A Quiet Place
While we weighed the pros and cons of lake life, we went for lots of walks and found that if we continued down to the end of Santa Fe Street (where our RV park was situated), walked through the construction zone, and down the bike path along the Interstate, we could walk to a quieter neighbourhood in La Jolla Colony.
The idea of creating a home base somewhere quiet, on an acreage, near a body of water, and near family; those were the pros. The compromise would be a northern location instead of out east, but it was hardly a compromise. There would be lots of benefits to lake life.
Sometimes a good book can be the best distraction. Writing one would be even better! I was deep in revisions, trying to understand what my editor had uncovered in my manuscript. I studied the notes from her. She wanted me to choose a storyline to continue with, instead of having two that were competing with each other. My pacing was good, chapter length was right, but I had to pick one character over the other for the protagonist. That would tighten the story. Didn’t I have enough decisions to make?
We were halfway through our time south of the border. I journaled my appreciation that we had made it this far. Staying put, even in the chaos we had landed ourselves in, was the right choice. It was the only decision we made during that time that we stuck to. We paid for another month in San Diego. Island life, lake life, whatever direction we took next, this was merely the start of the most significant decision we had ahead of us.
During this time I also closed the chapter on family life I wrote for myself as a child. I was clinging too tightly to memories of my parents, both gone. It’s a funny thing, grief. My story had remained open like a door because I didn’t know I could walk through and separate from the pain, and from an identity I no longer related to. Another burden was gone.
We didn’t tell anyone about our plans to come home early. How fun, we thought, to surprise family for the holidays. We picked our dates, made reservations, and then a storm changed everything. Actually, we changed our minds about heading back to Vancouver Island before the storm pounded the Pacific Northwest. Thank goodness we did. I hate to remind you all of the trees that fell, and the tornado that touched down in the Seattle suburb of Port Orchard, but that would have been a treacherous drive for us up the coast. Instead, we picked up a turkey breast and celebrated Solstice, the longest night of the year, in the dark. We still had power, but many of you did not.
The kayaks went into the water for the last time of 2018 on December 20th. We dropped them into Mission Bay, off the dock in the park. The pelicans were hanging out there, but one separated from the group and dove for a fish very near to me once I got out on the water. Pelicans grunt at each other when together in a colony, but are generally silent on their own. When that pelican came back up with the fish, we looked at each other and sensed why the other had nothing to say.
Weather, neighbours, where we could stay, these were situations often out of our control. We were still practicing to have patience. I might never be a patient person, but I do appreciate good weather! Also clean clothes, shelter, and even dishes to wash because that means I’ve had good food to eat.
We weren’t truly alone for the holidays. We talked to loved ones on the phone and connected online with friends and family.
Another thing I appreciate is that Jamie does all the heavy lifting when we go kayaking. He always offers a hand out of the water too. I think I have good balance until I try to exit the kayak and heave myself onto a dock.