When I walked along the Italian Lakes with Jayne we talked and laughed and talked and contemplated and talked.
My throat got sore from talking and I was tired. Fourteen days of straight work will do that to a girl. The ol' body anticipates the same again. Starting Saturday. Fourteen days of Working Straight. Balance that. Find time to call home, eat well, go running, keep smiling, serve the folks: good, bad, ugly and otherwise. They might borrow your precious shoes and go barefooted. They might give you a gift and ask for it back. They might share their stories, kind words, acts of hope and wisdom.
Or, they might not.
Funny because Fourteen Days of Holiday goes by in a blink or two; fourteen days of straight work is a hellish blend of time laughing in your face and you reaching for the light at the end of the tunnel on October 15th.
Your journey to the Lago el awesomeness was via Autostrada. Gas Stations. More talking, the act of being away more important than any other current act. Refuelling the tank entirely seems impossible improbable and completely unlikely.
Lake Orta was beautiful. Lake Como was busy. You bought chocolate though, and that was sweet (in more ways than one).
The tank was refuelled, maybe by half. Or a third. No, let us go with a half.
Life in Italy is Complicated. You can't even understand the signs.
You rolled over and August became October and somewhere in there you turned Twenty Seven; somewhere in there you participated in an unplanned wine crawl over Florence that left you running for a regional train and praying to God above that you wont vomit on Trentalia, because that seems like something a Twenty Seven year old probably shouldn't do. But the kind people in Italy made cards and chocolate and notes and you got messages and love from all over the world. The nice house people made you special Birthday desert. YUM.
You miss the connection from Como in Milano to Firenze so you check your baggage with your choppy nasty minimal Italian and hoof the streets for a couple hours. You see a woman riding a bike in Louboutin boots and think of sister. One photo on a dreary afternoon is the only evidence to suggest the existence of this afternoon.
Think excessively about Death Valley and how much the Desert misses you. Maybe how you miss the Desert. Think about the year. Worry in small doses about winter employment. Think often of British Columbia. Think often about buying a new bike. Think of how you are sneakily and illegally going to park your car for free in the parkade of the PLACE THAT YOU ACTUALLY LIVE.
There are ups. There are downs. There is an emptiness in the loneliness that comes from missing hugs and loves and simple dinners where you don't have to dress up and sit for three hours at a time. There is the twisting in your guts every time you think about missing Thanksgiving. Not just the sweet potatoes because they are your favorite and NOT only BECAUSE they are orange.
There is a longing for sweat pants and mindless books to read. There is a longing to go for a walk at night, be in bed before 10pm and trashy TV. To spend time with people you CHOOSE to spend time with. For actually crossing things off the 'Current Projects' list. For movement. Not lateral. Not jumping. Forward. And that walk you like that takes you to that park that shows off the Calgary skyline at night at winter in dark it is the most beautiful.
This week you also found your Mom a new dog. Buddy. Or... in Italy, Piccolino (little guy).
You are strong for this. Strong like bull. Mind strong. Like all the weeks during University when you color coded every day every moment filled with things. These lessons and others translating into a beautiful experience. Fortitude. Effort. Attitude. Inner strength. Soul Strength. Choice.
Onto the train. On ward home. Like a hike that has a stream crossing. Or like a narrow drive you navigate through.
I live in Calgary where I own a small business, instruct fitness classes and call myself an endurance athlete. I am the proud owner of four bikes, an expensive wine education, and a strange fascination with the colour orange. I have a long-time love of football, baking, and coffee. I put my minor in creative writing to use occasionally both here and in other publications.
I live with my tall, handsome and often-hungry professional triathlete husband.
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