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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Love is in the air this week

This is a memorable week for me, for a number of reasons. I have always loved the end of August. First of all, I love the weather. The days are still sunny and bright but the sun is refracted now, coming in at a gentler angle, and the nights are crisp and cool for sleeping. I love the four seasons, and my favourite of all is coming up soon: autumn.
The end of August is also a big deal because it means The First Day of School is around the corner. As a little girl, I was one of those little keeners who loved school. The end of August meant new clothes, a new lunch box or backpack, new shoes, and a haircut. Hopeless; I know. Now it means a return to boots and jeans, which is always a good thing.
The 21st of August is special to me because it marks the day Paulina Hrebacka came into the world. Twenty years ago this week, I had a baby girl. She is my third, but that doesn’t make her any less special. Paulina was a big surprise, because I was absolutely sure she was going to be a boy. I was dramatically ill with my first two pregnancies, right through to the sixth month. So when I was pregnant with Paulina and managed to get through to the end without a single day of nausea, I was absolutely positive she was a baby boy. I’m not a believer in ultrasound to reveal the gender of the baby – and neither was the English doctor who delivered all three of my children – so when the doctor announced it was another baby girl, I was amazed. It’s a good thing I hadn’t totally bought into the boy idea or she would have been wearing blue for a few months.
I have three wonderful daughters and they are all very different. If you happen to be at The Branch restaurant on Wednesday and you see my warmhearted, talented and beautiful little Leo, be sure to say Happy Birthday!
I also love the end of August because the 25th is the day I became The Farmer’s wife, 6 years ago. We didn’t live together before we were married; our five teenaged daughters kept us very busy running around and we didn’t have much time left over for us. After dating for about a year, he popped the question and, after taking a few days to get used to the idea, my middle daughter Anastasia took on the role of wedding planner. She decided if we were moving to a farm, we might as well have the wedding there. Over the next four months we booked a pastor, tent, catering, music and planned the ceremony and d├ęcor. I don’t know how I would have done it without her. We set up a little mini-village in the backyard of The Farmer’s house and hosted about one hundred and ten people, some of them for a few days. It was a lot of work but in the end, as my husband often reminded me to bring me back in focus, it’s just a great big party with a little bitty wedding in the middle. It was so much fun, in fact, we do it every year. This is the seventh year in a row that The Farmer will be hauling sheets of plywood out of storage to build us a dance floor so that we can party til the stars come out, and then some.
That first year, in 2007, I was thinking of starting a column. I woke up one morning to the sound of Donkey and his sheep and thought, wow. That certainly is a different sound compared to what I woke up to in Taipei or Hunt Club or even Barrhaven. This is a new life, and it actually sort of snuck up on me. I’m an Accidental Farmwife.
It has been one surprise after another. Some good; some sad. We’ve lost loved ones, watched little girls blossom into young women and say goodbye. We’ve held each other up through the rough times and celebrated the important moments with good food, family, friends and great fanfare. Life is simple, and I am happy. And I thank the little voice that whispered in The Farmer’s ear back in 2006, saying, “Go ahead. Ask her out.”
Changed my life, forever. Happy Anniversary, to my hero, my husband, my best friend. XO.

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