Ok, so I mentioned that it was hot, but I need you to really, really understand this. It was HOT! Like walking into a sauna hot. We got to the car park and crammed all the luggage into Jackie’s car, which was clearly a Tardis in a previous life. Jo Ann drives a Toyota with sliding doors (how cool), so we climbed into that, and fell upon the bottles of cold water. Jo Ann was bringing us all to lunch in Smiley’s, an award-winning “all you can eat” Chinese buffet, which did loads of kinds of food. It was fabulous. Benjamin, Isabel and Nicholas decided to try sushi. Actually, Nicholas decided to try the chopsticks rather than the sushi. He is so obsessed with sticks of all shapes and sizes. I wonder is there a name for that? He tried a morsel of sushi, gagged, and spent the rest of the time trying to eat a square of Jello with the chopsticks instead. This kept him occupied for a long time. Once the rest of them discovered the Jello, all other food was rendered uninteresting, so they got a bowl of Jello and fruit (the fruit was just to placate Mammy really). Chopsticks at the ready.
I got a slap on the arm from Jackie. “Mosquito”, she explained. “Mosquito?” said Jo Ann. “Don’t be silly, there are no mosquitos left!”. “My house and yard are full of them!” “Well then, you have a problem with standing water”. “No, there’s no standing water”. “Well, I have no mosquitos and I live beside you”. “Can you guys not fight?” says Christopher. The mosquito argument subsided, to be re-awoken later by Michael. More of that anon.
Piled into the car again and headed to our new home, where we were met by the lovely Jenna, our new landlady. It was so nice to see her after speaking to her on Skype. The luggage was dragged in and abandoned on the sitting room floor, and Jackie and Gord (another City in a Box employee) whisked Michael off to start all the red tape of bank accounts, utilities etc. We did a tour of the house with Jenna. She had received so many donations from so many generous people for us. The kitchen was fully stocked with crockery, cutlery etc. We have a table and seven chairs, two couches in the sitting-room, a television, bunk beds, a double bed, a single bed. We are so lucky to have all this. Arriving to a completely empty house would have been so hard.
It was bedlam of course. Kids galloping up and down stairs, bags and cases everywhere, paperwork everywhere. I stood there in the middle of all the luggage, feeling suddenly defeated. “Okayyyyyyyy”, says Jo Ann. “I’m taking the older ones to the splash park across the way”, and off they galloped, to return a while later blissfully sodden and happy. I got some of the stuff put away, and then adopted the slave labour approach, where I sat in the middle of the floor and sent the kids scurrying in various directions with various random items.
Michael got back in one piece, with a lot of the necessary paperwork done, and we all headed to bed, all set for another 5am start. Damn time difference.