My presence has been a tad spotty because my husband and I (along with Youngest) have decided to move downtown! We've been talking about it for the past couple of years, but suddenly, within the space of a week, it's a done deal.
And so, after 24 years in this house, after raising three babies, several dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, after Christmas dinners and Thanksgiving feasts and Easter brunches and birthday parties, after play dates in the basement rec. room, baking countless cookies and wontons for soup and rolling out dough for pizza and stirring Jello*, after creating impromptu art projects on the kitchen table, after sick days feeding my kids chicken noodle soup on the green couch in front of a fire, after trimming hedges and mowing lawns and shoveling driveways, well, it's time to pack up and move downtown and let our lives take a new direction.
One that means white wine on the terraces of Montreal and listening to the hum of traffic instead of beer on the porch listening to the hum of our neighbour's lawn mower.
Downtown is where our story began. My husband and I first lived in Westmount when I moved here from Toronto back in the early 80s. After we had our first child and I was pregnant with our second, we decided to raise our burgeoning family in the suburbs, the "West Island" of Montreal. Another year or so later, a third child was born.
The kids went to preschool there, and took swimming lessons in the local pool, joined Cub Scouts and Girl Guides. They played soccer and hockey and learned to ski with the Rod Roy school. I did all the mom stuff. I volunteered at all of the schools, joined the Quilter's Guild, the Camera Club and other organizations.
We had a great life here.
But now it's time for Doug and I to move closer to his office and to where our grown kids are settling in. Well, two of them so far. One is still away at Uni but she wants to be downtown too.
As I was cleaning out boxes in the basement in preparation for our move, I came across the letter Doug's predecessor Dr. Dundass sent out to introduce Doug to his patients when he took over the practice:
"Dr. Douglas E. Hamilton, a native Montrealer, is a graduate of McGill University...I am quite confident that you will find Dr. Hamilton a very congenial and capable person...I wish to thank all my patients for the many kindnesses they have shown me over these many years. I think back to 1946 when I took over the practice of the late Dr. E---- who told his patients: 'try the young fellow, you'll like him'. My wife adds 'he's good looking too!'"
The most remarkable thing about the letter?
It is dated July 1st, 1982.
That is thirty years to the day that we move into our new place.
* I'm still surprised by how excited my entire family gets when anyone finds Jello in the fridge. Seriously. It's like they found gold nuggets.