Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Life is full of tests.
And I'm usually a pretty good test-taker. After all, I'm a Virgo. Perfectionism is in my astrological blood.
I'm reflecting on my two-and-a-half week vacation, one that saw me blaze through two provinces (okay, one of them is my own) and six states (at first I counted it up wrong and wondered which one I left out: oh yes, Maine).
I got back, after thousands of kilometres in the car, after logging so much of my precious vacation time driving, and I felt, (I'm just gonna say it) completely deflated. Exhausted. Like I had had zero
'me' time (even though I wanted to visit with my husband more than anything, and hanging with my friend L. and my niece and nephew is as close to heaven as it gets).
But I didn't get to sit on the beach and just be. I didn't get to leisurely stare out at the ocean.  I didn't get to collect my thoughts the way I normally do, which saddens me, and reminds me why I haven't really written (no time).
So, I'm back at work, I've now put down two insane days (it's like I never went anywhere. It's kind of comical). Main difference is I've got the experience of the vacation behind  me, even if it didn't go exactly as I planned it (what, in life, EVER does?).  I'm putting it down at work like nobody's business because I do have that rest, however truncated, behind me. My neck is stiff (seriously cannot check the blindspot, either side, while I'm driving, luckily it's Toronto, no one does) from sleeping back in my own bed. I met with my lawyer re; immigration paperwork and he's confident I can 'do this myself' (really? I'm not so sure, but I am a paperwork wizard. They just want so much back up and I can barely keep my receipts together when I'm crossing the border).

In between meetings, and driving, and phone calls, I'm trying to keep it all together with this constant mantra to myself, "You can do this". I did this through-out the drive (part one) home dipping down through New Hampshire, then up into Vermont, while listening to weather reports that told me there was a tornado watch (this was Saturday) in effect until 8 pm that night. I vaguely thought, where, for the whole damn state? This worried me enormously. The sky darkened. I drove with determination, trying to make up the ground I was going to lose due to what was looking like  a serious storm.
I stopped seeing birds flying, a sure sign that the clouds were about to unleash. Then, those first few big, fat raindrops. The sky feeling like it was only about two feet above the roof of my car.
Then a thousand big fat raindrops, melding together to form what I describe, what I've heard described as "sheets" of rain. Burlington, Vermont exits. I took one without hesitation, pulled into a gas station, sat there in my car eating a sandwich that Mike had packed for me from our dinner the night before, and read my map. The good news was it was not yet 5 pm and I was less than forty minutes from the Canadian border. This rain couldn't last forever. And it didn't.

It subsided, I got back on the highway heading north, and by 5:45pm, I was back in Canada, Quebec to be exact, on my way to the city of Montreal to meet my cousin for dinner and stay with her in a hotel overnight, allowing me to split my drive right in half and to visit with her for the night.

I will admit--I have not been to the city of Montreal in over ten years, except to drive through it last year on my drive home (while cursing the traffic and affirming my hatred of the city).
Well, Montreal didn't exactly redeem itself (I'm a confirmed Anglophone, and their recent provincial election, blamed on 'the polls' cements this for me, despite my French-Canadian roots, I don't even speak the language), we did get some beautiful cloudy, windy, residual weather in the city that night. We did have a delicious dinner (I had wine too) and my cousin snapped this stunning pic from our hotel room on the twentieth floor.

So, the skies in Toronto continue to change too, the light is falling on a slant in the evenings that signals "fall" to me, and I'm loving the cool, breezy weather that marks a welcome change from the summer of hell-hot temperatures that I had grown to hate the way only a city dweller can.
This post is all over the place, but it's okay, I'm out of practice as Natalie Goldberg would say.
I'm reading "A Drinking Life" by Pete Hamill and loving it. It's all about Hamill's boyhood in Brooklyn and how he watched his Irish-American father go deeper and deeper into the grips of alcoholism, and then his own adult life and his subsequent 'drinking life'. I'm about a third of the way through. I bought "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" while in Maine too, at a used bookstore I've grown to haunt, and it awaits.
I'm not eating lobster everyday like I did in Maine, instead I'm making my standard chicken dinners and eating arugula and saltines every day at lunch. I go to bed at eleven pm after watching news on tv and shaking my head. The pending election in the U.S. The unrest all over the world. Canadian government decisions that send warning signals to me about the future of this crazy planet that seems so bent on destroying itself.  I wait to see my neurologist again to get some kind of clue on my condition. I employ my acupuncturist and thankfully that seems to be the only thing that is really working. Like, really working. And I talk to Mike every day, mostly more than once a day, and I thank God for him every day, too. And I work. Work and work.
And another fall rolls around and I marvel again, at the swiftness of time passing.


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