Last Wednesday morning started much like any other, up by 6 to get Hubbie and the kids out of the door along with copious amounts of tea to get me going and then out for a walk with my camera to kick start my day.
I love walking along the lake shore it gives me fresh air, exercise, it’s good for the soul and there’s usually something interesting to photograph. This time however, was different because was the night before produced our first snowfall of the season. As it is still quite early in the year the snow was wet, as apposed to the dry fluffy stuff we normally get, and stuck to the trees creating the most beautiful wintry landscape.
This is my late November morning walk…Canadian style!
I remember as a teenager telling my Grandma that when I got older I was going to change the world. With a knowing smile she’d reply, “I know”, she believed it every bit as much as I did. I was quite opinionated as a teen I viewed the world in black and white, right or wrong there was no grey area. Our family would have regular heated debates over the political show Question Time as we had differing political views.
When I said I was going to change the world I meant in an Erin Brockovich kind of way by standing up for what was right and fighting to give a voice to the ‘little people’. What I hadn’t discovered back then was that I never had the nerve to stand up in public and get tongue-tied when I’m the centre of attention, but that was just a minor flaw in the plan…
These memories had been long since buried and only resurfaced recently when I got totally over-excited about the arrival of my KitchenAid stand blender. I realized I’d saved up enough loyalty points to get one and was thrilled when it arrived and immediately used it to knock up a batch of chocolate chip cookies for the boys. It was only then that it dawned on me that I had a problem with reconciling the image of the current SAHM with the young girl that wanted to change to world.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I got married and had the boys while I was still young. I’ve just turned forty and next year my youngest will be a teen and eldest turns twenty. As well as being a young mum, I ran my own business for 12 years and moved my family to another continent. Even as I write that I realize I am trying to justify my choices, as if reciting my CV will help. I suppose my problem is that people are judgmental. They don’t understand or accept choices that are different to theirs and they feel the need to vocalize their opinions. I am sick to death of feeling like a second rate citizen because I didn’t put my kids in nursery and work a 40 hour week in the city. The truth is Hubbie and I worked a hell of a lot more than 40 hours a week for 12 years when we had our own business, I just had to do my work when the kids were at school or early morning and late at night when they were in bed. I juggled my work so that I could be there for the kids when they needed me and I never missed an assembly, school play or sports day (I may have run out in between races to answer a call from a client though). As soon as we started a family Hubbie and I decided that the kids came first no matter what.
The stupid thing is I don’t know if I have a problem with being a stay at home Mum or whether it’s being bombarded with the opinions of people thinking I shouldn’t be a SAHM anymore that is causing my feeling of discontent right now. I don’t like the isolation of being home all day but I do like that I’m always available for the boys when they need me, to make sure they do their homework and provide them with a hot meal and I have never needed to rely on anyone else to look after them for me.
At times like this I can’t help but wonder what my Grandma would think. She was a WAF and later a career girl so would she be disappointed in my inability to change to world? Or would she think bringing my two wonderful, intelligent, considerate Sons into the world has changed it enough?
When I posted my Silent Sunday at the weekend, I used this picture taken a few days earlier. It was autumnal, bright sunshine and about 10C.
Then on Sunday we returned to the same place for a walk and this is what it looked like
The -15C wind chill had frozen the river solid and the banks were dusted with the snow flurries of the previous days.
For now, the snowfall is pretty it builds excitement for Christmas and is a novelty, it may not be the same in four months time when we will all be grumbling that the spring cannot come soon enough! While it is all fresh and new I thought I would share a few photos of the first snows.
This is the first time I have joined in with R2BC since Michelle at Mummy from the Heart decided to take a break. I am really glad that the very lovely Becky from Lakes Single Mum and one of my favourite Bloggers Jo from Ojo’s World have taken up the reins. Thank you girls for hosting this linky.
Without further ado my reasons to be cheerful this week:
Winter Photo Opportunities
Technically winter doesn’t start until December 21st however, someone forgot to tell Mother Nature! This morning’s wind chill is around -15C! Snow has begun already but the good thing about that is that everything looks so pretty and feels so Christmassy.
I have made pretty good progress with the Christmas Shopping this week. My boys, bless them (!), have a habit of requesting things from other countries which usually results in me waiting with baited breath to see if the parcels arrive before the big day. The orders are in and the parcels are on the way to me, phew!
2 ¼ years after our expat journey began we still don’t have much in the way of a social life. It bothers me. Hubbie and the boys are off doing their thing during the week when I’m at home so they aren’t bothered about going out on the weekend while I am getting stir crazy. So I am really excited that we have a fun packed weekend in store. It starts with a family trip to the movies to see the new Disney film Frozen and a girly night that consists of a meal out and another trip to the movies to see The Hunger Games Catching Fire. Seriously, I am giddy with excitement!
So what are your reasons to be cheerful this week?
This weeks Gallery theme is November, with a twist… we need to sum it up in just one photo.
Here is my interpretation of the month of November.
When I posted a very similar photo for my Silent Sunday the other day Kate on Thin Ice commented ‘It’s as though you have captured the very moment that the season changes’ and that sums up November completely as it is a month of transition from autumn into winter. The once spectacularly coloured leaves of fall, the vivid reds and oranges, now litter the earth, everything green retreats underground as the first snow flurries begin to fall.
For this weeks ‘What’s The Story?’ Instead of sharing the story behind one photo, I thought I would share the last of the photos from our Morocco Adventure along with the lessons we learned while we were there, like lots of little ‘what’s the stories’ if you will.
Boys love to play with sand no matter how old they are, the only difference is that their toys become more expensive!
Humans are amazingly resilient, whether it’s living in the harshest environment or finding an unconventional mode of transport
Can you see the men riding on the hay? And how can the driver see anything?
An Oasis looks just like they do in the movies and camels wander around in the desert.
There is nothing like the scale of mother nature to make human lives seem small.
Sometimes traveling just a few feet can be a terrifying journey.
And sometimes, when the road ahead looks perilous, you just need to suck it up and go for it.
There is nothing like the desperation of kids to make you feel like the most privileged person on the whole world
And finally, having young kids doesn’t mean you can’t travel
This, for me, is probably the hardest Gallery theme to date. Almost all the 500 plus photos here on my blog are of the nature here in Canada. It is so different from what we had in our little corner of Essex that discovering new landscapes and new creatures has been one of the most enjoyable part of emigrating.
In a country of over 3 million lakes I think I can be forgiven for posting lots of pictures involving lakes usually surrounded by pines trees. Lakes at sunset, lakes in winter, lakes and beaches in the summer or lakes in the autumn… for me the views never get old! But, just in case, anyone reading this has had enough of my views I decided to rake through my collection to find something I’ve never posted before and then I was struck with inspiration.
I am lucky enough to live in a great area and when hubbie picked our house he chose one built on a slope with a river and tall trees at the end of the garden. My deck, which is off the kitchen, is actually one storey above the ground which means it is right in the middle of the trees and the local wildlife treat my garden and deck as a part of their habitat giving us some fantastic opportunities for spotting wildlife so here is a selection of the nature literally ‘in my backyard’
After leaving the Sahara Desert (written about here) we were on the last leg of our Morocco Safari.
A model of our car made by kids in Zagora
We had a stop in Zagora, where historically the camel trains would leave to travel to Timbuktu. Luckily it was a hotel stop, which gave us a very welcome time to wash the Sahara sand out of our undies! Kids hang around outside the hotel, which was a regular stop for off-roaders like us leaving the desert and they asked if we would buy a model of our car the following day before we left. This is what we bought and you can’t help but admire the ingenuity of the kids, willing to use any old rubbish and turn it into a money making scheme.
After a ride through the spectacular Todra Gorge and a close encounter with a sand devil we entered the cedar forest.
It was really weird after the dry, hot, dusty desert to see such huge green trees. We were climbing in altitude which meant falling temperatures especially at night.
Our stop on the shores of lake Tislit, the only body of water we had seen in 12 days, saw temperatures close to zero at night that had us all shivering in our tents.
Our roof tent
When we left there we were back into a hot, dry atmosphere that lead us back to Tangier and eventually the ferry back to Spain.
In next week’s final chapter I will share some more of the photo’s from our amazing journey.