January 1, 2008

A New Year, another new country

“A New Year, a new country.” I wrote that line in the first post of this blog, only last year, the country in question was Germany, and this year it’s Canada. But I don’t see this becoming an annual tradition. Kevin’s work has us domiciled in Edmonton for the foreseeable future, and so we will probably be ringing in the New Year in our little blue house, in our not-so-nice neighborhood for many years to come.

Obviously, I’ve not approached this adventure with quite the same enthusiasm I approach our move to Germany. But it’s hard to prefer this endless suburban sprawl to the Old World landscape we left behind, especially when the mercury drops fifteen below. Still, having our own house – our very first! – offers some consolation. And having our own garden … well, that certainly takes the edge off the chill as far as I’m concerned.

True, it’s not really our house; it’s Jack and Gina’s*. But even though Jack and Gina hold the title, I have a particular knack for taking a proprietary attitude to even the most provisional of spaces. And true, right now my “garden” is little more than a 30’ x 60’ plot of snow-covered earth, without so much as a solitary shrub to catch the eye, but give it time. In the next couple of months, I plan to work a vast number of dramatic changes here, both inside and out. And of course, I will report on it all here – in excruciating detail.

But right now I rather enjoy looking out my back window, at my garden blanketed in with snow. It’s more of a tabula rasa than ever, the perfect blank slate on which to draw the prettiest little landscape my imagination can produce.

*Jack and Gina are, of course, pseudonyms, so named because they never fail to make me think of the nursery rhyme “Jack Sprat could eat no fat/His wife could eat no lean …” In our case, “Jack” wears tight leather pants, and “his wife,” I kid you not, weighs at least 500 pounds! Still, they are a very nice couple, and brought us homemade brownies on New Year’s because they were afraid we might starve.

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