Thursday, June 23, 2011

Summer Vacation

I have blogged before about the family I have become a part of in Iqaluit. I work, live and play with the same people. I don't think my words have adequately described the depth of my love for these incredible people. I have made friends who have been there for me through the hardest of times and shared every ounce of joy through the best times.

Being back in Ontario for vacation, I find myself sitting in the car, or on a chair in the yard, or on freshly cut grass, just thinking about how lucky I really am.

Jenna, Brett and Melissa, walking Jersey

I have the most wonderful friends and family, both in the GTA and in Iqaluit. I suppose distance really does make the heart grow fonder because in the past year I have developed an appreciation for relationships that never saw depth like this before.

Myself with my mommy

 I counted down for months to the day when I would get to return home for my three week vacation. Now, that vacation is actually here, I landed in Toronto on the 17th. I have been on the go every second since landing and every single one of those seconds has brought me joy. Every single thing that I had missed, rushed into my life the night that I arrived, like an over flowing cocktail at happy hour.


I have a friend who I have blogged about before. I actually met him in Iqaluit while we were opening our stores. Patrick was the greatest baking partner I could have asked for. He always had me laughing or on occasion, dancing at five in the morning and he kept me highly entertained while he was around. He was something special and I had wished at the time that we had lived in the same province because I knew if we did we would be great friends. Its an interesting thing to try and keep in touch with people you haven't known for long while you're so far apart, fortunately we managed.

When my plane landed in Toronto I had a surprise guest waiting to greet me. Pat had flown in from Alberta earlier in the day and waited for my flight to come in. I hadn't seen him in nearly seven months and I had missed him incredibly. When I turned around and saw Pat coming down the escalator with a huge smile, carrying all of his luggage, I dropped mine to run to him. It felt so good to hug someone with a familiar face. I wore a smile so big that it hurt my cheeks, I only stopped smiling long enough to kiss him. Being home and seeing the faces of people I love at the airport made me so overwhelmingly happy that I could feel my knees shake.

When I stepped out of Pat's car it hit me all at once. The smell of the trees and grass, the fresh floral scent of warm summer air. I closed my eyes and breathed in the wonder as deeply as I could. Home smelt just the way it should, just the way I had remembered it. I felt like I was floating, I hadn't been so happy in months. I was with the people I had been dying to see, basking in the air I had missed for so long.

I will never forget the night I came home and the way it made me feel. All 139 days of my countdown were well worth what I had waiting for me down here.

My beautiful Mother

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Longest Day

I was so looking forward to being in Iqaluit to send a picture home of the longest day of the year. I will not complain however because I got an even sweeter deal... I got to be home for vacation. A really great friend of mine, Nick, who I work with at Northmart happened to be up at 1:38 am on the 21st and took this picture for me from a window in his apartment. It was slightly over cast so not as bright as it could have been, but still, much brighter than it is down here in Southern Ontario in the middle of the night. The dark makes it much easier to sleep but the light of the Northern summer made my days feel never ending in the best possible way. I felt as though there was enough time in the day and for that reason I enjoy the light nights. 

(Thank you for the photo Nick, I miss you)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

2 Days

I walked in the door half an hour ago after a twelve hour shift at work. I spent the day preparing papers, papers for this person and that person, papers everywhere. I am leaving behind lists for everyone so they may be a little less lost without me... although I am only tooting my own horn by saying so. In reality, they will be fine and I will be even more fine. While they put donuts in ovens and pull donuts out of ovens all day, I will be basking in the Southern sun, bathing in humidity, baking in heat that may just suffocate me wonderfully.

I flipped on the television to offer some background noise while I put away clean dishes and change the kitty litter, it turned on to the movie 'Julie and Julia.' I've seen it before, it is a feel good, inspiration of a movie. I turned it on as Julie was writing a blog, wondering aloud if anyone actually read her words. She saw that she had a comment and clicked excitedly to read it. It was from her mother and it "doesn't count," she said. It made me laugh as half of the comments left on my blog are in fact left by my mother.

Julie and Julia also reminds me of my dear friends from home. In pastry school, we studied the theories and styles of famous chefs and their work. My housemates and I studied Julia Child's work and of course watched this film during our research. As I sit here typing this out, I am beginning to miss the art of food. I miss fresh berries and fruits and turning them into perfectly sweetened reductions. Kneading bread, piping on elaborate wedding cakes and topping mousse cakes with rich ganache and delicately handmade chocolate fans.

I can nearly taste the memories and even the remaking of them when I land back in my home town in two days. I started this count down at one hundred and thirty nine days. I thought the day would never come. It is incredible how quickly time passes. Before we know it, I will be back on this tundra and I don't think that I'll start a count down to my next vacation, but I cant say for sure. Counting down certainly reminds me of the wonder in looking forward to something, a priceless way to keep life exciting.

There are about 42 hours until I am sitting on an airplane. There are three days until my first pedicure this year and a family barbecue with my mothers family. There are four days until I celebrate fathers day with my dad's side of the family. In five days, I will be a free woman and I intend to spend the majority of my day with my bare feet buried in fresh green grass. Southern Canada, here I come... and take me seriously when I say, watch out.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

My Amauti

Katie's mom, Julia, who lives back in Katie's hometown of Arviat, NU, recently sent me a beautiful amauti of my own. She had seen the pictures of me amaqing her granddaughter while I wore Katie's amauti. Of course it is the most wonderful, thoughtful gift I have been given in Nunavut. I nearly cried when Katie brought it over to me one night. I love taking Shemekia out in my amauti, she gets so relaxed and comfortable. Usually she falls asleep really quickly and I can hear her softly snoring from behind me.

Katie and Stephen's panik, Shemekia

Enjoying the view on the land with sleeping baby

Wearing her miniature amauti, amaqing her baby doll

Thank you so much Julia. All my love, from Iqaluit.