Happy 2006, everyone!
We're back from Toronto--a fun, relaxing, exhilarating, love-filled week with my sister and her family in their new house. My kids had their first taste of snow, and I had my first taste of mangosteens in almost 16 years (they were my favorite fruit in Bali, but are forbidden in the US. The white lobes of fruit inside the hard magenta shells are just as delicious and tender as I remembered.) I skated with my sister for the first time in what could be 25 years; we skated together after school, and sometimes before school, almost every day as kids, so this felt very significant. We held hands and spun around super-fast--all I could see was my sister's beautiful laughing face; the rest of the world blurred around us as we whirled, and I was back in that wonderful bubble we created around ourselves as girls. Watching the fierce love between our daughters now fills my heart to bursting; it makes me so happy that our connection will continue to shine long into the future. The future that, as a midwife, my sister is always bearing witness to, not to mention ushering forth. She showed me all of her midwifery equipment; I am in awe of what she can do with her hands. The women of Toronto are so lucky to be in her care.
I am still full from all of the amazing Toronto food--luscious Ethiopian "splint peas", gorgeous little puris filled with chick peas and cilantro and all sorts of tangy sauces on the street in Little India, spicy noodles from Sweet Lulus, glutinous rice rolls from Chinatown, walnut cakes from Koreatown, Jamaican vegetable patties, Portugese custard tarts, etc., etc. Toronto is definitely a great food town. And culture town. Not to mention a progressive town, where even used Kleenex can be recycled and public transport is swift and accessible. Elections are coming up soon--it was slightly disorienting to see red signs for the Liberal party and blue signs for the Conservative party (and it was cool to see signs for the even more liberal NDP and Green parties, as well.)
There were only a few small short-lived blips. My son fell while tobaggoning and sliced his face open, but he's okay (and even thought it was kind of cool that he blacked out for a moment). One of our bags was lost on the flight home, but it arrived today. In Customs, the form asked for countries visited; I wrote "1", and the agent had a good laugh at me (it turned out I was supposed to list the names of countries. Strange that a word person would resort to numbers like that. I had a good laugh when I realized what I had done, too.) There were a couple of other airplane-related frustrations, but all in all, it was a very easy traveling experience (and how cool to see night-time cities glowing through the thick clouds on descent. It looked like nebulae, like something out of a science fiction movie.) Amazing how quickly we can travel thousands of miles. If I think about it too long and hard, I get a little dizzy.
It's good to be home, but I miss our Toronto people so much already. I love you, Elizabeth, Craig and Mollie!