Saturday, December 27, 2008

Dateline: Moncton, NB, Canada

One of the advantages of living a life longer than many of my dear, departed friends is that I don’t attach myself to results too much. Expectations can let me down as I’ve learned over and over. The 2 X 4s of life I call them. Always have a Plan B.

Like Christmas Day, my daughter was scheduled to fly to St. John's and she got to the airport in Toronto, early, was issued a boarding pass and then without any warning or apology, her flight was cancelled without any reason offered.

Reasons, of course, are obvious on the media. Vancouver was snowed in and Westjet could not get their planes out of there. So my poor daughter had to schlep her way back home again. A driving trip we had planned to share across the province of Newfoundland from St. John’s to reach the ferry in Port Aux Basques – over 900 km of at times treacherous weather conditions - now had to be undertaken in one day alone by me. Through the spectacular mountains, sometimes by lonesome outports, beside dense forests and uncountable miles of uninhabited beauty. Stressed? Yes, I was. But I made it, in less than 12 hours and 3 breaks. One short stop for a quick restorative nap in the car (I’m lucky that way, I can have a 15 minute nap that rights me with the world.)

And I slept well on the ferry in spite of a shocking storm and slabs of ice that hit the sides of the vessel with great big shuddering wallops from time to time. I thought of the Titanic going down in such conditions as I was woken up by the ferocity of the rolling ship the first time and thought to myself, if the alarms go off, I’m not getting up – I’m just too damn tired. I rolled over and went back to sleep.

And this morning I ambled across Cape Breton and landed in Moncton, where I now wait as my daughter, once again, waits in Toronto airport for another delayed flight, this time to Moncton, and hopefully not cancelled.

We may spend an extra day here in Moncton, there is a centuries old woollen mill, Briggs & Little that I would love to check out. An ex-police chief – female - of a major American city who was touring Newfoundland this year with her ex-fire chief husband – saw the sign on my car (“Got Knitting?”) and we bonded over needles for an hour or so. She told me about Briggs & Little, not to be missed. I told her about Baadeck Yarns in Nova Scotia.

My gratitude list is long. It nearly always is in spite of myself and my whinging. And a few samples:

· Yay, I’ve got high speed in the hotel, now I can see all my blog-buds’ YouTubes and check out what I’ve missed.

· My dear darling dog, Ansa, who has travelled 1,500 km in the car in the past 30 hours and ne’er a whit of complaint. Though I do spoil her a bit with road food. A great big *Thank You Tim Horton’s* for your great, great breakfast biscuits, from both of us. And note: I will always put your misplaced apostrophe back into your name. So there.

· Walking in the snow: we went for a long trek in the lightly falling snow tonight, looking in at all the windows with the Christmas lights - a telescope into the lives of others.

· Lobster – I’m in the capital. Need I say more?

Posted Later @ half past midnight.
I drove out to the airport in freezing rain conditions at a crawl and once I get there I'm told that the flight was turned back due to the weather. So my poor daughter is once again foiled in her attempt to get out here to Atlantic Canada. How awful for her.

What was that again about expectations?


  1. It seems you are bound to make this journey by yourself, but you are such a courageous woman, sleeping through the Titanic like conditions of your boat ride. What a long journey you have made already with Ansa the loyal dog. I'll be thinking of you especially hard this week as you travel onward to your destination. Take good care of yourself.

    Big hug,

  2. oh my you are braver than i. i would have stayed put in such weather. and your poor daughter!! so frustrating! i hope she gets there today.

    but i like your sanguine attitude.

    and i envy your restorative naps.

  3. @Irene:
    Well now the story is she is scheduled to arrive tonight. Thanks for your kind words and wishes.
    I have commitments in Toronto that pull me westward and I am staying put in balmy weather in Moncton!

  4. Heavens above, WWW!! What are you, reincarnation of "Scott of the Antarctic" ? I am in awe of your courage and good spirits!

    I hope the rest of your journey is more comfortable and your daughter can join you - at last.

  5. I am in awe of your courage, seriously, I am not sure if I'd make that trip alone. Then again... Sounds like nothing can hold you back from a bit of adventure. And from your old posts I see you have already done so much traveling alone (I don't mean to exclude your darling dog Ansa) that one more is no biggie to you even under unfavourable conditions.
    I salute you! Hope your daughter is able to get on that plane and meet you soon.
    I remember the Canadian winter!!!!!!

  6. WWW, you have an epic tale in the making there. I am impressed, what an inspiration you are. A tiny bit of snow falls here in the UK and everything shuts down.

    You have heard of third time lucky, right? I bet your daughter makes it tonight.

    Big hugs to both of you.


  7. @T:
    People are always saying that to me. Seriously. And I don't think I'm that unusual. We put the head down and do what we have to do, I think. After all I did choose to strike off by myself and live in NL and I don't have a whit of regret about that. So it's a little hard to get to, dem's the price tags!!
    So far so good for tonight. But one never knows, I feel so bad for her all this back and forthing between her home in DT T/O and the airport.
    yes, I'm really really hoping for tonight but not putting too much of an expectation on it!!


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