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Bonjour

We have returned from a most lovely Quebec City.  We had a wonderful time eating croissants and wandering the cobblestone roads and narrow streets.  The Chateau glowed as though it were some magical castle upon a hill as we meandered the foggy boardwalk at dusk.  It wasn't hard to imagine we were in Paris and we couldn't help feeling slightly envious of the city's inhabitants.  Every street with its very own soundtrack of harps and song.  We ate breakfast beside open windows with the clip-clop of horse's hooves outside.  Even the simplest greetings sounded like happy french songs to our english ears.  Everyone we encountered spoke english and sadly never challenged us to speak french. 

I couldn't help but feel a little disappointed with myself for retaining barely an ounce of the french I took in school everyday for 10 years or more.  How lame.  So Mike and I made a pact that we would make it our goal to learn the language once and for all; a goal we have both hoped to one day fulfill.

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It was a lovely trip, but my heart ached for home.  You see, we recently inherited enough furniture and items from Gramma's house to refurnish our living room and beyond.  A couch and two antique chairs, a craft cabinet spattered with paint.  A spinning wheel and huge amounts of un-spun wool.  Cameras, jars, books and blankets.  I find myself burying my face into the cushions and blankets trying to commit the scent to memory as I know it will soon fade.  Salty tears mix with a pain I never knew takes my breath away when I realize I will never smell it again.  So I sleep under her blankets, knit in her chair and cook with her pans and quietly hope that she will one day visit Poppy with a message of love.

I finally rid our kitchen of teflon and plastic cooking utensils and began using Gramma's cast iron frying pan.  My eyes welled up as I made our first dinner and the heat released the smell of Gramma's cooking and home into my own kitchen.  Like the rings of a tree tells the tree's story, cast iron holds a homemaker's tale in its seasoned layers.

I don't know if it is the season or the comfortable antique chairs calling me to sit for a spell, but I am nesting like never before.  I have mentioned before that this house has felt impermanent to me, but with the addition of Gramma's things it somehow feels more complete and welcoming now.  I feel energized and rooted here now.  I sit in her chair and reacquaint myself with knitting projects tossed aside in the young days of spring.

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Yesterday Mike and I made 11 jars of spicy salsa from our very own tomatoes (barely making a dent in the abundance) and 4 jars of organic apple butter.  I now know the sweet satisfaction of snapping lids of the resting jars.  I think we shall buy a preserve cupboard at the Farmer's Market for our treasures.

The end of my paid maternity leave is looming and I fight the panicky feeling in the pit of my stomach when I think of it so today will be dedicated to Etsy shop construction craft show searching.  There is something exciting and freeing about challenging ourselves to a frugal and simple life though.  I can't deny the thrill I get when I make something with my own hands or change an overripe banana's destiny to that of warm banana bread.  It is as though my body holds onto some sort of cell memory that responds and swells when I busy my hands and heart with the fading arts of homemaking.

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I am exactly where I am meant to be.  I am grateful and perfectly happy.  I will begin to weave while trusting the Universe to provide me with the thread I need.  I trust this sated warm feeling in the pit of my belly to be contentment {finally} in fulfilling a life purpose.

P.S. See more of our trip photos here!

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12 Comments

  1. Posted September 27, 2009 at 1:34 pm by Missy K | Permalink

    This was such a lovely, lovely post, I had to stop and leave a word. It is a beautiful Sunday where I am, and you have added to its gifts.

  2. Posted September 27, 2009 at 1:47 pm by jessica | Permalink

    It looks like a beautiful trip–your words about your grandma are so beautiful!

  3. Posted September 27, 2009 at 5:07 pm by Goddess Leonie | Permalink

    I totally have tears in my eyes, reading your beautiful words. Bless you darling… so much love to you!

  4. Posted September 27, 2009 at 6:52 pm by jennifer | Permalink

    gorgeous photographs. looks like an amazing adventure.
    nothing beats cooking with cast iron. the food truly cooks and tastes so much better. enjoy your new find.

  5. Posted September 27, 2009 at 9:01 pm by deb | Permalink

    I love this post. Thanks for sharing your photos and experience of Quebec City! I can see why you had such a lovely visit. It looks absolutely amazing.
    Your Grandma must be smiling down knowing that her things are being loved again. Once at an estate sale, I walked into the house, and there it was – the smell of my Grandma. I wanted to stay all day. :)
    Enjoy your week!

  6. Posted September 28, 2009 at 8:54 am by Denise | Permalink

    I never knew Quebec City was so unique. It looks like a place I would love to visit.

  7. Posted September 28, 2009 at 9:47 am by jamie Cafissi | Permalink

    Living simple and well is possible and it is amazing!

  8. Posted September 28, 2009 at 2:34 pm by Kellen | Permalink

    What a beautiful adventure and a nurturing return home. I believe you are so right about cast iron pots and pans…”they carry a homemakers tale in seasoned layers”. I love that. And, now more than ever I want to visit Quebec. Glad you had such a wonderful time. Now, off to do some canning.

  9. Posted September 28, 2009 at 4:36 pm by heather | Permalink

    this is a captivating post. i am ending my 7 and a half year long maternity leave soon. i am relating to your essential need to transition into a love and soul filled money-making venture. and to your grandma love. and to the cast iron. and to the nesting. and most of all to ‘trusting the Universe to provide me with the thread i need.’ oh. mmmmmmm. love. thanks.

  10. Posted September 28, 2009 at 6:12 pm by Ana | Permalink

    It’s actually been tested psychologically and proven – doing work with your hands makes you happy. They plan on applying the findings to create programs to treat people with depression, by getting them to do things with their hands- needlework, cooking, etc. :-)

  11. Posted September 28, 2009 at 9:37 pm by Katy | Permalink

    This post was so beautiful. Travels, cast iron, salsa… you are quite the homemaking and home-creating mother. Can’t wait to see you continue to explore a simple, lovely life.

  12. Posted October 2, 2009 at 3:45 pm by julie | Permalink

    You have a beautiful gift for writing… and a beautiful blog! I, too, love the “fading arts of homemaking”!

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