Saturday, July 28, 2012

It must have been around 2:30 last night.

I lay in my bed, my body stretched diagonal across the mattress. The fan spun above me.

I waited for sleep.

My eyes closed.

The yearning hit me so hard I almost began to sob. A vision of my beloved city rose up behind my eyes. I was driving over the Champlain bridge and knowing I was home. The far off landmarks rising up from the St Lawrence.

I did not live there any more. It was no longer my home.

I have a new home now. Or at least a new place to build a home. A nest to feather.

I weave the bittersweet.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Emily went to camp on Sunday. Six days of horseback riding and walking around in 90 degree humidity. Woo Hoo!

Six days in which I can attempt edit, and think of syllabi and start to figure out the classes I will be teaching as of September 2nd.

Six days to re-litter train two obstinate rabbits who have gone all "Attica! Attica!" on me - parsing their protests in urine and the throwing of hay.

On Monday, the phone call came at noon. The message on the answering machine was vague.

"Great", thought I, "the kid has melted down and is sobbing in the office of the camp director, demanding to be sent home."


Emily and I have been taking the Cousera course on Vaccines.

The format is hardly intensive. Listen to a lecture of about 20 minutes, answer some questions at the end. She and I watch the lecture videos together and answer the quiz questions.

She has been interested and attentive in the history of vaccines; how they were made and the diseases they were developed to combat.


When we finally got to speak with the camp director, it was not an issue of homesickness.

"The girls in your daughters cabin opened up the side vent and they think a bat flew out. Since no one can tell if the bat was in the cabin all night, and bat bites are very small.... the Health Department recommends that the girls all receive the vaccine for rabies as a preventative measure."

Come again? 

I might have started to giggle before the death ray glare from Terrance snapped me back to the present.

"Oh my. What a way to start camp...", my voice is sympathetic to this young woman calling us; one of 4 parental groups to whom she has to break this bizarre news.

Terrance glares at me.

The rest of the day is a blur as we talk with public health officials, local doctors, and the camp director. We learn about the "new "rabies vaccine which is only 5 shots over 2 weeks in the shoulder instead of the "old" series of 23-30 shots in the stomach.

I know that Emily knows what I know about rabies. We watched the lecture together, after all. Louis Pasteur worked first on the attenuated version to fight rabies in Paris. It was later that the vaccine available today - the killed virus version - was created. The attenuated version occasionally killed the human subject, but given that rabies without vaccine is 100% fatal? It was a risk worth taking. Even today, rabies is fatal once the vaccination window closes.

I know she knows all this.....

We finally speak with her on the phone. "What do you think,sweetie?", I ask. "Do you see any new red bumps? Do you think you have been bitten?"

She is oddly calm. "Well, I would rather be safe than sorry", she says. "If I have to get the five shots, it's no big deal", she trails off.

Huh? This child flips the frak out with dry heaves at having a blood draw and now she is cool and collected about having 5 shots to prevent rabies?

"Well", she reasoned, "I don't really want to die..."

In the end, we decided to not have her vaccinated and she was all right with that decision.

She never ceases to amaze me.

I think the kid is all right.

Anthill of Madness

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

It isn't enough to move across a country, and international border.  No. I have to work on revisions as well.

Yes. The madness. It is upon me.

But I will stop and gorge myself on these treasures for  little while. Emily would tell you that I squealed with delight when I found them yesterday at the library. (You know we found the library within our first week in    residence and presented our selves for cards, right? I mean we have priorities here, people). I had read the first one ages ago, but assumed it hadn't been picked up for more issues. Templesmith, sigh.

I am such an easy date. Truly.

new soil

Friday, July 06, 2012

We are here in a new home.

Five days of driving, five days of no A/C in brutal heat. Five days of packing the rabbits around bags of ice to help keep them alive as we drove and drove.

One day of unpacking in brutal heat, sweat rolling off of us as we carried things and boxes.

Four days of trying to find things in boxes.

Two days of looking for Loki who escaped on the first night we arrived. He returned after the fireworks on July 4th to a much relieved family.

The landscape here is strange to us. We wander stores and I am overwhelmed by choice and colour and LOUDNESS. There is far too much to choose from and it makes me irritable. I don't want a four page menu. I want a menu like I grew accustomed to in Montreal. One page. It is what it is.

People apologize too much. They are all sorry for making us wait. At one restaurant, we three broke into giggles at the waitress. Wait? Oh honey, you don't know from waiting. We had barely sat down when she arrived. ....Wait? Snort. Hardly.

Next week I will go to the University and complete more paperwork, but not yet.

Right now I work on getting my bearings and writing the final edits to the dissertation, dipping my toes into this soil. 
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