Normal, or Just the Same Kind of Weird

So, it’s been awhile.

Since my last post. For the past little while, my life has resembled a salt shaker. The kind with the rock salt that you pick up, start to shake, then realize you need to turn the crank and grind it all up into little pieces before it will fall onto your mediocre meal and give it some zing. Thankfully, I am starting to feel like most of the shaking has passed (for now) and I’ve got some zing. Hazzah! To bring you up to speed, in the last little while I have : quit my old job, got a new job, started a website, started training for a marathon, gone to Salt Spring, played a lot of volleyball, and turned 23. It’s been exciting, to say the least.

The topic of this post however, is Salt Spring, and more specifically, Maracaibo. I feel like it best represents the recent mediocre to zing transformation. For all intents and purposes, Maracaibo is a snooty private club located in Long Harbour that offers wealthy families an idealistic summer escape for the 2 weeks their dad’s get off each summer. All members own a piece land in the area (it’s a pre-req) and they often get together to sail their yachts or venture into town to buy hippy jewellery that they’ll never wear at home. For the Jeanes family, and for me personally, it is a 23 year old tradition that involves camping in a giant meadow with about 6 tents, playing cards for hours on end, and rowing around in these little blue and yellow boats.

The Jeanes Clan, North Van Edition
The Jeanes Clan, North Van Edition

We probably look a little trashy compared to all the new families, but no one cares because well, we started it. My grandparents are one of the families that got together a quarter of a century ago and set the whole thing up. Every generation of the clan has been there are least once now, with the newest editions making their debut this past August long weekend.

This summer was a little different. We were missing two key players, my Uncle Greg and my Grandma, both of whom passed away this past year. In addition to the boats, another popular tradition is strained relationships from being in such close quarters, all the time. Tensions run high, occasionally smoke will escape from someone’s ears, and it is blissfully normal (for us). This key element has been lacking from every family gathering since last Thanksgiving. Everyone’s been on egg shells since then and caring about everyone’s feelings and trying to make everyone happy and comfortable. It’s been weird, especially since the most common form of love in the Jeanes house is food and drink, not tip-toeing around because someone is napping.

Thankfully, I’m glad to announce that the tensions are back. Highlights of Maracaibo included crying, yelling, eating feelings, and poop landing on my mum’s face. We pulled it together for the Sunday night bbq in time to judge the new families and their sub-par salads and desserts that they brought to the potluck. We even bonded over how normal our family seemed compared to the other ones. While, I’m not sure if we’ll ever be a normal family, I’m happy to report that we are back to the same kind of weird. Yay!


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