Hard to believe it's been 7 months since I last posted but when you read on I think you'll understand my absence. To start with, Happy New Year! I think most of us will agree that seeing the backside of 2016 gives us a renewed sense of hope. How did the year end up spiraling away from any sense of normality? I'm not here to rehash what we've all seen in the news etc. I want to give you a glimpse into how the remaining months of the year unfolded for my family and friends.
In May my brother-in-law Greg lost his battle with cancer. And that's when the writing stopped. We knew the end was coming for years, the reality of that end came too fast. I've pondered over what to say and finally have enough distance to put some words together. Greg was a lovely person, plain and simple. He never met a stranger and always had time to help out his friends and neighbours. He and Dayle were meant to be together. Why else would Windsor call to her as the place to go to school? I think the best way to describe Greg is 'uncomplicated'. He took life as it was handed to him, made the best of every situation and loved openly. His relationship with my sister, while not in any way perfect, was perfect for them. Best friends. How many of us endeavour to find that person who is our mate and our friend? I know now that Dayle's idyllic early marriage was helping her store up the great memories she now has that got her through the years of Greg's illness and now her new journey on her own. I'm not worried about you big sis 'cause we all come from the same stock. Although Joy and I chose to leave our marriages we understand the loss of that secure relationship. Call me, text me, come to my house. It may not be obvious but I'm here for you.
July brought the next change in our lives when I was moved from my store in Kitchener to co-manage the store in Hamilton. I had been covering a mat-leave, although that was not my contract, and when the manager came back the company tried to find a place for me rather than lose me. After my roller coaster ride with jobs lately I really appreciate them doing that. The position didn't exist and the other manager and I tried to figure out who we both were now, in the store. We're friends so that helped but the position wasn't meshing. The Kitchener manager was once again pregnant and I repeatedly offered to go back. Anyway five months later I was given a week's notice that I would be returning to the Kitchener store. I'm happy to be back but I landed in Hamilton just before one of our busiest months during back-to-school and returned to Kitchener just before our Christmas rush. Needless to say July to December was stressful. Silver lining was that I requested the chance to gain a contract for baking for the team as a corporate gift. My samples won the day and I had a contract for 21 assorted treat boxes. I heard from various stores that the cookies were well received.
August brought another big shift in the family with the end of Jess and Alex's marriage. Looking like it came out of the blue we were shocked to hear that they were separating and two days later Alex had moved back to Brampton. Jess put on a brave face and carried on. We're now gearing up for another change as Jess is moving home to regroup and figure out her next steps. Being half Ferrier makes her tough but there is healing to do. She and I miss each other with our opposite work shedules. I'm sure we'll make each other crazy but we've tried to air things before the move.
Over to Jenn and Theo, Jenn continues to be kind of a big deal. Her reputation in the illustration world keeps growing and I couldn't be prouder. What they need now is for the government and banking institutions to stop throwing surprises at them. Despite of, and probably because of, their tough year financially their relationship seems to grow stronger. I lament that I can't just make the issues go away but they persevere. We've two new additions to our family this year in the form of fur babies. Jenn and Theo have a german shepherd named Bear and Jess and mix breed called Mikey. We also lost one of our fur babies when Fox was suddenly taken ill a few weeks ago. In all I have 11 fur grand-babies. Pretty sure not many people can make that claim, lol!
Jeff had some changes at work in the past few months. He works for a small family-run IT firm. The owners decided to sell to one of their nephews and this caused somewhat of an upheaval with one of the senior staff deciding to leave. This has forced Jeff and his colleague to take on more responsibility and guess what, he's not only handling it he's succeeding. He's still reserving judgement on the changes but I can see that the company values his contribution and doesn't want him to start looking elsewhere.
As for Greg, he's still working on finishing his GED. Not going fast enough for my liking but he's getting through it and I need to relax a bit. He got his first real job this summer and this has helped with his self confidence. It's not a fancy job but he's happy doing it. Coming up in a few weeks Greg will be going under the knife again. He has opted for jaw surgery that will move his upper jaw forward into a more natural position and help align his bite better. His jaw will be supported with permanent titanium plates ( that just sounds cool) and the braces will stay on for another 6 months at least to finally set his bite. One more surgery is still planned for 2017 to even out his nose. I'm not sure we'll recognise him when it's all done!
As I said May to December has been a bit of a roller coaster. Goodbye 2016 and don't let the door hit you on the way out! Time to settle into our new norm. Dayle has just retired and will be eating bonbons and watching the telly all day. Our house will be fuller but I think it's where people need to be for now. The back bedroom is available, Jenn and Theo, should the need arise. I've resolved to be happier just being me. I'm happiest with my kids around me. If that's where they want to be then I make no apologies. That being said I want to look outside the house as well and find a group that could use my skills. I'd still love to teach high school and college kids how to cook for themselves and a few other life skills such as sewing etc. Anyone know a place that could use me?
Love to all of you. If you want some tasty goodies, let me know. Muskoka Brownie Baking Company is open for business.