I feel free. Free some stress, free from work, free from children saying “mama, mama, mama” 18 million times a day and free from packing and unpacking boxes. I am here in my house in St. John’s and my daughters are having a fun sleepover at their grandmother’s house. Thank you, Maggie! Glenn arrives home in a few hours and he has not been home for 2 years. It’s time for a rest. My house is still in the slings but I don’t give a rat’s ass. It will all get done. I feel free that the chapter of the past 7 years is closing and a new experience beginning. I also feel grateful that we even experienced that chapter because without it, there could not be the next one. I am so pumped for our future.
Over the past few days, the front door of my house has been opening and closing so frequently it feels like I live in an old-time saloon. It’s been wicked. Friends and family dropping in for a coffee while they are out running errands and kids running around like crazy people. And while there hasn’t been much “spare time”, I have stolen a few moments here and there to sit and relax and just be. Summer is here!
I also feel free because I went to Costco today. After being in China for three years, I almost wept with joy when I entered Costco today. It has everything…no hunting and gathering like it can sometimes feel in Shanghai. Especially when you have nothing in your pantry and no cleaning supplies. Oh I have missed Costco and I avoided it like the plague before I left for China. I had both of my girls with me and we had a cartload of stuff (I could have bought a ridiculous amount more but I had to remain focused on essentials!) and it was still a pleasurable shopping experience. Bonus – there were no dried pig faces and not one person banged into me with their cart and they still apoligized. I love Canadians. The Carrefour in Shanghai has given me perspective.
Here are some photos from a couple years ago of my oldest daughter. The progression of photos says it all. haha
That’s all for now. Wherever you are in the world, I hope you are having an incredible day/night.
Until next time!
Only joy, only love,
For the past few months, our family has been in a holding pattern. A holding pattern to find out the future of the company that my husband has worked for the past 7 years. It is a small Canadian environmental company that has been building its business in China. In hindsight, they entered the market too early as it is only now that the market is opening up. Unfortunately, those 7 years cost a lot of capital and there were a host of hard lessons learned. The company is now filing for bankruptcy and the company, as we know it, is coming to a close.
We have not been paid personally for many months. The company did pay us some money a few weeks ago but it was less than half of what we were owed and we had to pay our rent and the girl’s school tuition, which the company is contractually responsible for paying. We were left to pay for our flights home and they also cancelled our medical insurance without notifying us and left our family in a foreign country uninsured. Man….that was a scary couple of months. While the company says that it was an administrative error by the insurance company, it was still a negligent mistake that was not our fault….and no one notified us. After 2 months, we did get reinsured but the rub is that we now have preexisting conditions that are not covered. So it is still a stressful time but at least I don’t panic every time our daughters get on their bicycle or cross the damn street. Talk about heightened anxiety!
The girls and I flew back to Newfoundland on June 21. We have been surrounded by our family and friends and it is the much-needed break that we required. A breath of fresh air. Since we moved to Shanghai 3 years ago, our house has been rented to a family from Australia. They loved the house and Newfoundland and left it in perfect condition when they moved out on June 30. Dream Tenants! I spent my 13th wedding anniversary, July 1, unpacking boxes that had been stored in the basement. We don’t have a lot of stuff but what we have is so special. There were a few tears shed and a lot of excitement about my huge washing machine – it fits at least 8 china loads in 1 – and my amazing dishwasher. I have not had a dishwasher in 3 years. But my piano and our music room. The piano is so out of tune but I am still loving it and the space. I have been unpacking our life here for the past three days and it really feels like home. It is a beautiful space and I am savouring the memories we have already made and am so looking forward to the memories we will make here this summer. Glenn will be back in a few days and we will take this time to rest and heal and laugh with the people we love. All will truly be well.
We could not have gotten through this time without the support and understanding from the people in our lives. The girl’s school, our landlord in Shanghai, Lucky-our incredible ayi and our people all over the world. You know who you are. This year has been the most challenging one yet but we are surviving, growing, grateful and stoked for the future. I do not know exactly what the future holds but what I do know is that it’s going to be amazing and we are not done with China yet. But right now, I’m thankful to be home for a rest.
And some pictures of my beautiful home province, Newfoundland, Canada
Until next time!
Only joy, only love,