“Yes he is,” you might be saying.
To which I reply, “I’m not.”
“Well, he will be soon, he’s very ill.”
“I’m getting better.”
And so on.
I see I haven’t posted in nearly two months, which is longest hiatus The Eagle & Child has ever seen. August has a big, fat “0” post count. A first for me. A lot has been going on, as you might be aware. We moved a thousand miles to Alberta, for one. I started working at Malmo Mission Covenant Church out in The Field somewhere in the middle of the triangle formed by three large towns. The kids have started school here.
My blog also disappeared for a while. Perhaps you noticed. Seems some domain renewal notifications were being sent to an old email address and vandersluys.ca expired and was turned into an advertisement for something else. For a short time I wondered if that was it for vandersluys.ca. And the funny thing is, part of me was okay with that. I got that all sorted out, but wasn’t much inclined to write. Maybe this is the beginning of the end. Or maybe that began a long time ago. I hope not. As I keep saying, I just need to reimagine this place.
So we’re settling into our new home. We’re about a quarter mile or half mile down the road from the church on a farmyard house we’re renting from someone in the church.
What you don’t see behind the house is a lot of the stuff that hasn’t been removed from the yard by the previous owner.
Our yard is surrounded by this:
The house came with a cat, which we gladly adopted. Nobody knew what the cat’s name was, so we just started calling it “Kitty.” You know, “Heeeeere, Kitty, Kitty, Kitty.” Seemed to make sense. It took a while for us to determine Kitty’s gender. Apparently you can’t just check the way you do with a dog. I checked and I got it wrong. Kitty is a boy. We found out later that Kitty’s previous owner called him “Black Guy,” for obvious reasons which you’ll see below, but somehow I found that name to be within in the realm of Potentially Really Offensive and Possibly Even Racist. But maybe I’m too sensitive.
Anyway, this is a poorly shot but still kind of cute picture of Kitty:
Aside from working at the church, we’ve spent the last couple of weeks unpacking, buying furniture–IKEA!–and waiting for furniture and picking up furniture and assembling furniture. I’ve developed some serious Allen wrench skillz (yes–with a Z!).
We are enjoying life out here, but it’s taking some time to get adjusted to living 20 minutes from town. At the moment we have only one car, so that means some careful coordinating of what needs to be done and where. Grocery lists need to be up-to-date and whatnot.
Things are more complicated in Alberta. It seems like everything is privatized and compartmentalized. Car insurance and registration, for example. In Manitoba and Saskatchewan it’s all government run, so you go to one place for your registration, insurance, and plates. 20 minutes and you’re done. In Manitoba we had to do an out-of-province inspection, so there was one extra step, but it wasn’t a big deal. Here we had to do the following:
- Go to the registration company for a little piece of paper that asks for the out of province inspection. The mechanic won’t do the inspection without that little piece of paper.
- Go to the mechanic for the out of province inspection. In our case, I drove to town for our appointment at the shop, only to be told they had overbooked and could I come back next week? Okay.
- Fix what needs to be fixed. I think we did well, considering our van has 240,000kms on it. We needed to replace the passenger-side wiper blade, polish the headlights, and replace one of the rear light assemblies (the light was working, but Luke had knocked a hole in it with a baseball bat a couple of years ago). Replaced the wiper blade and polished the headlights myself. Back to town to replace the light assembly.
- Take signed inspection to insurance company. Sign many papers. Pay some money.
- Take insurance back to registration people. Pay some more money. Receive plates.
The truth is that it was all relatively painless, but it was a bit of a nuisance compared to the Saskatchewan way.
Anyway…more could be said, but the morning wears on and the kids are looking for a snack and someone just opened the door and the fresh, cool autumn air blowing in beckons me on to other things.