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the merry-go-round

We survived. The trip to Ottawa was important and it was difficult and we survived. I had the job of organizing everything and driving people hither and yon and somehow finding the right places for a frail 97-year old and two unbelievably energetic young boys. And Anna had the job of keeping them fed and amused under very difficult circumstances at my brother’s house in the Gatineau, which it turned out was not set up for children at all, including no beds and no food. And she couldn’t even take them outside into his big yard as the mosquitoes were deadly.

Yesterday, she was stuck out there going crazy and I had a tranquil day with my aunt, getting groceries, making dinner, lots of chat about my mother, her younger sister, whom she first met at minutes old and was with all through the last years until Mum died 89 years later. Today, we had brunch with Do and then had hours before our flight back. Where to go so the boys could burn off steam but that would also be all right for Do? The perfect place – the Carlingwood Mall. Oh how I love that place, a humble strip mall where you can park near the door and walk out of sun and rain. We spent an hour running through the halls after the boys while Do sat on a comfortable sofa chatting with me or Anna. And we even found a way to buy Anna some time to buy new shoes – keeping the boys busy on a merry-go-round. Hooray for the Carlingwood Mall. 

There was also a problem with the rental car, which someone pulling carelessly out of a driveway scraped and dented, the first time that has ever happened to me. I’ve never had to deal with insurance, am not looking forward to it. 
So, all in all – it is wonderful to see my beloved aunt, it is exhausting to travel with small boys, like being in a hurricane, and family is … difficult, very very difficult. Thank God, because it gives us lots to write about.

On the plane back, a small girl was walking down the aisle with her dad. “Excuse me, but are you Iris?” I asked her and she nodded. Iris is my fellow blogger Kerry Clare’s daughter; I know her from pictures on the blog, as Kerry knows my grandchildren the same way. Great to see Kerry, a woman who loves and honours books, and her family. BLOGGERS FOREVER.



2 Responses to “the merry-go-round”

  1. Kerry says:

    I love that Iris gets recognized on airplanes. How cool! And it was so nice to see you, and YOUR gorgeous family in real life. Hope you had a relaxing return home. xo

  2. beth says:

    Anything is more relaxing than travelling with two small boys with phenomenal energy, Kerry. But when I got home, I discovered that my son had been over cooking, and somehow had splattered red wine on my nice white ceiling. The ceiling. So there was a bit of annoyance about that.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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