(no one wears hats anymore, anyway)

Before we’d been in India two weeks, we had our first celebration: Jordan’s 14th birthday. –> melt down about one of my children being as old as fourteen deleted <– I’d secretly packed some gifts in my luggage before we left Canada, and I picked up another once we were here. I even found wrapping paper, streamers and balloons. Quite a feat when dealing with jet-lag and a foreign country ;)

The morning of Jordan’s birthday, the Wee One and I snuck around, wrapping gifts and putting up decorations, before summoning Jordan for the first round of paper-tearing. He got lots of help with that and was very pleased with his gifts. Jordan gets his love of electronic gadgetry from me, so choosing gifts for him is pretty easy :) Later, we made the trek to a local ice cream parlour for Birthday Ice Cream and on the weekend, we went downtown for pizza – and monsoon rainfall. The only thing missing from this celebration is cake, and since I can’t bake one in a hotel, we’ll do that when we’ve moved into a house. There is nothing wrong with drawing out a birthday celebration over days or even weeks. In fact, I recommend it :)

Happy Birthday, Jordan! :)

The beginning…

Bangalore, India

We’ve been here for a week and half now. It doesn’t seem nearly that long.

I think that getting out of Canada was harder than any adjustment we will have to make here in India. We sold our house and put almost everything in storage. We carried eight suitcases with us on the trip and shipped a very few other things as well, but not much.

Bangalore, India

We have arrived at the beginning of Monsoon Season, so there has been rain most days, but also lots of sun. We’re living in a hotel until our house is ready. We’ll be here another two weeks or so.
It’s beautiful here, and we’re very happy :)

Bangalore, India

touch the sky

“Why is Mama on da swings?! Mama! Get off dere! Swings are for KIDS!”

When I was an ‘appropriate’ age for the swings, I always imagined that my life would be spent largely in other places. I wanted to have coffee in Paris. Walk alone in the rain in the green fields of Ireland. Work in Africa. Nap in the afternoon in Greece. Buy groceries in Frankfurt. I wanted to go places, not on vacation, but to live and work. But time passed and my life has not much resembled the life I intended to have.

Time is a funny thing.

Occasionally, Time means everything, other times, it means nothing at all. It ever moves forward – be it steadily, lurching or crawling - but sometimes, there are moments when you leap backward through Time and are transported to another time in your life, as if jumping from one lily pad to another in a pond. When I lean back on a swing, pumping my legs so that I swing higher and higher trying to touch the blue sky with my toes, I easily leap from lily pad to lily pad.  And while the blog has stood frozen in time for twenty months, my bountiful life has carried on.

In my time away, we have all continued to learn and grow, my children have grown and become more wonderful and inspiring with every day and I have been sick again, had surgery again and have been doing my best impersonation of a Phoenix, again. Though much of my recent journey was very difficult and I was often frightened, in pain and frustrated, I was emotionally well-sustained by the lessons I’d learnt from the creation of My Bountiful Life.

I began this blog years ago when I was so sick that I confided to my doctor that I was afraid I was dying and she told me that she couldn’t tell me that I wasn’t. My health was not improving, but something had to change. I began first by working to increase my own awareness of all the Good Things in my life – the big and the small. I looked for, and found, joy in the most mundane things. And then I began to record them here. This time, I knew that I was not dying, but the months of misery took their toll. I remembered though, that I had already discovered that it is the smallest things that hold the greatest joy, and the practice I’d already had of seeing and grabbing onto that has carried me through.

I left the blog because it was a time of severely pared-down priorities, but I never intended to leave it forever. It gives me too much. A few months ago, I began the process of switching to a new (wind powered!) server, and finding someone to clean up the software issues, kill the spam and deal with the fact that my site had been hacked. So, while nothing has changed here in almost two years, everything has changed. It’s all shiny and new.

It is time. Time to shake off the ashes. Time to pick up the scattered pages and write the next chapter.

Today, we bought four one-way tickets to India.

We are just home from a glorious week away Up North at a cottage on a lovely lake. It was really a wonderful time.

As I plow through the mountains of sand-filled laundry and other stuff to put away, it feels like this marks the end of Summer. Here in Canada, the traditional end to Summer is Labour Day, as school starts right after and the days are noticeably shorter. That is only two weeks away and I have the sense of winding down and starting to bring things back to order. I have a lot of email to catch up on, maintenance on the Homeschooling Blogs Webring, gardening, canning, and it is time to get back to more regular writing for this blog and for Suburban Green Is People. This promises to be a really busy and interesting ‘school year’ chez Bountiful. I have more to say about that, and about knitting and about our vacation, but the laundry really must come first. This life of glamour that I lead is, sadly, also a life of toil *dramatic sigh*

BUT! I am sneaking away from the laundry room for a few minutes so I can show you this. This is Boudicea, she is a 10 week old standard poodle and we brought her home on Saturday. We love her more than anything :)

Early this afternoon, just as I was putting The Baby down to sleep, it began to rain. The thunder rolled continuously in the distance and as I came back downstairs, it began to rain harder. I stood for a minute, looking out the kitchen window at my gardens. I had planned to work in the gardens while he slept. I am definitely not made of sugar and I have been known to garden in the rain – even the pouring rain – but generally, it is considered a reasonable choice to not garden in the pouring rain. And that is the choice I made. So what should I do with my time?

I’ve got some new (to me) dining room furniture and so I could easily fill up nap time by cleaning glass and moving dishes and crystal. I’m behind on the laundry (as usual), so spending a couple hours catching up there would be time well spent. There are always dishes. Or dusting. Or the pile of crap in front of the freezer in the basement that I need to deal with. I could even get a head start on dinner.

But no. I did none of that. Instead, I made cup of peppermint tea and buttered – with the whey butter I recently discovered at the local Farmers’ Market and highly recommend – a thick slice of cinnamon roll bread, took some simple knitting and sat out on the porch.

I was well out of the rain, but sat in the cool and damp swirling air, had a clear view of the lightening, and could hear the rain falling and dripping in the garden and running in the downspout.

Max, the cat who came back, kept me company from the window.

I rocked and knitted and sipped my tea for most of an hour. It was lovely. I could have been more productive, sure, but I don’t think the time could have been better spent.

I can’t believe that July is almost over. How can we have been so busy and there still be so much more we wanted to do? We’ve done some of this:

And this:

And lots of this:

So… eight days left in this month and then all of August. We’ll be sure to make the best use – not necessarily just the most productive use – of our time, our Summertime. Right now, since the rain has stopped and the sun is shining again, I’m going to slip on my shoes and go out to do my daily inspection of the vegetable gardens and to top up the bird feeders. I know that sounds productive, but it is all play, trust me ;)

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