Yesterday the travel alarm went off at 5 a.m. This is not my best time of day but Sandra needed to be at the airport to fly home to Saint John. I shall miss her.
Sandra and I spent 28 days living together in a 19 foot van, an impressive accomplishment I think even for two women who have been friends for about 50 years. Like many high school friends, Sandra and I didn’t really keep in touch during the years when we were raising our families. (This is particularly true for me as I moved from my home town of Saint John 1968.) However, we reconnected several years ago and have renewed our friendship. Over the last eight years or so, we have taken several shorter trips together, travelling by car and staying in hotels and motels which afforded us a little more luxury and privacy.
I believe that the secret of travelling in close quarters is to genuinely marvel at how another person does things and to remember that there is no right or wrong way to accomplish most tasks. It’s interesting to learn how another person approaches and accomplishes the everyday tasks that make up most of our daily living.
And we had lots of time for woman-to-woman talk. We compared how our families differed and how they are the same. We compared our views on relationships, religion and politics – no subject was off limits and there was no judgment when our views differed. Perhaps that’s the test of true friendship: acceptance and delight in discovering who your friend really is.
I will miss Sandra as I continue of the rest of this journey.
After I dropped Sandra at the airport I began the task of getting ready for my own trip home to Calgary on Tuesday. I cleaned through the van culling out anything I didn’t use - or wear – frequently. I did laundry, I bought a suitcase to travel home with, I made arrangements to have the van’s air conditioning fixed and for a rental car for the last couple of days before fly home.
The Roadtrek dealer here will keep my van on their lot while I’m gone so I don’t have to find a storage facility. This works well for both of us – it will take about three weeks for a new air conditioner to arrive from Canada (yes, the replacement has to come from Kitchener) and the dealer can work on Bessie at his leisure.
I’m looking forward to a break from the road. I have not been back in Calgary since the end of May. I miss my family and my friends there. It will be good to see them all again.
On Dec. 11, I will return to Florida. My Toronto daughter will join me here for Christmas. And then I will continue this great adventure as I work my way across the southern states, up the west coast and finally back to Calgary again.