Tuesday, Jan 3, 2016
The kids are back to school today and I am working from home so I can see them off. First, help Scott get ready and watch with him for his car pool to come pick him up. He has his blue and orange toque on and the blue winter jacket that we bought him from MEC. He has red and white Nikes that look bit like the original Jordans that he never unties, so he has to spend a minute or two each time, working his feet into them. I ask him if he should be wearing his boots to school, since it is -20C and there is snow on the ground. He says no, since it is going to be a "blue day" at school (they will stay inside during the breaks). I get down on my knees for a long good-bye hug. He is my good buddy and I am going to miss him. And then his car pool pulls up and he says goodbye. There is a hint of sadness in it, but he still gives me a big smile.
A little while later I take Katie to her bus stop. There is only one other kid that catches the bus at her stop, but they usually drive right to the school on blue days so it just Katie and I at the stop this morning. We park the car around the corner and then we wait in the bus shelter. She has her snowpants on and her puffy purple coat under her overloaded backpack, so she looks twice as wide but just as short. It's very cute. When I see the bus a long ways off I crouch down to get a good hug from her. I feel fortunate that I got to take her to the bus stop today. It seems like a good way to say goodbye.
I still had some packing to do that I put off in favour of movies and swimming, but then work got in the way again. We have bbeen working through the holidays on a big transaction and pretty much everybody on the team is on vacation so nobody can quite get away from work. Finally it is getting close to panic for me, but I get the final bits of work handed off and I finish off packing with a bit of time to spare. I am able to take 5 extra minutes and put all the camping stuff away. I had been looking for a pocketknife on Sunday so that we could use a corkscrew just for fun (leftover from NYE), and had ended up pulling out essentially every bit of camping gear in the search.
R takes me to the airport and now it is our turn to say goodbye. Everyone feels the stress of the changes we are going through, but R takes the brunt of it. She is wonderful. I ask her if I should stop crushing her beautiful curls with my hugs, since she just finished doing her hair. She laughs. She always laughs. So great.
The flight is uneventful. I have 3 duffle bags that bring as checked baggage, plus 2 carry-ons. This is what it is like when you move by airplane, I suppose. At the Toronto baggage claim a boy about Scott's age stares while I pull a folding luggage dolly out of one of the duffles and then stack them all on the dolly and wheel it away.
"What do you think?" I say to him. "Do you think it will work?" He exclaims, "That's cool!" I wheel the whole caravan off to the train and soon I am at my new apartment, a block away from the train station in downtown Toronto. It turns out that I got a free upgrade to a 2-bedroom place because the other one I was supposed to be in wasn't available. Shortly after I get the tour, my cycling buddy Gareth J shows up at the building with yet another piece of luggage. He brought a suitcase full of dress shirts and pants for me. It is a good thing that there is an extra bedroom because one small closet wasn't really going to be enough for all this stuff.
Gareth and I get subs together because it's nearly 10pm and hardly anything is open. He had been out cycling all evening (weather was 4C and raining) so he is also famished. While we eat we watch the Raptors get smoked by Memphis on TV at the apartment because Quiznos was closing.
He heads back to his hotel to call his family and I connect with the family back home to give them a video tour of the apartment. The kids are quite impressed with the cabinet-style fridge, freezer and dishwasher that hide away behind wood panels. They laugh at how small the oven is, since it looks to be the same size as the microwave.
I feel hungry for maybe one more snack, but there is no food in the place yet except for an extra orange juice I bought from Quiznos. I drink some of that and I am ready for bed.