The weekend just before I went to Texas, we went to the cottage. We hosted John's whole family there. We've done this a couple of times before at the end of the summer to celebrate John's mum's birthday. She turned 65 this year. We haven't done it in a few years due to schedules and due dates of babies (mine) but this year it worked out and we added Emily and Hope's birthdays to the celebrations.
The weekend had a few big moments. The two biggest came from John's brother, Mike, and sister-in-law, Cibele. We all new they were being transferred from Regina to somewhere. Mike works for GM and is transferred every year as part of a management trainee program he is in. They got, from our perspective, the best transfer location they'll ever receive: Ottawa. I literally jumped and screamed when they told us. It has been a long time since we've lived closer than 4 hours away from family. This is huge for us from a completely selfish perspective. Just to have someone to call when you need a little help is giant, the fact that it is Mike and Cibele, is even better. Their second big moment came when they told us all they are expecting their first baby in May. They'll be having the baby while they're in Ottawa. We hope that we'll be able to help as much as we can.
This year is going to be so different in so many great ways.
Third big moment, perhaps not as deeply meaningful but certainly as surprising: I woke up to feed Hope at about 6:30 on Sunday morning that weekend. The windows were all open. I heard what I knew to be an animal dragging a bag of garbage behind our cottage. I figured it was raccoons again and someone must have left our shed open. Before going outside to scare them off with a broom I looked out the back window in our bedroom that directly overlooks where the noise was coming from. I'm so glad I did. About three metres away from where I stood was a big, brown bear having his way with that bag of garbage. He was close enough that I could hear his lips smacking as he finished off a chip dip container. The garbage wasn't ours - it was our neighbour's (which meant we were off the hook for cleaning it up). I watched the bear for about 20 minutes (after waking John up so he could take a look). In my life, I'd never heard that a bear has come so close to the cottage (and been seen, that is). This was monumental.
I stopped our neighbour (owner of the garbage) from going back there with a shovel (he assumed it was porcupines). John tried to snap a photo but just got a big black photo. My real concern was that John sister and her family were staying outside in a tent trailer. Luckily the bear meandered over to the barbecue, took a sniff and then left.
I'm sure he's been back since we've been gone, looking for more bounty. Being that were going up this weekend for our last visit of the year, we may see him again.