The DNA results came back. I’m 100% Finnish. It was a surprise— I expected some Swedish, maybe a little Russian. Family myth had that there was some Roma in the bloodlines. Yup. No measurable amount of anything but Finnish. I’m 100% Canadian. I was born there, educated there, from kindergarten to all three of my … Continue reading 100% Finnish. 100% Canadian. Or Bajan?
“I’m heading home.” But what does that mean? It’s a fundamental question for me right now. Sometimes I solved it by putting air quotes around “home.” Other times I avoided it altogether by specifying: back to Canada, back to Barbados. Which way is the plane facing, when I’m going home? I thought Canada, my home, … Continue reading Home After a Year— or After a Month?
“We’re leaving tomorrow.” Kaity and François are going back to New York. I’ve watched their daughter Louise become a full fledged toddler as she traveled down our street over the last five months, with whichever parent wasn’t surfing. The semi-tamed cats on the street learned to move more quickly in tandem. Once it rains, no … Continue reading To Stay or To Go?
My beach at Freight’s Bay is different again this morning. The tide is low, but some of the sand that had returned after the scouring of the winter storms has been scooped away again. The beach is angled instead of flat, and fist sized pieces of coral lay scattered on the soft sand. The same … Continue reading On the Beach in Barbados
“What about these books?“ “Do you want us to pack up the Iitala glasses?” “One of the bookcases has to go, or the cabinet in the bedroom. Are there any extra duvets anywhere?” Someone else packing up my stuff My head is spinning as my sisters video chat through the apartment I haven’t seen for … Continue reading Letting Go, Yet Again
For the second time since I was 11 years old, I did not stay awake to see the old year out. My only other missing of the countdown was 7 years ago, when my flu turned to bronchitis turned to pneumonia. I canceled the party and went back to bed. I still remember my first … Continue reading Ringing in a New Year
When I was 19 and at university, 3000 kilometres from where my family lived, I planned to not go home for Christmas. I was living on student loans and money was tight. My mother quietly listened to my logic, then sent me a plane ticket. Of course, I had a wonderful time. But I remember … Continue reading Christmas (not) at Home
The movers bring the furniture that has spent the last 8 month in a storage locker. As the boxes come in I keep an eye out for a special one— the one that says, “Open First.” I can’t find it. The next day, with basic arrangement of furniture done but still so much unpacking to … Continue reading Open This Box First
There seems to be no end to the helpful advice for getting through quarantine. Have a schedule, get dressed everyday, learn a language or musical instrument, all the way through to day drinking games, or how to have a Zoom meeting without cleaning your space or putting on pants. I have only spotted two recommendations … Continue reading What NOT to do in Quarantine
I’m making face masks, so I search through the boxes in my storage locker off the parking garage and find—almost nothing. I used to have it all, not so long ago. Boxes of fabric, piles of notion, including seam binding and elastic. Some of them ten, maybe even 20 years old, but saved, “just in … Continue reading What I Regret and What I Don’t