet her, Dani will be showered with hugs and chocolate and maybe wine . . . 🙂
Ok, there’s more, but I have to leave something for another day, don’t I?
Hugs to everyone in the Virtual Village . . . and comments will be replied to soon. I apologize for not keeping up, but it’s been a tad busy around here . . . and I haven’t dropped in on as many of you as I like to do, or left comments when I did come by.
I’m so looking forward to life just settling down and living in ‘Normal’ again . . . (thanks, Robbie, for letting me know there’s an actual town named Normal. I may have to emigrate . . .)
I nearly forgot . . . here’s a song for anyone who shares some of my musical tastes:
Grey, Foggy Day Shanneygannock are a group from Newfoundland and I love their work. A co-worker who grew up with a couple of the members introduced me to their music. Folkie, but you know me . . .
And another Canadian group, sadly no longer recording together: Kashtin. I was lucky to see them close up and for free when the Commonwealth Games came to Victoria (BC) back in 1994. They were playing on a stage set up in front of the Empress Hotel and I managed to work my way right up near the front. Unforgettable!
One of my all-time favourite groups. They were fantastic; playing everything from huge halls to small bush camps. I still listen to them often.
There were performers from all over the world and I got to meet quite a few of them, including an Aborigine from Australia who showed me his didgeridoo and let me hold it. I was so in awe of all these talented people; since I was just an untalented volunteer.
I’m under there, somewhere . . . this is a First Nation (Haida, I think) Double-Headed Serpent from the opening ceremony.
I was in the closing ceremony, too, wearing a huge foam hand costume, performing a square dance. I can’t find a photo of that, but afterwards, we were lined up along the track and I got to see the Queen and Prince Philip a bit closer than this as they left. I was so lucky!
And, like Columbo, I have “One last thing” . . .
If you want something sweet to make for Christmas and don’t have much time, try these fabulous felted slippers from Eclectic Home & Life. I haven’t gotten far with the pair I want to make for my Aunty and now I know why . . . now to find some real wool yarn. ❤