So my grandpa died last Saturday. And since his funeral is on Friday, and Maikal and Jess didnt have school on Friday, they told their teachers that we had family stuff on Wednesday. They figured that they should get a day off school for Grandpa Lowry. Kinda hilarious... and technically they werent lying. Family stuff = Family Day Snowboarding.
I wont lie. I was nervous to go with them. I think I've only ever been snowboarding if Matt and Josh were with me. I like snowboarding and I'm not horribly wretched, but at the same time, if I dont go I dont really miss it. And without either brother here, I felt like the only reason why I've ever gone is because I want to spend time with them and usually because I paid when we'd go and they needed me there. So a snowboarding day without Matt and Josh - I couldnt even wrap my mind around it. Sure Maikal and Jess are family. But it just didnt feel the same. We'd tried going snowboarding a few weeks ago, but they made the fatal mistake of leaving me in charge of the alarm clock. My nervousness combined with the morning meant that it got vetoed. They chose to be smarter this time and not let me be in charge of getting everyone up. I had the worst sleep of my life Tuesday night. All night I tossed and turned. So when I heard the boys start to stir, I felt dreadful. The boys wanted me to be excited... and really I wanted to be excited too. So I sucked it up and got in the car.
Jesse began to read "Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief"... I love when people read aloud to me (despite that my Dad and David Alan think reading parties are weird). And I was glad for the book choice.
Maikal already read the book and gave it his stamp of approval (which is legit people cause Maikal picks out some great books).
And I tried to be less nervous about the upcoming day.
We got to the hill and Maikal put on his snowboard bindings. Unfortunately for him - he found out on our first run that he put them on backwards, which required him to ride switch. But Maikal's really good so he didnt have any trouble doing that. Being actually on the mountain, with my snowboard, I remembered how much fun snowboarding can be. I dont know why I insist on forgetting and getting nervous. I love the feeling of carving from your toe to your heel with the wind whipping past your face.
Everyone that came on our Family Day trip?
Jesse, Melina and Makea, Maikal and Nathaniel.
So Maikal and Jesse are hilarious. Why you ask? So I'm riding on the lift with Jesse. And he tells me that Maikal just bought his snowboard last year and has only used it twice. Maikal was ahead of us on the chair lift, and so when Jesse called forward to tell Maikal that, Maikal disagreed but Jesse assured me that sometimes Maikal has a terrible memory but is too stubborn, so he always thinks he's right.
Fast forward to the next chair lift up. Maikal and I are riding together and he begins to defend himself to me. The first words out of his mouth? Sometimes Jesse has a terrible memory but is too stubborn, so he always thinks he's right. Then he began to come up with cold hard facts why Jesse was wrong about him only having used his snowboard twice. The scratches on the bottom, compounded with having been snowboarding with Corey Hyde and other various people, lead Maikal to the conclusion that Jesse was mistaken. I loved how worked up he got though. It wasnt like he actually was mad about it - Just a Lowry rant tho. I think the line "Hey smart guy who thinks he's smart - You left the plastic wrap on the ham" was dropped in regards to Jesse.
So after our first run we ran into Landon Hatch - who was there with two of his friends (Angela Bridge and Lindsay Stringham) also playing hookie. We spent the rest of the day with them and it was a great time. The thing I really liked is we were all about the same level (except Maikal really), so when we'd go we werent really having to wait at all or worry about going too slow. We just rode and had fun. No pressure at all to be good.
Maikal and Jesse
Melina and Jess
Nathaniel, Maikal and Landon
We also had some fun with jumps.
We all had our moments.
I managed to land a couple of super girly jumps.
Maikal showed off his mad skills. Nathaniel got some massive air.
Landon wiped out big a couple times, but also had some really great moments.
The boys tried things they'd never done before. And I tried to capture them before my camera died or my fingers stopped working (believe me... there is an awesome shot where I completely missed a huge jump Jesse did and just caught the snow and his head at the edge of the picture).
Favorite picture of the day tho?
And yes... That is a superman cape Jesse is wearing.
I love chatting. And I love even more chatting with the family.
We talk about everything. We arent afraid to call each other out on ridiculousness.
(Turns out everyone is horrified that I on occasion take rides from strangers)
It is so comfortable. It is wonderful.
The Lowry side comes with loud voices, used to make our points.
And sometimes you cant even hear what is being said because everyone yelling all at once trying to make their point. But that is family.
Four - Baking.
Especially when other people are doing it.
Brandon and Marsh made puffed wheat squares and milkshakes.
Five - Live Music
I love talented people. I love when people sit at the piano and play and sing.
I wish daily that I had more talent like that (but know that really it would just take time to practice). But listening to other people. I could sit by someone's side for hours and just listen to them sing and play. I loved that Jesse and Brandon sat and played on the piano for a long time. I loved that Brandon knows Wakey Wakey - Brooklyn as well as a few other gems. Good music is not overrated. Musical talents are not overrated.
This is my last week in Alberta. And well, that fact is slightly heartbreaking. But I do have things that need to get done. As such I'm going to write a to do list.
- Do laundry (lots and lots)
- Figure out what to mail back to Boston (books, clothes, etc.)
- Get a new curling iron (mine is ghetto)
- Pack my suitcase
- Pack up my room
- Return the stash of Bonnie clothes I have
- Finish my movie, book and tv list
- Write my last two APEX papers
- Play with friends and family as much as possible...
And I like things warm, but even for me it is too much.
My mother calls out that I can eat breakfast.
I throw the covers off my legs and roll to a sitting position.
"What time is it?" I croak.
I dress in sweat pant shorts, socks and a t-shirt.
Sometime today I know I should work out, so I dont worry about my appearance.
She informs me we need to head to the dental office.
I throw on my sandals and Iohane's hoodie that I've taken over, while grabbing the handful of candy I have left over from the car ride up.
My mother comments that mine is the breakfast of pixies or fairies. Something ridiculous.
I grunt a little but do not return a comment.
It is much colder out than it looks.
And I wish that I wasnt wearing shorts. The cold air bites at my exposed legs. But I'm too lazy to even complain.
I hop in the drivers seat. The truck is warm.
Though I wish I could figure out how to use the remote car starter.
Cold Lake is so spread out.
It has little out croppings of residences spread between large expanses of highway.
Sometimes all you can see is highway and trees. Not much for civilization.
We pass a seemingly dead end turn that I've never noticed before.
The woman informs me the new house is down that corner.
I think to myself that I dont know why she bothered to tell me, I wont remember where it is.
We drive further into Cold Lake.
I inquire if their small mall has a bookstore.
"There's one downtown. Tho I dont know if it has new books or just old books. Probably both."
I cringe. Call me a snob but I like buying nice books. I like the feel of them in my hand.
What kind of place doesnt have a chapters, or some equal equivalent?
We stop at the dental office.
My father is busy seeing patients.
My mother is putting stamps on envelopes.
I wait awkwardly by the front, trying to stay out of the way of assistants running to and fro.
My mother asks me if I've met the employees.
"I have but not like it matters. I wont remember their names anyways."
My mother concedes that it takes time to learn names.
We head out to the post office and bank.
I inquire after the bookstore.
I am determined to have something to read to occupy my time.
I stop in front of the post office and let my mother out. I am pulled up to the corner.
A car waits behind me, expecting me to continue driving straight or turn right.
I do neither.
Eventually they'll figure out that I'm not moving.
The truck is so big though. Its awkward to pull it to the side of the road.
So I stick out on the street a half a foot.
I look around me.
This is downtown Cold Lake. It is bompin.
My mother returns. And we turn up another street.
"At the end of this street is the bank. The bookstore is just on the left."
It looks ghetto. But then so does the street.
I enter the store. I will not leave without finding a book to read.
It smells like old furniture. Like old people. Like old.
I wander around. The books are sparse and some worn looking.
But I weave through the isles.
Not a huge selection but it will do.
My mother comes in with a tinkle of the overhead bell.
I look up lazily and go back to perusing.
I bought Natalie the Mortal Instruments Series for Christmas. They have that.
But is three books excessive?
My mother suggests Inkheart. I probably would enjoy it.
On the front wall there is a copy of the Time Travellers Wife.
I decide that is the book.
Bonnie didnt give it a stellar review but I'm willing to make my own opinions.
I pay and we leave.
My mother crosses in the middle of the street. I walk along the cars parked and wait for the stream of cars to go by so I can J-walk.
"I actually crossed on a crosswalk." My mother informs me. "It doesnt look like one but it is. I always cross there so I can avoid the liquor store at the end."
We drive back to the office.
I park across two staff parking places and let my mother run in to drop off the mail.
I open my book.
But I begin to read. Just a few pages, but I can already tell this will be interesting.
My mother returns.
We need to go to the new house.
We're waiting for the Satellite people to come set up the dish or something like that.
We drive back along the highway. Past the little mall. Past what looks to me like a high school but is most likely a fitness center. Or police station. Or both.
We pass the turn off to Cold Lake National Park.
We turn onto the unobtrusive corner. It doesnt even look like it leads to anywhere.
Just trees, flat ground and the road can be seen in the distance.
But eventually a bunch of houses appear.
The new house.
It was strange for me to think of my parents having an apartment somewhere other than our home.
A house is really just as strange. A permanent strange.
As long as they dont sell our house, they can live their separate lives.
I wander through the house.
It has weird closets. With plastic shelves instead of someplace to hang things.
Strike One Cold Lake House.
But it appears to be nice enough.
I immediately wish that I had brought a blanket or pillow.
The house is quite empty.
I lay on the carpet by the windows and read.
I try to eat minestrone soup my mother packed for lunch on the carpet.
My mother scolds me and tells me to eat it in the kitchen, in case I spill.
I begrudgingly move to a stool in the kitchen.
I am a child, when I ask my mother if there are any snacks.
I'm not really hungry so much as bored.
She was going to go get some stuff to put in the house.
I offer to go so I dont have the responsibility of waiting for the Satellite guy.
And so I dont have to sit on the floor of the house anymore.
She tells me to ask my father how to turn the water on too.
And take him her phone, since she has his.
I am in no rush.
My head aches.
My stomach complains.
I run the obligatory errands.
To the apartment, to the office, to the house.
And return back to the apartment again.
It is hot in here.
Even though I turned the heat down.
Opening the door it rushes out at me.
At least the locks were easier to open this time.
A nap calls my name.
But I have the only car with me.
Both my parents are stranded without me.
And I have no means by which they could contact me.
Eventually I need to return back to the House with soap, paper towel and maybe snacks.
But for now I lay on the air mattress my father uses as a couch, in front of the black tv.
Hello from the Great White North called Cold Lake.
My parents and I left Lethbridge this afternoon to drive up. I brought one book, no computer (I'm on my mothers) and no phones. I figured that the book would keep me entertained till we came home on Thursday. I was wrong. The book has now been completely read. Finished mostly on the seven hour drive. It was a foggy drive. The fog in Alberta is a new thing. And is strange. So I'll be looking for a book store tomorrow. Shame I didnt bring the two books I have to read at home. Tomorrow my parents take possession of their new home. I already miss SoAB. And Bonnie. But its good practice? At least thats what I tell myself.
First off, I love the look of the fifties slash early sixties.
I love their hair, makeup, the whole shebang.
But more so it made me think.
She gave up everything she'd worked her whole life for. Gave it up for a dream she didnt even know she wanted until it presented itself. But this dream was more of an illusion. And vanished just as suddenly as it had appeared.
Basically, if it seems too good to be true, it is.
For me, hope is a fickle friend. You want it around, but sometimes it leads to some major disappointment. And so keeping it in balance is a challenge. I feel like I am so grounded in reality that hoping for something that more than often doesnt work out is such a slap in the face. It feels like betrayal every time. But without hope, life isnt quite right either. Awhile ago I had a good chat with my brother David Alan. About how everything needs to be balanced. Ya cant do too much of any one thing, because then you neglect the rest and thats not good. Too much of a good thing is not good. And I think that that applies to everything in life. Thats what I'm working on right now. Being more balanced. I'm not sure its going but sometimes ya just gotta give it a go and keep moving.
Today was my final day at Hall Dental. I mean technically APEX continues for another two weeks, but I made arrangements to spend the last two weeks with my dad slash not working. I feel like a break wouldnt be a terrible thing before I head back to Boston. But Paul and Pauline Hall (siblings FYI and not husband and wife) have really been so good to me. They are two of the nicest people ever. And I have loved being at their office. Honestly its one of the most pleasant offices I've ever been in. But seeing as today was my last day, its only fitting that it would be a sugar high day... There were cupcakes and sugar cookies sent from another dental office... And I got called into the back room right before lunch to find this... three DQ ice cream cakes.
And to finish my lunch of cupcakes, cookies, ice cream cake, I added a tart.
Dear Trent, Cody and Peter.
Remember when you started texting Bonnie and I about beating us to the new mall between Calgary and Airdrie? Remember how we didnt find you in the mall for quite some time? Remember how we said we were parking and could be easily found?
Turns our Bonnie and I are liars (and FYI totally not racist).
When the boys were texting us they were getting off the plane at the airport, we were an hour away. And we sent them a continuous stream of either "vague location" texts or "blustery overly confident losers buy winners smoothies" texts. Funny tho.
For real tho... held accountable? Joking lie? BAHHAHAH.
As is my poppa.
See that sandal? Ya... about three years ago my favorite sandals of all time finally bit the big one.
Which was fair since I'd had them since grade nine.
Six years for one pair. But the devastating part was that I couldnt find another pair that I loved as much. Apparently, since that point, my dad has been looking for a replacement for me.
My dad is awesome.
I love superbowl parafanalia.
And I love sandals that can be worn with socks in the winter.
My dad knows me too well.
I went over to Dave and Nat's and spent some time. Took about sixty pics. It was necessary. So far I'm the only person from our family to see this new addition... considering David Alan, my parents and Ben were at the super bowl, Josh and Matt are on missions and Lindsay is away at school in Vancouver. Sadly I was in Calgary on Saturday... dang baby had to come early so I couldnt immediately see her. But I've come to a couple conclusions about babies. First and foremost... they are weird. And second and more specifically to this babe, she looks WAY different than Ryder and Katie.
Speaking of those children. They are adorable. And love their new sister.
Ryder held Reese for a little bit.
And Katie was very protective of the new child.
She didnt want her cousin Livvy to touch Reese at all.
And then she did this...
Yup... she was putting the blanket on Reese and tucking her in.
It was freaking adorable.
Love these children.
But I've learned a couple things about new baby Reese that I thought I'd share.
1. Girl has a blonde swack of hair.
Yup... Ryder was kinda a light colored baby (FYI Katie was not)... but this new little girl is even lighter than Ryder was. Genetics is insane is what it comes down to...
2. Just call her one eye.
First off, she was a sleepy little child (I'm told that eventually she'll wake up and the horror will ensue). But she would kinda open her eyes... and by eyes clearly I only mean one of them. Little pirate. It was pretty funny. Mostly cause my family secretly has this love affair with pirates. One Eye aka Iohane anyone?
3. Girl has great legs.
And by great clearly I mean anorexic thin. Nat always has really skinny babies. And sure this one is different from Ryder and Katie and a little more filled out (she is the biggest baby they've had)... but I couldnt get over how flipping skinny her legs were. Seriously babies are weird.
4. Baby Girl has the LONGEST fingers I've ever seen.
They are freakishly long.
She's gonna be so good at piano.
Apparently I'm not the only person that noticed.
Nat's sister Lacey apparently brings it up constantly.
5. The more I looked, the more I liked.
I'll be the first to admit sometimes it takes awhile for people
to grow on me. And at first this child just looked so different
I wasnt sure I'd love her as much as Ryder and Katie. Those
two are just so flipping cute. But after having spent several
hours holding her, I can safely say that she is lovely. The
longer I held her, the more beautiful she became to me. She
doesnt look as much like our family as Ryder and Katie, but
she's still ours. And I love her and am so happy to have her.
I think its her nose and chin that look the most different from Ryder and Katie. Here pictures of all three just after being born.