An Unusual Summer

….instead of lounging on the beach at the cottage I’ve been spending a lot of time in the city

I was really looking forward to my summer holiday this year. I opened the cottage later than I would normally and when I returned to the city I spent 3 days in school cleaning up my office and packing up books so that the new carpet could be laid down this summer.

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In the second week of the summer I went to visit my aunt. She lives by herself about 20 minutes from my house. She never calls me but she is always happy to see me. Unfortunately, she stopped answering her door or picking up her phone. Two years ago her daughter found her very ill and admitted her to the hospital where she was diagnosed with congested heart failure.

The day I went to see her, my cousin was already there and she said she had a bad night and  she was still in bed (3:00 in the afternoon). After a short conversation we went to check on her and she didn’t look good. To make a long story short we called 911 and she was admitted to emergency. At around midnight, after numerous tests, x-rays and blood work we were told that she has double pneumonia.

For the next six days I was back and forth to the hospital. Five weeks later she’s still in the hospital. Her pneumonia has cleared up but now she has a multitude of other problems. Every time I come back from the cottage I go to see her and when I’m not there my husband drops in.

Last week my husband’s car had to go into the shop so he’s without a car and I’ve been driving him everywhere his bike can’t take him. This week he went in for his routine CAT scan and next week he has two more appointments.

Our dog, Frances is presently at the vet clinic having her teeth fixed. Unfortunately the problem is more complicated than we thought and she has to see a specialist to fix the under lying problem. We pick her up this afternoon and will learn more details as to when her next procedure has to be done.

Next week my son-in-law is going into the hospital for surgery so I will be dog sitting Lucy and keeping my daughter company during the procedure.

I’ve also been helping my friend A organize her basement and garage so that she can get ready to sell her house in the near future. Last weekend I also cleaned out our garage but with lots of help from family and extended family members. Normally I like to be at the cottage but when people offer to help with big jobs you kind of have to work around their schedule.

I did go up to the cottage right after the clean-up and I took our youngest daughter and Lucy with me. We only stayed a couple of days because I had to get back into town to get Frances to the vet.IMG_2197 IMG_2198

It turned out to be a beautiful weekend but again my cottage neighbour offered to help dig a new outhouse hole so I spent hours on Sunday digging and then hauling sand out of the hole. IMG_2205

This week when I got back to the city I got a call from my friend G who called to warn me that my classroom was a bigger mess than we anticipated. I went in yesterday to check it out and was blown away by what I saw. Painters had come in July and it was decided that they would tackle one long wall. Of course, not knowing that this was happening, none of the books on that wall had been cleared. All the books were removed from the shelves and stacked on the tables and then the shelves were taken down. Were they put back? No! IMG_2231 IMG_2230 IMG_2229

Upon arriving to school the caretaker tried to prepare me for what I was about to see. The shelves that were moved to lay down the carpet were not returned to their original space. More shelves behind my desk were emptied because they were too close to the floor and the shelves themselves were dumped in my office.


When I left in July I had cleaned out my office so that nothing was on the floor and the counters and the table were clear so that the surfaces could be properly washed. Yesterday I couldn’t even get into my office because everything was pushed into that room.  I took pictures so that my principal could forward them to the powers that be and hopefully someone will come in in the next two weeks before school starts and try to clean up the mess.


I spent a few hours yesterday locating some of the shelves, washing them and putting them back on the wall. I also clean off my library desk moved it back up against the wall so that I at least have a place to sit without looking through a mountain of stuff.


Not everything about being in the city has been bad. I did enjoy spending time with my family and taking in some of the World Cup games, especially the final when Germany won.

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I’ve spent more time in my garden and reaping the benefits of time well spent.

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I also saw part of the Caribana parade and spent some quality time with my husband walking, running and riding our bikes.

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This summer I have produced a lot of art thanks mostly to Carla Sonheim’s on-line Summer Camp. Some of it I worked on at the cottage and the rest here at home. I’ve got lots of great ideas to share with my students when I go back to work in September. I think I’m happiest when I’m creating art.