I almost didn’t go.
I almost couldn’t go.
I was so stressed out a year ago (one year ago yesterday!) with my job as a copywriter at Shaw and I needed a weekend away. I messaged my stateside buddy and said ‘hey, I’m coming to visit.’
I’d only done that once before. The Boxing Day 10 months earlier, I swung through Spokane and spent an alcohol-laden holiday with my buddy and his friends.
The night before my October 2010 departure, however, I lost my keys. I was out walking Shep and dropped them. Somewhere. God only knows where. I ran over to my landlord’s house grabbed the spare key, then turned my house upside down to find my spare set.
Overnight, Mother Nature blessed us with a mid-October dump of snow but I ploughed through it to get to Lube City in Forest Lawn for an oil change. I was already 45 minutes behind schedule but the oil change dude was asking me all sorts of questions. And he had an accent that I couldn’t understand.
Finally, on the road, I pulled into Douglasdale for a much-needed Starbucks latte. At which point I realized I didn’t have Shep’s papers to ensure the border guards he had his rabies shot (NOTE: U.S. border guards have never, not once, asked me for this paper nor turned us away).
Ah God, I thought, and doubled back to the northeast. But wait … darn good thing, because I didn’t have my passport either.
For the second time in 12 hours, I was turning my house upside down. I thought my passport was still in my suitcase, left there after my trip to Toronto for the World Hockey Summit.
Nope. Was it in the visor folder of my truck already? Nope. It still hadn’t appeared in its usual spot in the jewelry box on my dresser.
I needed magic. I sat down on the couch — Shep was still impatiently waiting in the truck — and maybe, probably, started to cry out of stress-induced frustration.
Ah, dammit, I bought a purse in the Toronto airport.
Lo and behold, there my passport was. Ten feet away from me, on the kitchen table. Taunting me.
I was two hours behind schedule and my latte was cold. And Shep was pissed. No one delays a road trip on that dog. No one.
‘Just go,’ I thought. ‘You need this.’
The next eight hours passed by rather uneventfully, thank goodness. They let me into the country and finally, I landed on my buddy’s doorstep.
That’s when life changed forever.
No, not him, sillies.
We spent most of the entire weekend talking to each other. And laughing. A lot.
We started emailing each other. Then a New Year’s spent together.
And one year since that weekend of boozing, shopping and general hilarity, we’re 10 months into a relationship — not at all what we thought was going to happen that weekend.
Not at all.
And the distance is not easy. Nor is the other challenge that arose last week.
But I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Not at all.