Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Newfoundland in August

August is a hard month to visit Newfoundland if you want to leave without feeling sad. I was home last Christmas and couldn’t wait to leave. The weather was terrible and I was exhausted with trying to catch up with so many people in such a short period of time. I was actually glad when we touched down at Iqaluit airport. Finally, myself and Cathy could get back to our apartment, our bed and our stuff.

This time it was different. I’m not going to go all melodramatic and say there is no better place on the planet than Newfoundland in August. Clearly there are. However, if you have a choice on when you can visit Newfoundland – meaning no weddings, meetings, funerals or whatever – then I honestly don’t know why you would pick a time other than August.

For the two weeks I was home, it rained twice (although one of those days was the outdoor wedding we went home for). The temperature was consistently around 20C or so, which is perfect for me. It was nice and green. The trees were in their full glory (and lacking the spanworm infestation of previous years.) And while we certainly were kept busy shopping for the resupply and hanging out with friends, it wasn’t the insane pace of Christmas. We took a day and went to Cathy’s favourite beach in Conception Bay. We spent a day lounging around her backyard. We ate at our favourite restaurants. We actually relaxed. It was a pretty good vacation.

Although part of that has to go to Cathy. Let us just say that I’m not the most organized person in the world. Cathy took it upon herself to make sure that key things were scheduled in – meeting with a travel agent, dentist appointment, financial advisor – along with making certain I got to see certain friends who might only have limited time available because of work or travel.

I used the line “Cathy is managing the fun for me” more than once. Really, it’s a wonder I haven’t been killed yet.

All of this did have one unanticipated side-effect. I had made my peace with leaving Newfoundland. I never particularly wanted to go, but now that I was gone, I was gone. Yes, I still had some family there to visit and a few friends (two fewer as of the end of this month), but that was it. I’d made my peace that the next time I’d live in Newfoundland, barring miracles, would likely be never.

However, I genuinely regretted leaving on Sunday. The beautiful weather, Newfoundland looking as pretty as it gets, having tons of friends around. It sucked getting on the plane and coming back here. I had to remind myself constantly that I was falling in love with an illusion. That in a few weeks the weather would turn back to Newfoundland standard. That in a few days, if not hours, most of the friends I saw back home would also be on planes and heading to different cities.

So yeah, I didn’t enjoy leaving, which caught me a bit by surprise. Then again, if we hadn’t had such a horrific summer up here, it might have been easier.

That also represents my last trip home for the foreseeable future. I may get home for a few days next summer on the way back from Italy. But considering Cathy wants to try and squeeze a few days in Cairo and I had friends trying to persuade me to spend a few days in England on the way back to hang out, I’m not sure that will be happening. Australia is in 2009. I only have so much vacation time. So that might be it for back home for awhile.

Of course, we shall see. Best laid of plans and all…


Steve said...

You put it so well. We deal with the "homesick" stuff every year.

We go home and the red carpet rolls out. People are happy to see us (or at least act that way), they are competing for our time, we are treated like royalty, and on top of that, we don't deal with the hum-drum of everyday life (getting up early, going to work, making supper, paying bills etc).

We must remind ourselves that these are some of the things that would return to us at the end of ANY vacation, even if we actually lived in Newfoundland.

The red carpet turns to a plain shade of taupe.

nadinebc said...

A visit with home is like a visit with an old lover. You fall into that familiar pattern, rhythm. It’s comfortable, it feels good. You wonder again if there was anyway to make it work, but you realize that there isn't. And you have to say good bye again.