The sun is shining in our back yard, punkling.
The birds are singing (one in particular at 5am outside my window), the pink blossoms on fruit trees have already been replaced by lush, green regrowth.
There's a palpable sense in the air, that things are looking better. There's a feeling, floating around, that there are signs of upward trends, that things that looked dark and dreary and neverending over winter may, in fact, be drawing to a close.
So your mother and I, with a view to new arrivals (and your mother considerably more than I), have been paying some attention to the garden, trying to make it a rather more pleasant place to be when our visitors arrive. Visitors, punkin, who in some cases are renouncing their visitor status.
It is at this point that I need to reveal some information that may at first seem alarming. You see, as we go through our lives, we tend to ascribe certain ideas and traits to people. We make assumptions that people we beleive to be responsible, mature adults will maintain some kind of continuity in their lives. This continuity in turn allows us to feel that we have somewhere solid to go back to.
Therefore, when your grandmother informed me that she was currently homeless, and living as some kind of street urchin, punkin, I became concerned. She quickly reassured me that she was not homeless in the BAD way, but in the most opposite of ways, the GOOD way. As we speak, pumpkin, your Grammy, assisted in no small way by your Grandad Phil, is On The Road.
Not, you should understand, in any grand Kerouacian manner involving riding the rails or hitchhiking. No, pumpkin, she's travelling in style. Grandad Phil has charge of the chariot, and they are headed down under for good. Naturally, when one is leaving a place for a significant period of time, it's considered Good Form to take a tour of the area, saying goodbye in person to those you love. In this situation, said tour involves a visit to Montreal, to a lovely cottage by the lake, and then a roadtrip to Michigan, to a lovely cottage by the river.
Then, pumpkin, and this is the really exciting bit, they get on The Big Silver Bird, and wing their way here, to emerge from the Magic Grandparent Doors at the airport.
And we are all, pumpkin, looking forward to that day.