• A week for now at this time, I will have been in Moncton for almost two days. Indeed, my entire family will be heading to the hometown to celebrate my mother’s 80th birthday. It won’t be a surprise; we announced our visit to her several weeks ago and she’s really looking forward to it. What she doesn’t know, however, is the schedule of activities we have planned. So, all this to say that I’ll be taking a plane around suppertime next Friday and returning to Montréal early Monday morning for a very long commute to work.

  • Of course, my mother’s newest son-in-law will be the only family member unable to attend the gathering. However, it’s clear that she — and everyone in the family, in fact — now see Esposo as being part of the family. The last time I spoke to her, she insisted that I tell him that she bought a new fall jacket that goes perfectly with the scarf he gave her in February (which, by the way, had belonged to his beloved abuela), and that she had worn it to mass that day. She was also wearing as we were speaking the silver medallion of Our Lady of Guadelupe he gave her at the same time. Although he hadn’t met her yet, he really knew her number!

  • The day I return from Moncton is also the day of my final exam for Level 2 Spanish. Yes, we’re ending Level 2 already! Once I finish this posting, I’ll be heading for the shower and then hitting the books for the rest of the day because I won’t have much time to study in the days leading up to the exam.

    I have to admit that, while the course is still going well, I am finding it gruelling. Six hours of classes per week plus homework on top of a full-time job and everything else life dishes my way is a lot. At one point last week, I wondered to myself if I should slow down the pace to three hours per week, but I think I’ll forge ahead until the end of December and only consider slowing down in January if, looking back at four months of study, I find that it’s really been too much too quickly and that I’m not learning as well as I could if I relieved a bit of the pressure.

  • Speaking of the end of December, in an attempt to be responsible during these uncertain economic times (among other good reasons), Esposo and I decided I won’t be going to Mexico for the holidays. As a result, my mom will be spending a day in Montréal when she transits through here on her way to my sister’s in the Ottawa area, which will allow her to see the new digs and to go visit her sister in Longueuil. As for me, I’ll go to Ottawa for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. With all the overtime I did at work in August and early September, I expect I’ll be able to take the Christmas/New Year’s period off, as it is traditionally a slower time of year anyway.

Astonishingly, by the end of October, it will have been seven months already since I moved to Montréal……