Holding Pattern

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,



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I am a Canadian from Newfoundland and Labrador who has done a lot of moving around and has some pretty amazing experiences. I currently live in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada with the love of my life and partner in crime and our two beautiful and incredibly special daughters. (Totally biased but I'm cool with that). I started this blog because I wanted a space to share the people, places and things that bring me joy and give me a good laugh. Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy! Only joy, only love. Michelle xo

10 thoughts on “Holding Pattern”

    1. Is this Fabulise? It keeps coming up “someone”. haha. We will know more in a couple months but wherever we are in the world, we will still be friends. Maybe we need to plan an international blogging tour???? Let’s start planning. Love and miss you too. xo


  1. Are you back on Berteau or is that your new view of the ocean? Welcome home! Our visit is a little later this year. We’re around Aug. 19 for 2 weeks if you are still there, we would love to say HI!


  2. Hi Michelle,

    Bad news beautifully written with all the warmth, strength and openness that make you, you.

    Best wishes and live from us,

    See u very soon


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