Family Day

Here in British Columbia, we’re celebrating the first incarnation of the province’s newest statutory holiday, Family Day. Of course, Team Grumpy Pie is “celebrating” it by working, because we’ve got shit to do, y’all.

We did get to have an accidental celebration of Family Day yesterday, though, and it was really wonderful. Why don’t we all celebrate family with a holiday?

One of the hobbies that Carlos has really taken to in the last year or so has been brewing. We haven’t blogged much about it, though, because, well, we haven’t blogged much. In the fall, a friend needed a place to store his awesome giant 10-gallon self-contained brewing set-up, and we conveniently had a garage with space. It has been the best weird houseguest we’ve ever had. Yesterday, while I spent literally all day cleaning my kitchen (a story for another time), Carlos and J and J’s friend S spent the day brewing. There was a little confusion among the brewers in the planning stage, and they ended up brewing 3 full batches, which took pretty much the whole day. I have loved watching Carlos’s love of brewing develop since his first batch in November 2011. The fortunate set of circumstances that lead to J’s equipment living in our garage has been a great gift. Carlos is a very different kind of brewer than J, and it’s a joy to watch his skills develop as he gets to invest his energy in a productive, creative hobby. Plus, I get to drink beer again (hurray, not being pregnant!), so I’ve been actually reaping the benefits of this particular hobby (not that I don’t enjoy paintings, of course). Perhaps most importantly, the people that this has brought into our life have made our time in Vancouver richer and warmer than we could have asked for.

As I hauled all my baking trays and hidden bags of beans into the light yesterday, I looked around my house, at the brewers downstairs preparing (among other things) our house Oatmeal Stout for us to bring to my family’s reunion in a few months, all the adults taking turns holding RJ so we could all get work done, the chili bubbling away in the crock pot, everyone working on taking care of each other, and it just made my heart burst from joy. I love the family that we are building, and I think there’s no better day to say it than today (Family Day)!

I am happiest when I’m in the embrace of my family, and it has been hard to be in a place where that means only Carlos. Not that Carlos isn’t a wonderful, embracing person; one person can only do so much, and that’s where the whole “takes a village/many hands make light work” thing comes in. I don’t think that I have been particularly skilled or diligent about building the connections that build my family in the past, and it is in some ways strange to be exercising them, finally. I will miss having a home that I can invite people into and know that they can relax in the space and be themselves. Of course, it’s not like we won’t have people into the motorhome, but I suspect it won’t have quite the same feeling as this house that we’ve spent a year making into our home.

Someone asked me recently whether I knew where we expected to settle at the end of our road trip. I said no, that’s one of the things that needs discovering. I do know this, though: wherever this trip ends, I want it to be somewhere that we can make this kind of open home again, so our family always has a place to be with us.