I have been away from home for nearly two weeks now, kids in tow, van full of our portable school, watching the transition from winter to spring from the perspective of various farmyards not our own.
The plan was to come and help Candace out around the house as soon as she called to say she was in labour with her fourth baby, and stay for two weeks. As plans progressed, it turned out my mother was supposed to be in Red Deer area around the same time for a few days, and we were looking forward to a brief rendezvous. However, with Candace being increasingly overdue, and Mom's schedule moving up a week, I ended up coming down several days before Candace had the baby to hang out with Mom at my uncle and aunt's near Lacombe. There we stayed until Hannah was born last Thursday--me recovering from a nasty cold (brought on by the late nights prepping for the trip) and the boys spending their non-school time playing UNO with my grandparents (who live in the same yard), snowmobiling with my uncle, playing with the animals, splashing in the mud, and reading through Uncle Darrell's copious stash of Garfield and Calvin & Hobbes comic books.
In between the incessant rounds of snowmobiling that Jabin kept urging him to, Uncle Darrell joined them and the comic books on the couch.