April 23, 2013

Spring is sprung!

And so we find ourselves on the doorstep of Spring. 

For many out there, seems like the stoop is still covered in snow. To those people, I say SUCKERS! Yeah Vancouver!  We had an outstanding belt of weather around Easter this year and, though the clouds and drizzle reappear with us here and there, warmer days with longer light seem to be the norm right now. Hope I haven't blown it by talking about it! Cherry blossoms abound on the trees and the Daffodils are standing tall and bright. Hallelujah.

Just one of the Cherry trees in full bloom in the city. 
I don’t know about you, but nothing says ‘Spring’ to me like that feeling you get when you’re inside and you just want to be outside all the time. Someone in my neighbourhood has hit on the solution to this timeless tug-of-war. Behold, the splendour of a Cherry Blossom tree (pictured) in the light of spring... yours to appreciate from the comfort of your leather couch, set curbside right under the tree (not pictured!)

Just take your trash to the dump or a thrift store, OK people? Yeesh.

The seasons just keep changing right along with everything else in life. I have a new role at work, which has been in full effect for about a month now. My mom and dad’s house—thanks largely to the efforts of my brother, his wife, and a nearby aunt and uncle with big hearts and a trailer—is all but cleaned out now. It is sad to see this place empty. It was six years ago that we lost dad, and only since January that we lost mum. The sale of the home is not just closing a chapter on mum and dad, it’s the house we grew up in as kids and came home to for visits with my parents. Seeing the house sold this year will be a hard pill to swallow. Though I can honestly say that without the people in it to make it a home, that empty house is just that. Already, I feel the disconnect between what was my home and what is just a house being cleaned up for sale. The soul that I knew is gone from it.

The main floor, totally gutted and on its way to repair. 
Part of the view from the outside. Note jacks holding up front
porch, which was basically unsupported thanks to century-old
structural issues. 

Speaking of houses and of more change, ours has been going through a massive renovation. Basically a full gut, with large structural issues being dealt with along the way. Engineers that have looked at the place declared it a magical house, so impressed they were with the fact that it had not fallen over in it’s 100 years of standing there. I might go into more detail on those...quirks... in a future post, but for now, we’ll just leave it to a few photos. We’re loving watching the progress and we are looking forward to getting back in at the end of May and back to our usual routines—we have been living in a rental space a few kilometres away, and comfortable as we are there, we are looking forward to getting our old rhythms into play once more.

Other change... as some may have seen via Facebook / twitter / news sites, the Chase family recently lost a member in a tragic way. We remember my cousin, Curt Chase, who succumbed to the strength of an ocean current while on vacation with his wife in Costa Rica in the last few weeks. I cannot claim that we had been close in recent years. As cousins and as families, we hadn't seen each other in long while. Reconnection via Facebook was how we knew of one another’s lives in more recent days, and it was easy to see that Curt was not only loving life, but that all who knew him loved their lives with Curt in it.  The shock of the circumstances has weighed heavily on my mind and those of our family and of Curt's many friends. Curt’s work  had been going well, and he and his wife have a house of their own under construction, a home for them and their three children.

I remember Curt as a bit of a rebellious youth, but that was long ago.
The last time I actually saw Curt was in
2006 at a family gathering, where this
shot was taken.  
The wonderful thing about our road in life is that we can always change our destination. The fact is, as the currents were taking Curt away, he was using his energy to push his wife back to safety. It was the kind of action you’d expect from the man that he was. Seen or unseen in past years, he will be missed, and we pray for his wife and for their kids. I don't know what you would do if you were the parent of three children, all at once in need of a home, with no prospect of  life insurance to help ease the burden, and just the day-to-day being hard enough. If you want to help and are able, please note that a trust fund has been set up to assist Curt's family in this trying time; please consider donating to it. You can donate ANY amount, through ANY bank, though the trust fund is established through ATB in Alberta.  These are the only details you need to deposit money in the trust:

Kathalean Harasimiuk Chase
Acc # 876-00153286300

Thank you to anyone who can donate

As a last piece of news about good change, my lil’ spring daffodil of a daughter is growing up. Three years old. Already skiing, biking a pedal bike with no training wheels, and generally raising a ruckus wherever she goes. I am not sure how we’ve come from a 4lb premature baby in a hospital incubator to 40 lbs of boisterous laughter or boiling fury (depending on which way the wind is blowing), but here we are, and we as parents couldn’t be more proud of the daughter we have today. I long ago read good advice that  any clips video of your child that you produce should be no longer than two or three minutes. After all, it's your kid, why would someone beyond perhaps the grandparents, close aunts, uncles and friends want to watch longer? You think your kid is cuter or more special than someone else's kid? Well guess what? They aren't! so keep it short! 

I have failed to heed this advice, based principally on the fact that unlike my son's videos, where I managed to produce a new something-or-other on a regular basis, I have utterly failed to do so for my daughter, and thus, felt the need to play catch up in one seven minute video. So you are, of course, welcome to watch all of it, or turn it off if you think you'll vomit from all the adorable-ness after two or three minutes. I won't be offended :)

Happy Spring, y’all. Whatever your changes, I hope you’re rolling right along with them :)

If you can't click on the image below to start the video, watch it on YouTube, here