Yesterday was a lovely day to end my summer holiday travels. We drove a couple of hours into the nearest city on a coolish sort of day and, despite the heavy Friday traffic, had a calm and peaceful drive through the fields where harvest has begun.
Although I detest that drive on a 2 lane highway filled with semis, holiday motor homes and giant oilfield equipment being hauled to various sites, we were quite fortunate and didn't get trapped behind too many slow moving vehicles in either direction of the drive.
We started our city time at a gluten free restaurant that has the most delicious food!! Neither my husband nor myself require gluten free foods, but he had been there before with a friend who does and they so enjoyed their meal. I had a shaved beef sandwich....REAL beef, medium rare and delicious with a ginger chutney and served on bean bread. My husband loves the fact that there isn't any corn, no corn products at all, anywhere in the place! Unfortunately, I was so entranced by my meal that, while I did think to scrape most of the honey sweetened ginger chutney off my sandwich, I wasn't thinking about how many carb units would be in a bread made with starchy beans!! My post-prandial glucose reading was way too high!!! So, my own fault! If we ever go there again I won't forget to check the carb count in my preferred order far more closely.
After lunch we had a few minutes to waste and went across the street to the MCC thrift store so my husband could look for a wool sweater for camping out next week. He found a wonderful sweater and also the exact type of fleece hoodie he has been looking for over the past few months. The hoodie is nearly new and his cost for both items was a grand total of six dollars! I have not darkened the door of a thrift store, other than to bring in donated items, for years and had forgotten it is possible to find some real gems if you are prepared to take the time and energy to look through every rack of clothing.
I had no thought of buying anything for myself there and didn't even bother to look until a pant suit hanging on the end of a rack caught my eye. That and another classic retailer's brand of wool winter dress jacket caught my eye...both nearly new....both in my size....total cost sixteen dollars. I couldn't resist. Not since I left my career behind could I ever afford either of these brand name items at suggested retail price. On Monday I am having them drycleaned and it is going to be a fashionable winter pour moi!! Later in the day I "just happened" to find a scarf in another store that matches the winter dress jacket perfectly.
My husband was delighted to find the rest of the camping foods he can't purchase locally. He located an obscurely situated sports store that carried the maps he wanted for next week's canoe adventure. He dropped off several pair of scissors at a special machine shop, meaning we will get another trip to the city sometime in the next couple of weeks to pick them up again. We stumbled across a wonderful cheese retailer near the tea import store we shop in. The parking situation in that particular area is terrible. People were driving around and around the area attempting to find a place to park, but as they turned one direction at the first intersection, we turned the other direction and found a spot immediately, less than 2 blocks from where we wanted to shop. It was serendipitous.
We had afternoon tea with a fellow Anglican leader and a lovely visit with her. She may just become our official spiritual director over the next few months. Praying about that possibility.
Dinner was East Indian and we shared it with a former professor of my husband's from seminary and his wife. They became our good friends while we were there and I wish we could spend more time together. This has been the best holiday for connecting with old friends. I am tired enough to be looking forward to my husband going on his canoe trip next week so I can accomplish some chores of my own and get some medical appointments taken care of.
Our summer holidays this year have been exactly what we both needed. I think we will continue, if possible, our newly established pattern of visiting our son's city in the off season. I think we will stop driving out there on so many crowded 2 lane highways and just fly out and rent a car. While the drive through the mountains is beautiful at all seasons, we have done it so many times we are tired of it. It takes 3 full days out and 3 full days back again in the car. We get better rates, less crowding and stress free travel, plus more time actually in the city when we leave the car at home.
Thank you God for a land with 4 distinct seasons and for summer holidays this year that have been particularly refreshing after last summer holiday's health debacle.