Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wednesday's Words for November 11, 2009

Within a couple of hours of posting this essay I’ll be on my way, the last leg of my trip to Ottawa to visit a friend, fellow writer and critique partner. She gets one of her regular days off in the middle of the week. We’ll be brainstorming and just hanging out. I haven’t seen her since April, and the RT convention in Orlando, so I’m really looking forward to it.

My beloved is taking a last-minute vacation of his own. He’s enjoying tropical beaches and high heat, neither of which are good for me at the moment as my knee hasn’t quite healed.

For just the second time in my life I’ve enjoyed a few days at home alone. I’ve been trying to get ahead of the NaNo curve, so this quiet time was a gift. It felt very strange not to have to worry about anyone but myself; to go to bed early and then, upon waking in the middle of the night, know it was all right to get up and write some more, because that was what I wanted to do. Very nice not to be yanked mercilessly from slumber by a mechanical beeping pest.

The dog isn’t happy with me, of course, because I was the one who took his daddy away. Ah well, you can’t have everything.

For those of you who are married, have you ever taken separate vacations? We did this one time before, years ago when the kids were all still with us. We’d had a really good year, financially, and thought it would be nice to get away for a couple of days alone. We took turns, separate weekends in Toronto.

Neither of us asked the other to account for our time. We don’t operate that way. I recall that I slept a lot of that weekend, and enjoyed the luxury of not having to prepare a meal or make a bed. When I wasn’t sleeping I had a book by the indoor pool, and no one to worry about but myself.

The guys my husband works with are, by and large, much younger than he is. It took them a couple of weeks to believe that I would actually “let him” go on vacation by himself. Once they understood that yes, he was going and no, I was not then they peppered him with questions about what he would do on the beaches in the Caribbean. Rubbing their hands together they had all sorts of images in their heads.

He gave up trying to convince them that he was mostly just going to swim, snooze, read, and eat (my beloved is about 26 years sober and has no interest in alcohol whatsoever). We both understand their lack of belief stems from knowing that if they vacationed without their wives or girlfriends to a lush, all-you-can-eat-or-drink tropical paradise peppered with pretty women in bikinis, they would not be so restrained in their behaviour.

The tropics at this time of year tend to be very hot and humid, and under the best of circumstances, that’s not comfortable for me. I like warmth, but not scorching heat.

We’ve been married for going on 38 years now, and one of the secrets to a long marriage, we believe, is giving each other permission to be individuals, and room to breathe.

Just in case anyone feels sorry for my lack of water sports this week, take heart. Since Ottawa is a fairly long drive, I stopped more than half way and took a room for the night, one that has a Jacuzzi in the bedroom. The hotel also features an indoor saltwater pool. With a knee that’s been out of commission (but is healing) I’ve had to limit myself to showers, as my tub is too hard to get in and out of. So first I enjoyed a swim, and then a nice long soak in the big jetted tub. It was my idea of heaven. All right, all right, I confess. Two long soaks. And one on the agenda before I leave this morning. I may look like a prune but I’m a very relaxed one.

Tomorrow my friend and I will be sipping tea, checking in on a chat I’m doing for part of the day, and basically touching base face to face sharing all our busy lives have held these last few months. We’ll begin to plan our time together in Columbus in the spring, for the next RT convention.

We’ll also brainstorm some plot ideas, have a look at each other’s works in progress, and probably watch some chick flicks in the evening. She has four children, and I’m looking forward to getting to know them better, too.

Vacations are different for everyone, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Satisfy your Cowboy Cravings

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