Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Battening down the hatches -- Mater worries like a Mater!

In 2006, some of you might remember hearing, hurricane-force winds took down one thousand (yes, 1000!) trees in Vancouver's Stanley Park. The devastation was visually and emotionally stunning to us on the West Coast. In the same storm, over 240,000 were without power at one point.

Yesterday, warnings went out all along the BC Coast and Vancouver Island that we should expect another storm approaching, although not quite reaching, the potential of that 2006 storm. Winds will hit 140 kilometres/hour (and the marine forecast shows a high expected of 50 to 60 knots).

I had planned to head home today. I've been here in Vancouver for over a week, helping out with Nola, and I've enjoyed the time immensely, but I'm ready to get back. I'm anxious to make some headway on my research before we leave in two weeks and, of course, there are all those pre-travel lists to attend to. But it made more sense to be here with Pater should power go out on the island (that whole no heat, no lights, no flushing deal is not fun). And, as it turns out, all ferries have been canceled today so far, so I couldn't have got home anyway. I'm going to accept the reality and chill here one more day. No worries, right?

Except. My daughter (Nola's mom) flies home today from Austin, Texas -- she's been traveling for work, visiting Washington, DC, then Chicago, and, finally, Austin, and Nola is very keen on her getting back quickly. Me, too. We miss her. But I wish she'd stay put today rather than being in the air at the same time as gale-to-hurricane force winds. This mothering gig means a lifetime of worry, you know?  I'm trying my best to let the air traffic controllers and the meteorologists and the pilots do the worrying, but until my grown-up little girl is back on the ground safely, I'll be fretting. . .

Can I distract myself, briefly, by telling you what a satisfying day Pater and I had yesterday, en français? After our lesson, which was fun and instructive and lively (we meet our tutor at Artigiano's, sipping our very good lattes and Americanos while we struggle over le mot juste and the correct constructions), we were both fired up enough to spend the rest of the afternoon planning for our trip, bursting into French sporadically and happily. Then last night, we arrived unfashionably early (6:15!) at a favourite place of ours almost in our 'hood, The Twisted Fork on Granville, and our long-time-favourite serveuse (Quebecoise) who indulged us by chatting extensively with us en français.  The conversation began because we had told her we opted for early dinner instead of heading to see Incendies at the cinema, and she declared herself a fan of Denis Villeneuve's work . . . from there, a discussion of French film in general and then on to other topics as various courses and wine were ordered and delivered. Moules frites, crème brulé aux ognons caramelisées, cassoulet,  a bottle of Cab Franc. . .

Okay, now I've been distracted from my worries, but I'm hungry . . . time to go make myself some breakfast and check the weather report encore un fois. . . She'll be okay, right? But I'll worry anyway, I know -- it's part of the gig.

***ADDED 3:30-ish p.m.: She's home safe and sound -- on her way now to pick up Nola at Daycare -- that will be a happy reunion.


  1. Sending good wishes all around. xox.

  2. Well, as I frequently tell my flying-phobic husband, "if they know the weather isn't safe, they won't fly in it." Here's holding a good thought for a safe, smooth and timely flight home for your daughter.

    Your dinner sounds marvellous. Our favorite local brasserie is also a favorite with LA's French expat community, so in addition to our friend Nanou who works behind the bar, we often find ourselves surrounded by French speakers. I try to pick up as much of the conversations as I'm able in a lively, noisy restaurant.

  3. I hope your daughter arrives home safely. Waiting one day is worth it if she can arrive home safely, and Deja Pseu is right. The airlines will cancel if conditions warrant.

  4. I'm sure she's home safely by now, although I understand your concerns about the weather ...

    And what a wondeful sounding meal. So funny that just as you're getting immersed in French, my old French high school teacher contacted me on Facebook. It makes me want to go back and learn it again - my stepfather is French and mother & brother speak it fluently - me, not so much.

  5. I'll bet your daughter will be just as happy to see Nola as Nola to see her!
    (Any plans to come down to SW France while you're here?)

  6. I see that she is home safely...I am a worrier too when my children are far away from home.

    Hope that you will be able to ride the ferries soon and be safe in your own one likes to ride them when the seas are pummeled by gale/storm force is a priority and it's great that they take riders safety seriously.

    You must be getting excited about that upcoming trip.

  7. I'm glad that she is home safely, but I would have been worried and fretting too.

    Hope you will be home soon and that all will be well.

  8. Whew, know that feeling. Instinct overrides logic at those moments. One of the actors in Incendie is also a home renovator (such is life as a Canadian actor) who happened to be working on my neighbor's house. he referred us to his brother who is our agent in Montreal and found us our condo. Small world!

  9. Thanks LPC, Pseu, Nancy. Can't stop the worrying, but it's nice to have logical reassurance.
    Pseu, your local brasserie sounds like a great place to get a francophile fix when you need one -- I know you've been working on the French as well.
    Tiffany: Do it! in your spare time, you know? I've made sure to read a French novel or two each year to keep up vocab, etc., but our trip usually comes just after a really busy period work-wise, so I arrive in France with impaired skills. I'm hoping this will make a difference this year.
    Lesley: Could do, definitely. . . would you be available to meet up?
    Hostess: Exactly -- no way I want to ride if it's going to be really rough with docking problems. Now to get home and see how the garden fared in the storm.
    Thanks Mardel, Duchesse.
    Duchesse, that's quite a connection! Have you seen the film yet? (we still haven't, having been distracted the food yet again).

  10. Have not seen film yet, in midst of house showings, disruptive and nerve wracking.

  11. May everyone be safe, and Nola not disappointed.

    How wonderful to be able to practice your French.

  12. Duchesse: Oh, I remember how nerve-wracking that really is. My sister and her husband just sold their home in Winnipeg, luckily only four days after the first showing (they're moving back "home" after twenty+ years away, I'm so happy!). Good luck with it all.
    Terri: Thanks for the good wishes -- all went well.
    As for the French, yes, it's been wonderful to feel that whole part of my brain light up.

  13. Always late to the party as ever, good to know she got back safely and yes, I am beginning to appreciate that this motherhood malarkey is for life!
    The weather in Cyprus last week was so bizarre they even had a tornado! it ran across the front of the airport where they too had suspended landings. The Day After Tomorrow that's all I'm saying!!!

  14. Alison: I love your avatar!
    as for tornados, scary! glad you got home safely and had some sunshine along the way.

  15. Lesley: So where in the Southwest should we aim at? and how could I best contact you -- leaving a comment on your latest blogpost?


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