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Thursday, 10 November 2016

October in Canada: Thanksgiving 2016!

For the past month, I have had the pleasure to be in Canada, spending time with friends and family. What started as a necessary trip to act as Best Man in a wedding, added in Thanksgiving, Halloween, and finally the entire month of October.

So now, please enjoy part 1 of this trip, a reflection of Thanksgiving, 2016.

Thanksgiving is a lovely time of year in Canada. I love Autumn, it is my favourite season, and I find the colours, smells, and sense of community the season brings to be very refreshing.

It has been a challenging year for my family. My Nannie, my Mom's mom, passed away last year. She went peacefully, but she left a void in our hearts, and in our home. It has been most difficult for my parents, who continue to live in the house where she now no longer does. Times have been tough for everyone, emotionally and financially, and there was a lot of tension going around among my immediate family and my extended family. Nothing pointed, nothing in particular, but there was a general feeling of fracture hanging in the air this year.

But, we did our best to counteract that. We helped get the house ready for Thanksgiving dinner, cleaning and organizing and cooking. The dinner itself was quite lovely and it was fantastic seeing everyone and making everyone laugh. We had a smaller crowd than usual, but people visited throughout the week, and I was thankful to see everyone I could.

The rest of the week was also very nice. We played board games, including Pictionary and Risk. Juliette and I won at Pictionary, helps when you're dating an artist, and it was hilarious seeing all the really silly drawings people had, or really simple clues that people could not guess. Risk was quite fun, my family has a new board. We didn't finish the game, as it was getting late, but I got to conquer Europe, so that's a win for me.

We went for walks in the woods, followed by my family's three cats and dog. You'll see them below.

All in all, our time at home was lovely, but there were some challenges. Juliette's pet allergy was affected more strongly at home, thanks to the ever-cuddling 4 cats and dog, and since everyone with whom we stayed while in Canada had a pet, she found it difficult to breathe at times throughout the month.

Additionally, I was stressed trying to balance work, my family, and my girlfriend. Apart from online meetings and deadlines, I make my own schedule. People who know this try to give me space, but they are also a little more insistent of my time. Everyone is guilty of this; my family, my girlfriend, my friends, and I'm thankful that I am so popular, and have loving friends and family, and while I know that I can become too focused on my work, I hope that everyone sees the effort I make in balancing my time. 

As always, communication, honesty, understanding, all parts of the journey. I am thankful for my time at home, and look forward to publishing the rest of this series.

Thanks for reading, as a reward, enjoy walking through the woods!

Chibs, I think, and Tinker

My sister, Danielle, and the kittens

Happy Thanksgiving!

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