As I write this, packing is on my mind. Very soon I’ll be off for a week at our timeshare condo in Canmore, Alberta. Canmore, in the Bow Valley, is nestled at the base of the Rocky Mountains about 100 kilometres west of Calgary and about 20 east of Banff. With a permanent population of 12,000, It’s big enough to have everything, yet small enough to navigate easily.
There’s something reassuring in an all?s-right-with-the-world kind of way when places you visited in the past are still there when you return. A little pre-trip Googling has confirmed that Indochine, a Vietnamese fusion restaurant in my building, is still there. This time, I’ll be sure to visit more than once during my stay. And I’m sure some of my money will find its way into the till at Second Story Books, a little gem hidden in the basement of a building on 8th Street. My Internet intelligence tells me there’s another bookstore to check out: Cafe Books. Is it new or simply overlooked on previous trips? I mustn’t forget to stop in at the antique shop and thrift store as well.
Because Roy will be busy spraying the crops for weeds and attending meetings, he is staying behind. That is not entirely a bad thing, and I suspect he’d agree. A week apart won’t hurt this nearly 38-year marriage. He can chill or do whatever it is that he does.
And I can accomplish something. I am taking mucho work with me. There are writing projects to complete and others to begin. There are magazine markets to study and queries to write.
There is the second novel to (re)start with some intense effort. I’m reading and loving No Plot? No Problem!, written by the founder of National Novel Writing Month, Chris Baty. While I have no intention of writing a novel in a month, I’m sure there are some lessons to be learned from him and from the fast novel-writing phenomenon in general.
I’ve loaded my e-reader with many titles for those moments when I need to take a break. The resort also lends DVDs, and last year I watched several at bedtime. How freeing it is to eat, sleep, read, work, and play when a girl wants to? Guilt-free. Not on anyone else’s timetable.
Of course, one of my last duties is filling the fridge with effortless (and non-toxic) eating options for Roy, because he would surely starve to death otherwise. So between packing clothing and toiletries and filling a couple of business cases with work supplies, I’ve got to get the laundry done, get the flowerbeds looking a little less straggly, and plan that infernal cooking.
To ensure that my retreat is productive and restorative, I will pack some music, a scented candle, work essentials, and some focussed intentions. The goal: to do those things I wouldn’t get to at home because of interruptions and distractions, plus enjoy some guilt-free rewards.
This week will be a wonderful gift and I hope, dear reader, that you too can enjoy your own version of this little bit of heaven. Canmore, are you ready? Because here I come, from where I sit.