Well, it has been a long time since I wrote in my blog. The last entry, as you can see, was from August 31, 2010.
So, what’s happened since then. Let’s see…
I went home to Canada in September to visit my family. It was fun and yet, a bit strange in ways, to be back in London, Ontario after so many years of being away. I moved away from London when I was about 18 or 19 (moved to Ottawa), had been back a few times during my years in Ottawa, but since being in Taiwan (almost 10 years now), I hadn’t been back to London. I have been back to Vancouver a couple of times, but not to central Canada.
My flight home took me to Tokyo, Japan, then on to Detroit, Michigan. From there, a couple hour airbus ride to London, to meet my parents. OH YEAH, on the way through Windsor, the driver wanted to stop at Tim Horton’s for a coffee.
Now, as a true and patriotic Canadian citizen (hehehe), I couldn’t resist going in as well. A cup of coffee, an apple strudel, and a French cruller later, I was all set. The best cup of coffee I’d had in over 24 hours. Back on the road…
It was interesting to see the sights along the way. To see how much had changed – how much things hadn’t changed. It was also nice to see so much space. Living in Taiwan, you realize that it is a country with not a lot of open space. Every patch of land is used for something. Traveling between cities and towns, there is always a home or a business or a plot of rice. Seeing the landscape along Highway 401 to London, there is still a lot of open land. Granted, it’s probably farmland, but they are large tracts of land.
I was the last person in the shuttle. When we got to the last stop, there were my parents and my ‘big little sister’.
After dropping off Debra at her home, we were on our way to Huron Park. My parents had moved out there a few years back. A much smaller home than I had ever remembered living in, but there are only the two of them at home now.
The following weeks involved a few trips to casinos, trips to past homes and schools that I had attended, visiting with my brothers and sisters and their respective families, and a trip to the east coast to visit a friend of mine. We had been friends during my life in Ottawa, and he has since moved back to his parents home to care for his parents. From what I hear, his parents are very active people for being in their early 80’s, so I think they are actually taking care of him!! Just kidding, Gary!
One of my most memorable times, was spending the last few days with my little brother, Scott. The last time I can remember seeing him, he was a young boy. I’m not sure how old he was, but he would have been in his early teens. Now, he is married, has a lovely wife, and two children.
I also had the pleasure of meeting Becky’s mother, Gail. She is a wonderful person. Great sense of humour and an excellent euchre player!
Scott and Becky have two children – a little girl (Chloe) and a little boy (Carter). During my visit, Carter was only about a month old. My profile picture on Facebook is a picture of me holding him. Personally, I think this is a great picture.
Carter and I kind of share a special, how shall I say… honour. I am the oldest Jacklin grandson of the youngest Jacklin son. Carter is (now) the oldest Jacklin grandson of the youngest Jacklin son. I know this may sound a bit confusing, but family will understand.
My only regret about living in Taiwan, is that I will not be able to watch my nephew grow up. It’s not like I can just fly over on the weekend or have dinner with them, or even spend holidays. I can only hope, that as he does grow up, thanks to the internet and various programs and applications, I will be able to chat with him and talk with him.
Another fun time I had was visiting with my Aunt Cathy in Kitchener. The one thing that I really enjoyed about this particular visit, was seeing my grandmother in her. My grandmother had passed away many years ago, but from what I remember of her, I see in my Aunt Cathy.
You know, the one thing that I noticed with visiting all of my relatives, is the ‘joie de vivre’ the Jacklins seem to have. Perhaps a bit of this was due to the fact that I haven’t been home in a long, long time, but that joy of life, and fun, and laughter made the trip worthwhile.
I must admit, that how excited I was about going home, I was also a bit apprehensive and nervous. What kinds of reactions I would get. How would people react to me, and I to them. But you know, in a lot of ways, it seemed like the years had vanished. Although I haven’t actually lived in London for over a third of a century (OMG), it seemed like I had never left. Sure, some things had changed. New buildings in some cases, others gone… but I knew where I was all the time. You never forget – home!
The final day was now upon me. The day to fly back ‘home’ to Taiwan. Scott had offered to drive me back to Detroit. Before crossing the border, I had one last stop to make in Windsor. For a couple of years, I lived in Windsor and attended St. Clair College. During that time, I worked in the restaurant, Griff’s Cavern, and had become good friends with Dave and Marie Nugent. Dave is the manager of the restaurant. A short, albeit, pleasurable stop, and then we were on our way to the airport.
Everything from the time we left London, until we got to the airport was so much fun with Scott. The time flew by. The 3 or 4 hours that we spent together, seemed like minutes. Then, the time for me to go through security. That’s when it all broke down. I don’t really know who started, but the next thing I knew, Scott and I were sobbing.
I haven’t had the pleasure of watching Scott grow up, to be involved in any part of his life, and he the same with me. For beginners, there’s about 17 years difference between us, so we never grew up together. I was already living my own life when he was a young boy.
Nonetheless, saying goodbye to him was truly, one of the most difficult goodbyes I had to say. I know that we will still keep in touch, and I wish all the best to him and his family.
Finally, after a VERY long trip back, delays in Tokyo, and a few other ‘problems’ on the way back, I got back to Tainan, and back to my life here. This is now my home. It was great to get back. As I didn’t get home until around 5am Taiwan time, I had to have time to get back into the ‘zone’.
All in all, it was a trip that I will truly, never forget. Seeing my family, relatives, and friends, was a great pleasure.
Take care everyone. I will be back!