Othy’s Visit – Family Time

The last part of Othy’s visit was to finally meet my family and see the area where I grew up. On Friday morning we emptied the car, did some work, and then in the afternoon I took Othy to Balls Falls. It had been so long since I had been there, and I kept missing one of the last turns to get there and so we had to turn around and backtrack several times! It was VERY windy, so much so I was wondering whether or not we should even walk around! We had even passed a fallen branch on the drive there. We proceeded with caution and hiked to the upper falls, then walked around the settled area where there is a small chapel, a barn, and a house. Unfortunately the buildings were closed to visitors but we still enjoyed walking around the grounds. There were large white tents installed everywhere, maybe in preparation for some kind of arts and crafts show. One of the tents had completely blown over! Lastly we went to the lower falls that is just adjacent to the cluster of buildings. Othy got a funny photo of me as we were walking over the pedestrian bridge and a crazy gust of wind took me off guard!

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For the sake of nostalgia I stopped in at Jordan Public School which is now vacant. Although there was a sign that says no trespassing, I couldn’t help but go and sit on the swings which were my favourite pass time during recess! From there we went to visit the old school house and then several of the shops along Main Street in the village, one from which we bought some delicious fudge. The last stop that I wanted to make was to visit my cousins who live in the house that I grew up in, but nobody answered the door. I drove us to an empty lot right by the QEW onramp where I was hoping we might be able to walk down to the water. There was no way down however, and so instead we climbed up onto a small incline where we were at least able to see the water. It was still so windy and we had to be careful not to get pulled off! You could see the wind pulling at the water drawing it away from the shore! On the way home I could really feel the wind pulling at the car. Al arrived later that evening. Mom made lasagna for dinner because she knows it’s one of my favourites! We came on the topic of what Al does for work, and then she offered to give Othy a tour of her workplace which Othy responded with a wholehearted YES! I also enjoyed seeing it because her job is so interesting, and her company recently moved to a larger facility.

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The next morning Jen and Chris came to visit. In the late morning Jen, Othy and I went and visited my Grandpa. Grandpa was very happy to meet Othy. Ironically, Othy knew a few words in Malay that he had learned from a visitor at his university. Later in the afternoon we went to Niagara Falls. It was a perfect day for it! We found parking and then walked alongside the falls while stopping to look and take photos now and then. While Chris went back in search of his water bottle, Jen and I explored the gift shop area. To get back to the car we went upstairs in the building and crossed over the pedestrian bridge. There were daffodils planted everywhere! Before we left for home we walked through a beautiful row of blooming magnolia trees. I was glad that I got to see signs of spring before leaving! My dad had shared with Othy before leaving for Niagara Falls that he was unimpressed with them, but Othy did not agree and neither do I. The amount of water going over those falls always astounds me!

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I’m going to miss this one!

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Back at home we had an appetizer dinner together. It was my idea so that Othy could experience the style of meal we have on special holidays. After dinner my family got into an intense discussion on politics, a very common occurrence at our family gatherings! Othy expressed some of his views from his experience in Congo, and then he smoothly changed the subject to express how happy he was to meet my family, how much he loved their daughter/sister, and if they would give their blessing for us to get married! I couldn’t believe that this day had come and this was actually happening! Othy and I had already planned that this would happen, but I was still blushing, smiling wide, and tearing up a bit. Then Al said something like; “Is your heart racing Lise? Because mine certainly is!” and everyone laughed. My parents gave us their blessing and there were hugs all around! Then we took a family photo (a nice one and a crazy one, also a family tradition!) and then played a game of Wizard. We didn’t stay up very late because my dad had to get up very early for work the next day. Othy said goodbye to him that evening because he would not see him the next morning.

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I finished packing the car in the morning and putting a few last things in storage, we took a farewell photo with my mom and sisters, and then Othy and I went to church with my mom. We had to leave pretty quickly after church because I had plans for us to meet up with Vikkie at the airport before going through security. Before we left, Ingrid stopped in to say goodbye! I got emotional when saying goodbye to my Mom who has always been an amazing role model, friend, and prayer warrior. Othy and I hit the road and managed to keep mostly on schedule! We stopped quickly in Stoney Creek to meet up with Othy’s friend (the same one who visited us in Toronto) who wanted to give him some things to take back with him. Once at the airport we dropped off the rental car and went to Terminal 3 to meet Vikkie. Vikkie and I got to chat while Othy waited in line to check in his luggage. She gave me some wonderful treats and items from her recent trip to Japan (the reason why we had not been able to meet up with her during our time in Toronto). Then we had a late lunch together at Freshii. Vikkie and I bid farewell to Othy because our time had run out, and then I bid farewell to Vikkie because I was flying out of Terminal 1. The time had come! I was about to embark on a big journey and also move into the next season of my life.

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