Over the past 18 months I have taken up community activism in the form of joining our newly formed neighbourhood organization as a director and treasurer. A development set up shop in our neighbourhood that is creating a lot of noise, and the neighbouring municipality (we live right near the border between two local government jurisdictions) was partly at fault for not paying close enough attention when the offenders were applying for their permits. Not only has the business taken an antagonistic attitude towards the local residents (they are based in a nearby large city and don’t know nor appreciate the local culture), but Mayor and Council have decided on a strategy of covering their collective a$$e$ rather than dealing openly with the situation, so it has been quite frustrating. We ended up having to file a lawsuit, which is a long slow process in itself.
On the bright side, our community has come together as never before, and I have met so many of my neighbours. I have developed some strong friendships in the process of working with these people, and it has made my sense of home feel that much stronger. I feel settled in this place as nowhere else since I was a child, and that feels good. The situation has also caused me to start paying more attention to planning and development in our area, and I’ve joined my local area planning committee, which I’m enjoying very much. It’s so important to take advantage of opportunities to have a say in what goes on, and I’m very grateful to be able to do so.
I had an extremely busy fall season, with lots of teaching and some big consulting projects. I finally got to the point where hiring a biweekly cleaning service made sense, and I’m very pleased to have that load off my plate. Meanwhile, Husband started an AgTech company with a farmer/software designer friend and it has really taken off. He spent 3 months in New York with an accelerator/investment program, and the kids and I arrived here yesterday for a 2 week visit. With Mum in New Zealand taking care of an ailing sister, we had the opportunity to go away for Xmas, and I appreciate not having to do too much this year. We are planning to watch the ball drop at Times Square on New Year’s Eve, definitely a bucket list experience!
Both kids are doing well. Miss Em is in the new high school program with our homeschooling program (the same one we’ve been in for years) and seems to be handling the increased work load really well. I’m surprised at how well she has adapted, and I can also see how well she responds to a more structured program. I think this will be a very good fit for her, and I like that she can take as long as she needs to complete her high school education (advantages of being in the Special Ed program). She still attends the therapeutic day program she’s been in for over a year, and she enjoys it because there is dedicated time for academics (she says she finds it hard to get motivated when left to her own devices to schedule and implement homework time).
Mr Boo attends the same day program, but I think he is ready for more social activity and more academics. He’s become much more interested in having friends and inviting them over, but he only has 2 friends and neither is a great fit, IMO. Unfortunately there do not seem to be any good options here since the local Walford high school closed – that school was a very small private school which would have been perfect for him. The public schools here are huge and have the usual issues, and I just don’t think it would be a good fit for him. We have three elite private schools here but they aren’t interested in special ed students (you’d think if you were willing to pay their exorbitant fees that they would be willing to accommodate such kids, but they are all about the high achievers). He doesn’t do sports or clubs so meeting kids that way isn’t going to work. So for now he stays where he is, but we are keeping our eyes open. Perhaps if Husband’s company takes off we will have more opportunities to travel, and as that fits much better with homeschooling perhaps we can broaden his horizons that way.