Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Simple Life

I love the simple life.  There aren't many complications here - at least not in my household (I'm not sure what goes on in other households - I have yet to be invited into a local's home).  My friend Jen from Ottawa (we've known each other for what now? almost 20 years?!?!?!? Wow that makes me feel old.) came to visit me in Selkirk about 2 years ago and I remember her commenting on how she thought my life was so simple.  How she nearly envied that aspect of it (not necessarily the part about having 3 small rowdy boys though :o).  Part of it is being a stay-at-home mom, part of it is living in a small town, part of it is a conscious decision not to get over-involved or over-commited.  Part of it is enjoying the simple things in life like getting good meals ready from scratch, reading books to my boys, playing outside in the snow (or once upon a time playing in the garden!).  I remember so many people commenting on how much time I was going to have when I moved here.  I couldn't wait to have ALL this time especially after running around so much in the fall.  I have long standing projects and goals that I want to conquer:  organizing my pictures in albums, learning to sew, being better at keeping in touch with friends and family, teaching my boys French (the never-ending challenge!), getting in better shape (never ending challenge II) etc.  Well let me tell you that having a simplified life does not mean boredom!  Not here anyway.  In some ways I have much less to do.  There are no stores to shop at, the errands are few, not many activities to take the boys to, nowhere to go on weekends really.  We really get to spend lots of time as a family.  We get to be lazy on Saturday mornings.  I've realized however that the things that I DO have to do are more time consuming.  My mornings are spent getting 3 young boys and myself dressed to conquer -40 and colder weather and let me tell you that is no easy feat!  Then we walk Benjamin to school, walk back and take all our stuff off only to have to start all over again a couple of hours later.  Now let's talk about dishes.  I used to love doing dishes.  I find it relaxing.  Now I nearly hate it.  Now, I stare blankly at a boring wall for hours daily washing my dishes.  No dishwasher.  How I miss my dishwasher.  You see I'm the kind of person who put everything, except for my china (or the "not dishwasher safe" items) of course, in the dishwasher.  Now I'M dishwasher extraordinare.  Brian usually helps with the after supper dishes but his fingers were bitten by a drunk man on the weekend - badly enough that it's bandaged and he can't work all week (or do dishes or fold laundry...  as you can imagine it's killing him not being able to do these things!).  I find that once all the dishes are done and the kitchen is cleaned up, there's not a whole lot of time for much else.  Also there is no takeout.  If I don't feel like cooking well, I have to cook - something!  While Brian and I were not big on takeout we used to get those little pre-cooked rotisserie chickens or frozen pizzas once in a while.  How I miss M&Ms and President's Choice frozen meals.  They were usually partially healthy.  Here, the frozen food selection is limited and it's extra pricey.  Not to mention complete junk. My only saving grace are leftovers.  I have to ban Brian from eating them at lunch so we can have them for supper.  I shouldn't complain that my husband loves my cooking (most of the time!) and enjoys it as much the next day...  As long as he stays away from the leftovers until supper!  And if I have guests coming, I can't stop at the bakery in a pinch to buy my favourite imperial cookies (how I miss the delicious goodness of those melt-in-your-mouth-raspberry filled darlings!).  Or stop at the store to buy flowers to say thank you for dinner when we go somewhere.  It's all me baking from scratch.  Don't get me wrong I LOVE cooking and baking, but it takes time.  Even my attempts at keeping in touch are quite time consuming.  Blogging, emailing, telephone calls, reading Facebook updates...  Lets face it, I have friends and family in many parts of Canada (and abroad!) from my many walks of life and I still try to keep in touch with many of you.  I could go on about having to patch the 10 or more pair of pants that Benjamin has put holes in the knees, the socks that need mending (we don't have carpet here and my boys throw themselves onto the floor racing their cars and trucks... I guess it doesn't hurt that much!), doing laundry in tiny washer and dryers (double the loads), online shopping (I really don't like it yet) and all the general stuff.  Life isn't very stressful here but I'm far from bored.  And if I'm going to achieve any of my goals, I'm going to have to TAKE the time just like I'd have to back home.

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