The day raced ahead of me like greased lightning, but finally, thankfully, it ended and there was nothing left to do but go home.
In my head I do the list.
Surface of desk respectably devoid of papers, sticky notes, pens, candy wrappers, water bottles and coffee mugs.
Stories written, proof read and placed in appropriate folder.
Pictures downloaded and cutlines written.
Instructions and suggestions left for reporter covering for me.
I turned the key in the lock on the office door, giving the door a quick body check to make sure it really was locked, climbed into my somewhat old, but very much paid for SUV and turned my wheels southward and homeward.
Holidays. Two glorious weeks. Does it get any better?
Holiday type visions, doing summersaults and cartwheels, crashed into each other in my brain.
And so it came to be that about the same time as shards of sunlight slipped down, touching the green leaves of summer with a shimmer of gold, I mentally shed my mind of work and deadlines.
At least I tried to.
“Relax,” everyone said. “Just relax. Remember, you are on holidays.”
Oh, how I loved it. The concept. The whole idea. Re- laxing. Reading a book in the middle of the day, until you are sun soaked and sleepy and the book slips out of your fingers and crashes to the floor.
I tried to imagine having the time to actually play 18 holes of golf, badly, because playing 18 holes of golf well is beyond even my imagination.
I imagined having the time to browse in one of those old bookstores where grandmas like me and kids with frayed shorts and T- shirts with obnoxious sayings splayed across the front can hang out easily together. It seems, in these places where books are packed haphazardly on shelves, in nooks and crannies and on window seals and little molecules of dust hang suspended in the air, time stands perfectly still and life is good and gentle and kind.
I imagined being on the beach with my grandchildren and never saying, “hurry up, let’s go! Instead, I would say, “We can stay as long as you want. Lets build another sandcastle.”
Well, as life would have it, the pieces of reality and imagination don’t usually fit together perfectly, but luckily for me, some pieces did fit, smoothly like it was part of a big, giant plan.
The bookstore happened. I found so many of them in the interior of B.C. where the sun rained heat down on us in waves, and my Alberta white skin gradually took on a whole new shade o bronze and not out of a bottle. I wore sunglasses, striving for the Audrey Hepburn look or maybe Jackie Kennedy, but behind them, I was just a nearsighted grandma, seeing only a blur of people and things.
Still, I was happy!
One day I took two of the grandchildren to the beach, loading up sand pails and shovels and little blue fish and towels and bathing suits and walking with them across the sun kissed pavement to buy bubble gum ice cream.
We washed their blue ice cream faces in the lake and always I will remember the sound of their laughter and the splash of waves and the sweet overpowering surge of love I felt as I wrapped their little bodies in huge beach towels.
One day. One moment. One holiday.
Ahhh! It truly doesn’t get any better!