Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never thought upon?
The flames of love extinguished, and fully past and gone.
Original lyrics to Auld Lang Syne, and I like them better than the lines more commonly belted out over champagne and kisses. They beg the question, though; “Should we forget the past, and just move forward?”
2012 was quite a year for us, both mentally and financially. We waited – and waited and waited and waited – for our new house to be built, knowing full well that it wasn’t going to be our dream home, but a 2-3 year detour on our way to where we’d like to be. Now that we’re in the house, our plans haven’t really changed, but we’re making the best of it. Given how much our builder was recommended, their reputation, and what we’d seen of their work before purchasing and moving in… we were not pleased by the end result. Every bit of trim has had to be replaced or repaired, almost all of the windows are on order and going to be replaced due to being scratched by the cleaners – yes, seriously – and don’t even get me started on the shoddy painting, marked and gouged hardwood floors, hardwood staircases and railings.
Oh, and very soon after moving in, it started raining. In my office closet. Twice.
The roofers had rushed through the job because they were so far behind schedule, and, well, there you go. This was fixed, and a man was on our roof, when hurricane Sandy finally hit Toronto. In his haste to get off my roof in a safe way and not be blown off, he damaged the eaves trough, which still isn’t fixed. Fortunately he actually did fix the problem though, because we weathered the super storm without issue.
The mud. Oh. My. God. The mud, the dust… it’s never ending. We ended up buying Sadie boots that we could send her outside in, because washing the floor every time she had to go outside was getting to be ridiculous. She’s a girl dog, so naturally she rocked the pink booties, and we bought them in 3 other colours after that. For some reason I don’t have a picture of her IN them, but she loves them so much she likes to carry them around and asks to have them put on now so she can go outside.
She didn’t even do the whole “what the heck’s on my feet?!” dance the first time… which was kind of disappointing, as we were hoping to see her freak out a little bit, mean people that we are.
The new house has meant some changes for our Sadie, but she’s coping really well now. At first, because she can’t manage the slippery hardwood on the stairs, she mourned, loudly and for hours every night, that she was separated from her kids. The Teen has taken up residence in fine style in the finished basement, and of course Wee One has the lovely bedroom upstairs. Since Sadie spent her nights in or just outside of both girls’ rooms, she was devastated to be separated from them. After the first couple of nights the Hubby started lugging her upstairs at night to sleep in Wee One’s room, but she quickly tired of being carried, and decided she was OK guarding the whole house on the main floor. Problem solved.
Boo, on the other hand, is having a rough time suddenly being an indoor kitty. She used to spend hours exploring, chasing, laying in the sun, and otherwise enjoying a very active, healthy lifestyle outside during the day, and now she has to watch the outdoors from the window. She’s become very needy, and spends a lot of time cuddling us. She has gained a couple pounds – and given that she was only 8lbs to begin with, that’s a lot – and has started vocalizing a lot more. I keep her nails trimmed, but I’ve caught her picking the carpet a couple times. Hoping that doesn’t get out of hand! I don’t believe in declawing a cat – cutting off a cat’s toes is such a barbaric act – so I’m watching her, and may buy her a cat tree or condo that she can terrorize if it comes to that. So far so good, though, except that she really misses being outside. Hopefully once we have the backyard fenced in the spring she’ll be able to get outside and stretch her legs. It’s not her that I don’t trust, it’s the goofballs zooming past our house that would probably squish her flat. This picture shows her in her usual spot on Wee One’s pillow. By the end of the night Boo will have managed to push Wee One’s head entirely off, and have it all to herself. Please ignore the mismatched bedding – there was a mishap with her other pillow and pillow case that I didn’t want to deal with that night.
The kids are loving being in town. The Teen, of course, loves being able to take my car, now that she has finally gotten around to getting her license! Wee One loves having other kids in the neighbourhood, and the young boy next door adores her, although he’s terrified of dogs and runs when Sadie comes to say hi. We’ll break him of that. I hate that people teach their children to be afraid of dogs. I get that in some countries dogs are not loving house pets, but here in Canada, you’re doing your child a disservice to perpetuate that fear.
Even though we’re largely finished decorating (haven’t painted yet though because of all the warranty work yet to be done) I’m not loving the house, but it is nice to be in town. We’re closer to everything, and I’m actually enjoying being part of a community. Because we met a lot of our neighbours during the buying and building process, we have already formed friendships, and that has made the move a lot easier on us. So far – touch wood – we don’t have any bad apples on our street. We had a few in for drinks just before Christmas, and it was a lovely evening. We’ve had a neighbour come to borrow our ladder, and someone dropped off a plate of home made treats, too! I’ve never experienced that before, and it has done me a lot of good to experience how having neighbours can be!
What do I miss? I miss looking out my office window and seeing rolling hills and mature trees. I miss the seclusion and privacy of having a huge property. I miss the huge driveway (hubby doesn’t – this one takes a lot less shoveling, and he doesn’t need a tractor or snow blower here). In the spring, I anticipate that I’ll miss the quiet, too. Having this many neighbours is going to mean a lot of noise. I just hope we don’t have any really inconsiderate ones who blare music or have crazy parties until all hours of the night. Noise is my biggest issue, and always has been.
Hubby is enjoying the place, and doing his part in making things better for me, which I love him all the more for. He gutted my walk in closet last week and did it over, making it exactly as I wanted. Now I just need HIS clothes out of it! His walk in will take a little more work, and he hasn’t had the time for that yet. That’s ok, I can live with it a while longer. If I must.
On a personal level, I’m enjoying my new group, Nero’s Fiddle. We had our first performance together on January 4th at a less than elegant bar known more for it’s showcase of great talent and definitely not for it’s decor. It was ok in that I had been very sick (to the point where I was in the hospital after my company left New Year’s Eve) and barely had a voice, and that was not a high brow crowd. We were very well received, and it turned out to be a great night. We played prior to and then along with a band called Eclectic Revival, and let me tell you, they were phenomenal. Think Bare Naked Ladies in their funny and entertaining stage presence, and every bit as good musically. I loved every second they were on stage, and the guys are a hoot off stage too. The evening ended with a group called the Mud Men, and while they had top billing and were quite good, I thought Eclectic Revival was the superior band in every way. Our new band of voices for NF got very good feedback from others who knew our band, calling our blend the best incarnation yet, which was lovely to hear! Ha, pun not intended. Our next venue is a country club for St. Patrick’s Day, which should be a great show. Looking forward to it!
Past the music, things in my life are mostly quiet. We have a wonderful bunch of friends and have been entertaining quite a bit the last few months. Despite the gain and loss of one couple earlier in the year, it has been a pretty good time all around. Unless I actually physically see one of them in passing, I’d never know they lived so close by, and except for thinking about this post I honestly haven’t thought twice about them since we called it quits, which, again, speaks volumes. Life is way more peaceful without unnecessary strife.
Anyway, I have been very lengthy in my post – making up for not posting much all these months – and the original question I posed was; “Should we forget the past, and just move forward?”
My answer to that is; no, we need our past to remind us why we need to move forward. What we went through this past year… with the house, with friends, with family… it’s all part of the process of living. The bad only makes us realize the good when we encounter it. Forgetting the lessons learned would only make us repeat the mistakes we made.
Here’s hoping that, even though every Friday this year will, in a sense, be Friday the 13th, (let THAT blow your mind, friends) we all find better luck, better opportunities, and better times in this brand new year. I’m happy the Mayans were wrong!