Christmas in February in Prince Edward Island
Last week Hubby and I were finally able to go home to spend time with our families for a belated Christmas. COVID had screwed our plans and we were getting antsy to go home. It was great. It was a way to get away from the stress that is work, away from all my obligations and anything that needed to be done. Including blogging. I took the time to just be. Be with hubby. Be with my family. And be back on the red soil and by the ocean to recharge. and rest up. And although I struggled not to think about work, it did help.
And like all good things, it was over too soon.
Driving the four hours home, with Hubby and our pup sleeping in the seat beside me, I thought about home. I have not lived on the island for over ten years at this point, but it is still where I call home. When others ask me where I am from, I will tell them PEI. When I am upset or excited, my old accent comes out. When I am feeling overwhelmed or stressed, I search for water. Ocean preferable. And all of this tells me that my home, and my time on the island, has created part of who I am today. They say you can take the girl out of the island but cannot take the island out of the girl.
Yet, the reason I feel the island being part of my soul, is also the people who live there too. There are those who are old friends who I may see at the local grocery store and say hello. Those friends who have been around for years that we make a point to visit when around. There are the huge extended families that Hubby and I have who we look forward to seeing on a semi-regular basis when we stop by for a visit. There are my in-laws, and brother-in-laws who are additions to my family but not any less important. And then there are the close family members, those people who love me unconditionally. Always have. Always will.
Firstly, there is my mom. My mom is one of the strongest and most independent women that I know. She taught me to stand up for myself, be proud of my decisions and to have faith in God. She is athletic, artistic and friendly. She is loyal and compassionate and does everything in her power to ensure that myself, and my siblings, have everything they need. She loves us through the bad and good and although she may not always agree with the choices we make, she helps us through them when we are wrong. My mom is my base. She allowed me to grow into the woman that I am today and taught me that I have the capacity and ability to be anything that I want to be regardless of what anyone says. I am lucky.
Then there is my Dad. Dad is stoic. He is not chatty or outgoing and is much more comfortable on the couch watching a movie with me than going on an adventure. However, Dad loves me. I know he loves me in the ways in which he subtly asks how things are going or gets mad when any of us is being treated unfairly. How he, and mom for that matter, will come do renovations on my house, or build me things, without expecting anything in return. He is my quiet space. I talk a lot and struggle with silence, but I do not have to with Dad. Silence is bonding for Dad and a lot of the time, it is just what I may need. I am lucky.
Then there is my older sister. She is exactly what an older sister is supposed to be. Defensive, compassionate and concerned about me and the things that are happening in my life. She is strong, empathetic and unbelievably kind. She checks in on me when I am isolating myself. She loves me and is proud of me as long as I am happy. She is the quiet to my loud. She is the shy to my outgoing. She is the calm to my chaos. And she keeps me balanced. My older sister and I are very different, but it works. I am lucky to have her.
Then my little sister who is straight up a pain in my ass. I love her and her love of going on adventures with me. She loves doing things and is always willing to hang out whenever I am home. She is strong willed, boisterous and fun. She is supportive in a way that is unmatched by any others. She will voice her opinion when she does not agree, but she will also share my blog, or ask how Hubby is doing, in a way that others do not. We are too much alike and although we will bump heads occasionally, a few days later we have moved on and back to norm. She is my feisty baby sister and I am lucky to have her.
Then there are my nieces. They are the newest additions to our family and they bring a level of joy that I have not felt before. The oldest is just like my older sister. She is sensitive, kind and has the ability to read people in a way that is far beyond her years. She is intelligent and loves to read which I know will allow me the chance to have something in common for the rest of her life. She is young, but old, and I can only hope that as she continues to grow, her self-confidence will continue to grow as well. She will be a force to be reckoned with and I feel lucky to watch her grow.
Then their is the baby niece. She is hilarious. She is fun and energetic and entertaining all around. She is also fiery, temperamental and is quick to anger. She is the perfect complement of all the parts of her parents and I only hope her bubbly and fun energy continues as she grows. She is so smart. Smart in a way that I have not seen in someone so young, and she still has lots to learn. She will be that person who everyone is attracted to and I can only hope that she will continue to beat to her own drum and keep her head up high as she does. I feel lucky to be around to watch her grow.
I am lucky. Lucky to have such an amazing family. Lucky to have more than once place that I can call home. And lucky that I have the ability to spend a few days with all of my people, and come back home feeling recharged and refreshed. What could be better than that?
“I sustain myself with the love of my family.”– Maya Angelou