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Posts Tagged ‘travel’

I like to travel and experience new things.  I like to check things out and when I go to a new place I like to use public transportation and walk wherever possible.

One of the challenges of hearing impairment is I often cannot hear airport and transit announcements.  They all sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher, if you know what I mean.

Last summer I heard about a wonderful conference called Spirit Pride and it looked like an awesome opportunity to connect with folks in the LGBTQ+ community who are people of faith.  Sometimes we hear that being a Queer Christian is an oxymoron.  Well, it’s not.

On Friday, what would have been my Dad’s 86th birthday I drove to the next community over to fly from their airport to Vancouver.  I don’t like to fly.  I’m not sure what it is, but I’m not a huge fan of airplanes, which is ironic as my brother is a pilot.  It is what it is.

While I’m at the airport very early I hear that the flight is delayed an hour.  Instant panic.  My carefully scheduled plan of how to get from the South Terminal to the Main Terminal to the Canada Line to the hotel and to the Church for the Conference is now scuppered.  Heart starts racing, breathing is shallow and I find myself getting lightheaded.

I walked to the closest window and looked outside at the mountains.  And concentrated on my breathing…and then I started to relax.  I sat down and read my book.  I negotiated with myself…”okay, if we arrive on time, I can get to the Shuttle to the Main Terminal and then find the station to get on the SkyTrain.  I can check in, freshen up and take in the opening and the film screening tonight”.

As we flew I kept checking schedules and making notes.  Maybe I’d have to skip checking into the hotel, could do that after the film screening.  Ugh.

We landed, I got off the plane, found the exit to the terminal and there was a shuttle bus waiting.  I climbed on and we drove to the main terminal.  Traffic was heavy and slow.  I watched the time ticking along feeling more and more anxious.  Concentrated on my breathing.  “you got this, you got this”.

Arrived at the main terminal.  The shuttle driver pointed to where I needed to go to catch the SkyTrain and I started to relax a little.  Waked to the SkyTrain terminal, bought a ticket and waited 2 minutes for the train to arrive.  By my calculations I had 20 minutes to get to the Church before the opening ceremonies and the film screening.

Then I remembered it was my dad’s birthday.  He’d have been 86.  He was never in a hurry and seldom on time.  He didn’t fight time, he flowed with it.  So I made a decision, not to worry about the time, to look around and breathe.  So I did.

I got off the train and started walking, realising after about 5 minutes, it was the wrong way.  I laughed and asked to pet a dog.  Asked directions to the hotel, and was told politely, how to get there.  I looked around, smiled and asked to pet many more dogs.

Got to the hotel and the check in time was excruciating.  And it was now 10 minutes after the opening had started.  I gave myself permission to not attend the opening and screening.  I began to focus on my breathing.  And then it was my turn to check in.  I found my room, turned on the air conditioner, freshened up and went for a walk to check out the neighbourhood.

I found a dog park and petted many, many dogs and chatted with many people.

Eventually I found the Church and by this time it was 8:30.  I didn’t go in.  I walked around that neighbourhood, found another dog part and petted many more dogs.  Felt my blood pressure lessen and my heart rate drop.  Felt myself relax and enjoy my surroundings.

Went for a walk back to the hotel and saw several people with needles preparing to shoot up.  Said silent prayers for them, and found another way back to the hotel.  Stopped at the hotel restaurant, a sports bar, and realised I was the only woman in the place.  Took a seat at the bar, ordered a beer for my dad and asked for a menu.  Had supper, a second beer and took another walk in a different direction.  Saw the Yaletown Roundhouse platform.

Went back to my hotel room and settled in for the night.

The conference was wonderful and I enjoyed all of it.  I walked whenever there was a break, to check out the neighbourhood and gave thanks that I don’t live in a big city.  I don’t have to worry about heavy traffic, street lights, and too many people.

After the last session on Saturday I walked to Gastown and checked it out.  Then I walked back to my hotel, taking a long way around.  Enjoying the sights and sounds of the city, knowing that the next day I’d be heading home.

Sunday I got up early and checked out.  Walked a different way to the Church and visited with the folks who were setting up for worship.  Checked out the hymns and order of service and waited, in prayer and silence for worship to begin.  It was wonderful and lasted nearly two hours.

Then I said goodbye to the organizers and Church Minister.  I walked down to the sea wall, backpack on my back and made the long trip home.  I arrived very early to the SkyTrain, and very early to catch the shuttle between terminals.  I didn’t stress or fret because I had lots of time and a good book to read.

I walked around the outside of the terminal and petted some dogs.  I walked around inside the terminal and looked at the artwork, and read some of the history of the airport.

Then I cleared security and waited to board the aircraft.  I explained to the customer service rep that I don’t hear the announcements very well and he promised he’d let me know when it was coming time to board.  And he did.

My car was where I left it, and I drove home as the day began to fade to night.  It was a wonderful conference.  I learned a lot and made some contacts.  I also learned to trust myself and to let some stuff go.  I’m still a nervous traveller and always will be.

I learned that I can be afraid and still do something.  After all, isn’t that the definition of courage?

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Lent is my favourite season in the Church.  Holy Week is a marathon of services, in my case 10 services in 8 days.  By the end of the week I’m astonished, exhausted, relieved, overwhelmed and just about any other emotion you can imagine.  In short, I am absolutely spent.

Usually I don’t take too much time off after Easter because there’s always the next thing to do; Bible Study, homiletic preparation, study, liturgical preparation.  This year I decided to take 4 days off after Easter, but not all together.  And that was intentional.

Yesterday I took my first day trip south of the border since I moved to the small town in BC where I now reside.  It was wonderful.  Thankfully I had a tour guide who drove so I could oohh and aahh as we drove along.  Every now and then one of us would see something, and exclaim “LOOK”.  Then we’d stop the car, get out and look.

If I had to recreate the trip I likely could, with some consultation from the driver.  It was, all in all, a perfect day off.  I didn’t talk about work.  I didn’t think about work.  I simply was.  We gazed at vistas, mountains, trees, lakes, rocks, plains.  And marveled in the glory of God.

We talked as we traveled…okay I did most of the talking…and also enjoyed listening to music and traveling in silence.

Today I had great plans of things I was going to get done around the house…dusting, laundry, washing the floor…and I’ve decided instead to relax.  The housework will wait.  My dining room table needs cleaning off and the table cloth needs laundering, but it doesn’t need to happen today.

Today is about self-care.  It’s about resting.  Refreshing.  Relaxing.  Tomorrow I’m back at it, happily and Thursday I have Easter home communions, which I enjoy.  Then Friday and Saturday I’m off.  This time brings out my itchy feet…my wanderlust.  And while part of me would love to get in the car and go, my body is telling me to slow down and rest.

And *gasp*, I’m listening.

So I’ve made myself a cup of tea and will head over to the post office later and maybe pick up some bagels, but otherwise, I’m a home body today.

And that’s just grand!

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Home again, home again jiggedy jig.

I made it.  After six hours of driving today, through wind, snow, rain and sun we finally arrived.  C, my Warden was here with keys and hugs.  There were flowers with a card signed by the congregation.

It’s a beautiful day here…views from mountains from most every window.  The living room window looks out over a brick wall from the building next door.  Otherwise every window has a spectacular view.

Looking around the office, the boxes have arrived.  They just need to be unpacked.  There is food in the fridge, ice cream in the freezer, and tea bags on the counter.

There are two beds in the house that are made and ready to go.  Everything I could need is here.  Bed, dresser, bedside table…amazing.

This afternoon we took a walk around the downtown and need to decide somewhere to go to supper.  Tomorrow will be spent unpacking, buying little things needed like a boot mat and a garbage can.

I can have a bath in my bathtub.  Sleep in my new bed.

In my new home.

I’m home.

I went to the Church and checked out the worship space.  I was overcome with emotion, shed a few tears, feeling like I am where God has called me to be.  I showed my traveling companion the place and she shed a few tears as well.  “This is where you need to be”.  One of the stained glass windows behind the altar says “The Sower”.  That’s what she feels I am called to be; what it is that I am going to do; what I am called to do here.

I’m exhausted, exhilarated and ready to go…but first I need to eat and then to sleep.

Life, as they say, is grand.

God is great.

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This morning we left Winnipeg, Manitoba and tonight we stopped in Swift Current, Saskatchewan.  It was about 9 hours of driving and 800 kilometers.  We made stops for food, gas, stretches and giggles.

This has been a remarkable journey thus far.  The landscape changed from cityscape to rural, from hills to plains and prairie.  We saw Ice Roads, rivers, wheat, trees and rock.  What a remarkable country we get to call home.

I’ve seen all manner of vehicles on the road.  Traveled at the speed limit, below it and occasionally above it.  Cruise control is wonderful.

So tonight as I reflect back on the time my friend and I have traveled I have literally shaken the dust off my shoes from Ontario and begin to embrace my new life in the West.  We are not yet in the mountains, but I find myself yearning for my new home.

I’ve never lived outside of Ontario, so this will be a new chapter and adventure.  I’m excited to see what the future holds.

And for right now I’m going to have a long soak in the tub, check out tomorrow’s route and pray for restful sleep.

Tomorrow is B.C. or bust!

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We decided last night that we wanted to travel earlier today and possibly be off the road a little sooner than last night tonight.  We definitely traveled farther today, and definitely traveled further tonight then we have yet.  A total of 11 hours of driving, with short breaks, filled the gas tank twice.

We started at 8:00 am and checked into the hotel tonight just after 7:00 pm.  A very long day, but worth it to make up for Thursday’s lousy weather day.

The roads were icy this morning but the further we traveled West the clearer they got.  Had some rain in Minnesota, but other than that, the weather was great.  It was -12 when we started out from Ironwood, and +3 when we landed in Winnipeg.  Definitely a strange winter.

Started this morning in Michigan, crossed into Wisconsin, then Minnesota, then North Dakota and finally into Manitoba tonight.  The sight of a Tim Horton’s; the first we’d seen since leaving London, Ontario bright a slight tear to our eye.  Ah yes, steeped tea…nectar of the Gods.

The first day of travel we went 500 kms.  Yesterday we traveled 600 kms.  Today we traveled 950 kms.  That leaves just over 1,400 kms to go.

And now to plot tomorrow’s route, and find something for supper.  All in all, an excellent day.

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Today started a mess, and ended quite well.  I didn’t get as much done yesterday as I had hoped and this morning when I started packing the car I realised I still had too many boxes. So eight of them were shipped, the rest, including my clothes were loaded in and my traveling companion and I headed west.

Crossing the border at Port Huron was a breeze.  I was asked to put down the rear window and the border guard asked if it was like playing tetris trying to get everything in.  He asked where we were going and then advised us on how far we could get before we stopped for the night…Gaylord, Michigan.

Tonight, after a long day on the road and the emotions of saying goodbye to the home I’ve known for eight years, it was good to simply float in the warm water of the hotel pool.   I exercised myself for half an hour and then I floated…it was bliss.

Not much to write tonight, still processing the past couple of weeks, especially the last week and weekend.  Tonight is for relaxing, something fun to watch on Netflix and early to sleep.

Then tomorrow, once again, we will be on the road as the adventure calls us West.

Thus far we have traveled 500 kilometers.  Only about 2,700 to go.   🙂  Look out, here we come!!!

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