Weekends, University, and Cold Nose Kisses

I love my weekends. On Friday evening, I do just a little more studying and then stow all my books, notebooks, highlighters, and pens away for a few days in their cubby. I clean the kitchen, let the hedgie out to explore and search for crunchy spiders to munch, put on a touch of lipstick, and maybe fiddle for a bit. Will arrives late at night, shuffling through the front door with his bags, stomping snow from his boots. He always swoops me up for a kiss that’s half a smile, his nose cold. We stay up late watching movies and raiding the fridge together.

Saturday mornings are for watching cartoons and sleeping in. Then, adventures! It’s getting trickier to find adventure the longer I’m here in Kingston. I’m getting better at making adventures happen in the most ordinary of circumstances. We’ve walked the downtown area almost every weekend for a year and a half now. There’s a strange comfort that comes with familiarity. I know each of the shops well. I know what dishes I like at the restaurants. Strangest of all, people know me. The woman who owns our favorite coffee shop asks us what we’re going to draw today when Will and I walk in. They’ve stopped asking if we want whipped cream on our hot chocolate. Of course we do. What kind of question is that?

But at the same time, the familiarity is starting to slowly kill me inside. I’m not meant to settle, not yet. I find myself wasting study time on dreams of van life or travel. I’ll get distracted by travel photos as I do my social media work. Kingston is ideal, full of history and life and opportunities for fun. But I’m addicted to a constant change of scene. I can’t wait to finish school, get my slip of paper, and have the freedom to uproot whenever I want to.

Still, we manage to find adventure. We poke around the local thrift shop, dig up a coupon for $3 slushies (Will spilled my lime slushie all over his jeans. He looked like a Ghost Busters victim), or order pizza downtown. Somehow, no matter how mundane our days, we always have way too much fun together.


Sundays are much like Saturdays, with sleepy mornings hiding from the sun beneath my pastel blue comforter. I moved the mattress to the living room this week. The two small bedrooms in my apartment don’t get heat. So, as winter moves in, so does the cold. Clove the Hedgehog and I do fine, so long as we keep those doors tightly closed. Now I wish I’d moved my mattress sooner. Half of my living room is a comfortable lounge, now. Can’t beat this nap space!

It’s Monday now, and I’m heading into two weeks of finals and end of term crappiness before the delightful Christmas season. I’m studied up and just about ready. My final projects are nearly complete. My students are starting to write about Christmas-themed topics in anticipation of the big day. I’ve started cleaning the most annoying parts of my apartment in preparation for my mid-December move. I have a scary doctor’s appointment to talk about my joint issues (4+ years of them and constant pain for the last month or two) this afternoon. This is life. Good bits, bad bits, and the occasional mouse in the closet. Bring it on.

6 Replies to “Weekends, University, and Cold Nose Kisses”

  1. Hi Hannah,

    I have been following your journey for about four years now. I was really pleased to see you start writing again after your hiatus. I always love to read your posts, they are fresh and matter-of-fact and you are never afraid of sharing yourself with the world. Allowing people in and opening up with such vulnerability gives wonderful depth to your story and takes immense courage. You are indeed a shining light! Our situation as a family shares some similarities to what you experienced growing up with your family. We too have been traveling the world for the last five years full-time, in fact, we are doing just that as I write this. We have two children aged 15, a boy and a girl.

    Since you started writing again, I have been wondering as to whether I should ask you a question that has been brewing in mind for some time. Everyone is so quick to give advice to other people and suggest what it is that they should do with their lives. I would never assume such a position, but I did want to ask you a question that I trust you will have courage to answer from your heart. Before I ask, I feel I should give you a bit of background as to why I am asking it, as it relates to our journey as a family of WorldSchoolers. As ‘Parents’ we took a slightly different approach to what your parents did when it came to learning with our children. While in the beginning we attempted to apply curriculum and lessons, in our situation, we found this to be something that didn’t work for us at all. In the beginning there was a bit of worry, but we soon fell into a rhythm of natural learning that was mutual and relational to the places and experiences we shared. Having followed your story, I know that you too had many of these experiences, but where we differed was that we never sat our children down to formal lessons of any kind.

    I also know from your parents’ blog, that for them it is critical that all you as their children have college degrees. My question to you is – Why do you feel it is necessary for you to have a college degree? From the posts you have written recently, you have expressed on more than one occasion that you are struggling and how the experience is draining you and stifling your creativity. In this post you speak out against the sedentary nature of your present existence and how it goes against the grain of your very nature.
    What do you feel you will achieve with a piece of paper that you as a vibrant, incredibly accomplished young woman and budding entrepreneur would not be able to achieve in life? Do you believe that a piece of paper will give you a greater level of credibility? Do you feel it will be the absolute entry level to pursuing the meaningful work you wish to pursue? Do you believe it will provide you with opportunities you could not create yourself from your own imagination? Do you believe that it will be back up for a rainy day?

    I know you realise that we do not live in the world your parents grew up in. It is changing so dynamically that the advantages of having a college degree in the world as it is now are so greatly eroded and they will only be more so eroded as the world changes. Your bio says you are passionate about pursuing your dreams. Is this premeditated by having to have a degree as I never got this from your writing? I trust you will appreciate that I am not asking these questions just to challenge you. I am asking as the parent of two children who have asked me the question – Will they need to have a degree? I want to make sure that I do not bias their choice in any way. Why do you think you need to have one? Your answer from the heart will help me sincerely answer the question from my children.

    I very much look forward to hearing from you.

    1. Hi George. Thanks for introducing yourself! I really enjoy “meeting” the people who read my posts. Your question is a good one. I hope you don’t mind if I don’t answer all of it right away. This is an important question and I’d like to give it a bit more thought and possibly answer it in full in a blog post. I do have reasons for going to university and I wouldn’t change it. I truly love my classes and there’s a lot that would be difficult or impossible to learn in this field outside of a classroom setting. The contact with the professors and experts is amazing. So much of it is exactly what I’m looking for. My struggle is that my two dreams, one of learning more about this field academically and the other of travel, don’t coincide. At the moment, I’m having to choose one over the other. While this is intentional, I’m sure you can see how sometimes it tears me apart. There is no perfect option for me at this time. Will write more later. :)

      1. Hi Hannah,

        Thank you for your reply and I sincerely appreciate your contemplation in investing the energies for a fully considered response. It will most sincerely assist all of us on our journey too. Wishing you lots of inspiration and motivation till then. :)

  2. When the email announced your post and I saw “Cold Noses,” I assumed it was an essay about a dog. Yikes! It was about your boyfriend! Definitely a bad guess. // I wasn’t sure what I’d think of the new haircut after seeing you in long hair forever. But it looks good. // Your comments remind me of one made by my oldest grandson Gabriel (now 17, but he was about 2.5 then) when his Mom had a car wreck: “Dit me outta here!” :)

    1. Haha! No dog… yet. I’d love to have one someday but I’m waiting for when I’m ready to settle in one place for a while.

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