Empty Nest

The week following the last day of school has been certainly mixed, weather-wise. We have had the occasional cool-but-sunny day interspersed with many cold-and-rainy days; the weather is never predictable in this city but so far summer has been completely missing. As is our tradition, we went up to my parents’ house for the Canada Day long weekend. We luckily had some time on the paddle boards, and I had a beautiful long bike ride, before the storm rolled in. Today I finally broke down and turned the heat on; it’s so cold and rainy, I’ve been wearing my winter-weight thick sweaters and fuzzy slippers for the past few days, and have had to remind myself that yes, indeed, it is July. It certainly brings new meaning to carpe diem, as who knows when another nice day might come around.

My hostas are happy but all my other plants are literally drowning, especially the ones in planter pots. They are all leggy and droopy; hopefully the sun will come out sometime. July in Calgary is often a disappointment. The sole upside is that I do not have to listen to people complain about “the heat” when it gets above 25 degrees. At this point I would be excited if the temperature exceeded ten degrees.

The boys stayed up at my parents’ place for the week, so I’ve had an empty nest. Any time that the boys are not here I am amazed anew at how much more time I have on my hands. I’ve been afraid of changing because I’ve built my life on you. On Wednesday, I went for an 8 kilometer walk before going to Superstore AND Costco, with a yoga class in between, all things I would never do with the kids at home. Even though they are teens – actually, BECAUSE they are teens – I find it very important to spend as much time at home with them as possible, despite the fact that they really only “spend time” with me while they are eating. I remember many years ago, before kids, a coworker had told me that she went part time when her children became teenagers. People think their kids need them less at this age but actually, they need them MORE. I think that’s a very true statement.

Back to a small detail: I went to Costco and Superstore ON THE SAME DAY. It felt like one of those CrossFit workouts, between the actual shopping and then up and down the stairs to put all the things away. At both stores, I had a person in line behind me with much fewer items than I had in my giant cart. As is my wont, I offered to let them go ahead of me and both refused – the teen boy at Superstore told me he didn’t mind waiting, as he stood there with only a container of two-bite brownies. The older gentleman behind me at Costco looked aghast and said, “Oh, no! Ladies first. I insist. Ladies first!”

I guess we all have extra time on our hands this week, the better to spend in line buying groceries; we certainly aren’t spending a lot of it in the gardens or doing yard work.

Enough about the weather, a topic which is boring and depressing to us all. After a bit of a dry spell in terms of really engaging books, I’ve been reading My Name Is Venus Black, and is it ever excellent. I started it yesterday and am almost done, since I am finding it hard to put down. I highly recommend it. I also read Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs, who is Steve Jobs’ illegitimate daughter and I honestly had no idea how much of an asshole Steve Jobs was. I didn’t really know anything about him; I told my husband a bit about the book and he was surprised that I didn’t already realize what a wretched human being he was. I asked the kids if they knew anything about him, and they replied that of COURSE they knew he was awful, everyone knows that. When I pressed them – how did they know – my younger son just stared at me and said, “Um, this thing called the INTERNET?” I’m not sure if I would recommend it to you or not; it depends whether you would like a reminder about how some people are the absolute worst. I mean, most people are doing their best to be good people, I’d like to think. However.

Today marks the beginning of Stampede week – I shall refer you to my older posts about dressing for the Stampede without looking ridiculous and my subsequent purchase of cowboy boots. While I’d like to be one of those women who pairs cowboy boots with sundresses, I decidedly am not. I did pull them out this morning to take a few photos with which to promote my yoga classes during Stampede week, and I couldn’t figure out why the left boot felt so awkward. It’s not like I wear these boots often – or ever, really – and so it seemed strange that the lining would be rumpled up, which is what it felt like. I reached in and discovered a Nerf dart lodged in the toe.

Even with an empty nest, the boys manage to stay in my day-to-day life. They are home tomorrow, so I’m going to enjoy this day of relative leisure before they return and I get back in the laundry/ baking/ cooking groove. Have a lovely weekend! xo


  1. Often I think, when one kid or the other is at Beth’s mom’s for the week, that while this one-on-one time with her is a nice tradition for her and for them, if we sent them at the same time, Beth and I would have some time alone. I think we missed the boat there, but it’s too late to change it now. Everyone would be up in arms.

    I hope it warms up for you. It’s so gross here, not even very hot, just terribly humid.

  2. Your co-worker was very wise. I firmly believe that teenagers need their parents even more than the younger set; although they’d never admit it.

    Cute boots!

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