St’ehcation (Staycation…..)

No opportunity for a vacation in the near future, perhaps a one day ‘stay’cation is in order. Seeing as it’s the Canada Day holiday here in Canuck land, and 150th no less, perhaps it would best be called a ‘St’eh’cation. This is obviously my inept attempt at some Canadian humour.

Madden, Mason, and Ivy - hooked on electronicsAs our childcare responsibilities have been frequent it seems that the ‘me’ time or ‘our’ time has been somewhat restricted. We have had the g-kids almost every day and in fact we filled in for the closed daycare on both Thur. and Friday. On Friday we even hung out with our g-nephew Mason, he likes
(more here http://wp.me/p8mDx0-t1)

Advertisements

On the Road Again…., Again

I’m leaving on the next train…. Wait, that’s a song title, not my next step. Of course “On the Road Again” is also a song but that more closely reflects what’s about to happen today. It’s also the title of a previous post but that has no real bearing here. That was camping, this is a road trip, by car.

I’ve been away from home for a week now. Really 8 days but who’s counting?  This whole adventure is partly a life experiment and partly an opportunity to reconnect with friends and family I haven’t seen for a while. In my Aunts and Uncles case it could be 20+ years.  I don’t really recall the last time I saw some of them.

The life experiment part is a little harder to explain.  Sometimes it can be a challenge for me to pass information on concisely so I question whether I should try to do so here, but what the heck nothing ventured nothing gained.

It all started back in the summer of ’72…… Well, that may be a bit too far back but it was when I met my wife and she has a bearing on this story.  Fast forward to a more reasonable time period, say earlier this spring (2012) to my retirement and just subsequent to it.

I adapted to the idea of being at home (I think) but there was, and still is, some adjustment required when it comes to my wife and I occupying the same space in the early morning, before she leaves for work.  This hasn’t presented any arguments or ill will but it has stimulated discussion, and that’s a good thing.  Better to talk than yell I think.  Everything they say is true, when one spouse retires it certainly provides challenges for the other, actually both if you think about it.

So to make a long story less long we discussed the option of me taking a bit of a road trip at this time, a time when she is just beginning her school year as a Child car worker and things are already stressful.  There are little side stories to her responsibilities which complicate things further and add to this stressful time but needless to say after talking it out we both liked the idea of me heading out for a while and her having some “alone time” so she can re-adjust to the idea of being back at work.  It was also a good fit for me, because while we were able to travel a lot this past summer there were still places I wanted to go and people I wanted to meet.  The idea of a road trip was a win-win.

To begin this adventure. we both went to Kelowna a week ago last Friday to see our daughter and family.  It was a nice treat because they were going to a wedding out of town and we would be taking over sole responsibility of Madden’s care (new grandson) while they were away.  Our first over-nighter, there first night away from the baby.  We handled the challenge admirably and while my wife wanted to stay a bit longer after the babysitting tour she had to get back home.  I took her to the bus on Sunday afternoon.  She was back to the grind Monday.

I stayed in Kelowna until Tuesday when I left to go to my brothers in the Vancouver area.  We had a really nice visit and I left there Thursday, hopped on the ferry and stopped at our friends house in Saanich to commiserate with them.

20120922-121048.jpgThe rest is history as they say.  I left there this morning and now here I sit, having some lunch and a beer, taking care of some business and leaving shortly to visit a friend for a day or so.  From there I’ll try to connect with my Aunts and Uncles and then perhaps go to the Sunshine Coast for a brief alone time before heading out again.

I’ll endeavour to provide an update, goodness knows my record isn’t the best for posting lately but I’ll see if I can pick up my socks.  Bear with me please.

On a more personal note perhaps I’ve been feeling pretty good lately, emotionally.  I don’t feel depressed, or at least most of the times I don’t.  I still struggle with understanding if the issue is really depression or just pronounced mood swings.  Maybe I’ll get smarter as I age.  Time will tell.

Perhaps this road trip will also be an opportunity for me to learn more about myself.  I often hear people say “I know so much more about myself now”, or “I want to learn who I am”.  Although I aspire to acquire this knowledge to date it’s escaped me.  I really don’t know what more I can learn.  I think I’m an open book but perhaps I’ve not read every chapter.  I hope the road can tell me.

The Pause that Refreshes

Photo 2012-07-26 5 55 15 PM

We are beginning the second leg of our trips now.  We finished one tour of camping duty and have gone back out to battle the roads again.  Yesterday and the day before give us a chance to get caught up on laundry, pick up a few supplies, and take care of one or two personal appointments.  At least one of the appointments was for Dad, taking him for things like blood work etc..  The outcome of that was mentioned in “I Saw an Old Man Walking”.

We drove as far as the Colville Walmart last night, arriving around 8:30 pm or so.  Made for a long day but with some luck we’ll make up for it at the tail end of our trip.  I really do not like the drive-camp-drive scenario, much too tiring for me.  As long as we can get a few days of downtime after these first couple days we should be ok.

Spokane was the destination of choice today.  We only drove as far as Deer Park this morning where we came across an inexpensive municipal camping spot so we decided to bunk there.  $10 bucks a night is within my budget.  That’s good too because I blew the budget a bit while shopping at Costco.

Photo 2012-07-26 5 55 15 PMI’ve been a tad frustrated trying to navigate while using maps and reading road signs so an investment in a GPS was considered.  I didn’t have to consider too long though, actually it was a foregone conclusion.  I picked up a Garmin nuvi 2595LMT.  I hope it’s a good unit.  Too late now anyway but it’s always nice to know you made a good choice.

My posts are likely to be a bit disjointed from here on out, at least for the next week or so.  Nothing new you might think, but because we’re on the road it has been a bit more challenging to put up a good post.  Somehow the preparation on my iPhone just doesn’t do justice to the appearance of a blog.  I can get the content in alright but making it look at least a little interesting is more challenging.

I’ve been using an app called Penzu to write them and then copy/paste in the WordPress app when I get cell service.  I don’t think I can insert pictures as easily though and they seem to lose all formatting when I do the paste.  I have just used the WordPress app to prepare the post but I’ve also lost them that way too.  No chances are taken when I do it this way.

Anyway, I’m off for now.  Time to move on.

July 21 – On the Road Again

Our visit here is almost over. One more night, tonight, and we will be back on the road again. It reminds me of the Willie Nelson song…..”On the Road Again”…., I think it was Willie anyway. I’ve never been good at remembering songs or artists so cut me some slack, please.

20120722-200643.jpgIt’s been somewhat relaxing camping here at Bridgeport State park. The campground as a whole is quite pretty, and as I said in my last post where it’s not really my style it does have a certain charm. My wife gave it an 80% and while I wouldn’t rate it that high. I would say it’s probably in the top third. Of course that’s only measured from the places we’ve seen. As I said I’m a camping-snob too.

This location would be quite nice for groups of families camping together due to the open concept and the “circle the wagons” format of social camping. I, however, am not that social and I am a self described non-social person, not to be confused with anti-social.

The two are distinctly different in my mind. Where an “anti” social personality is against being social (hence “anti”) I am just more comfortable in situations that don’t demand or require social interaction. I am more the wall flower, or perhaps the strong silent type. In fact one of my favorite quotes is “It’s better to remain silent and thought a fool than to speak up and remove all doubt”. I would search out and identify the author of the quote but unfortunately my Internet access is slow or non-existent.

So I’m non-social, have no Internet, and perhaps no personality or life. What am I to do while I’m on the road? I do like to read and if I can remain focused for long enough I can plow through a good sized book in no time. That too is relative but my reading speed and comprehension are pretty quick, faster than average I think. I was reading college level in grade 9 and although that was 100 years ago I still have the fundamentals.

Where I am challenged though, apart from my ADD and other obvious things (kidding, but only partly) is my disconnect from the ‘net. Blogging, and all it entails like photos, quotes, post formatting etc. are more challenging when you try to do it solely from your phone, utilizing only the apps you have available, and relying on your cell carriers coverage. It’s probably also obscenely expen$$$ive, as I’m sure I’ll find out, as my connection is strictly via roaming. I’m sure there are easier/better/cheaper methods and I’m equally as sure I’ll figure them out. That’s probably best dealt with under separate cover.

So anyway we’re on the road again but I’m off the information highway. You’ll have to bear with me and take my posts as they come, perhaps without some of the niceties, minus the lipstick and rouge. I’ll do my best but until we get back into Canada or I get good wifi somewhere the posts will be what they’ll be. Hoist one for Willie and the road.

Our Time Here is Done

20120719-093542.jpgOur time here is almost done.  We will be on the road shortly to continue our adventure in the US.  That is currently the plan anyway.

We’ve been staying at our daughter and son in laws for the last 2 days and nights, to catch up on laundry and of course see the family (read that grandson).  I lamented the fact in my last post that we had to spend a chunk of cash on the trailer to get a wheel alignment done but that is done now and I think we are good to go.  Let’s see what the road holds for us. Continue reading Our Time Here is Done

Missing Post – Madden and Me

I don’t know what happened here, the post below was MIA, lost in the abyss, originally published (I thought) July 7.

Here we go again, the quality time one desires as a grandparent.  The holding and cuddling, the snuggling and feeding of the the baby and then having them fall asleep in your arms.  To listen to the purring of their soft breathing, the occasional sighs and the peaceful calmness of their trust.   It takes me back to the good times we had as young parents, except now as they say we can give them back as they misbehave or become cranky.  Not that we would.

20120707-135907.jpgAll the adults are out at present and Madden and I are having some quality time bonding whilst we walk.  It’s good for him to get out in the fresh air and sun (not direct sun mind you) and also good for me. I’ve been neglecting myself lately so here we can kill two birds with one stone.  He can get some air and I’ll get a stretch.

We are laying over here for a day or so before heading back off to camp. The time will be spent bonding with the kids, Madden time of course, and buying enough grub for the next phase of our journey.  We will leave here tomorrow morning for Herald Provincial park, across the Shuswap Lake from Salmon Arm.  We will stay there until the 17th and then back onto the highway for more adventures further south.

It will be interesting times.

Camp, Camp, Camp Away

Day 1 of our camping trip is under our belts, how many days we have left is open for discussion but it should be at least 18. That’s a good long time on the road.  Will we survive it, that is the question.

20120706-170359.jpgLast night we spent the evening at Christina Lake, in the Gladstone Provincial Park. We had a beautiful spot situated on the plateau with a view of the lake through the trees. Many of the sites in the park, those not on the lower level, are on a side hill above the plateau and while they are still nice camping spots they did not afford the view we enjoyed. Continue reading Camp, Camp, Camp Away