Coming home to miniature daffodils and the soft green blanket of spring on fields gives rise to joy in my heart even though my one-week hiatus feels more like a month when I consider what I did and now what I must do. Thanks to my loyal followers for not giving up on me. It had been my intention to write a blog each day, but I have priorities and that wasn’t on it.
Something about being away from home seems to make it harder to just have a coffee in the morning. That the hotel staff didn’t bother to leave me any coffee other than decaf may have been part of the problem too. I need high octane caffeine in the morning.
For those who may not know, I was in North Bay Ontario, all week facilitating peer support training for people working or seeking work in mental health and related fields. My co-facilitator and I have worked together for many years on different projects and have taught this course together as well so that part was relatively seamless. We had a wonderful and eager group of 11 learners, who were also fun. Because most were already with Peer Support in Mental Health discussions were deeper than they are when people are inexperienced. It was less about skills and more about process.
Evenings always included dinner in a local restaurant. The hotel we stayed in, which will remain nameless, was lacking in many ways, especially in the kitchen, but the local eateries reminded me of home. Fabulous food, interesting menus and comfortable environments.
Dinner with an old friend also means long conversations and it was nice catching up. Some of dinner was spent going over daily evaluations and then back to the rooms to review the assignments handed in at the end of each segment of the course. It makes for a very long day and I was exhausted.
The big glitch for me was pain. On the almost six hour drive last Sunday I was blithely enjoying the sunshine and blue sky without realizing that the solar monster was attaching me. I awoke on Monday with second degree burns on my neck and suffered for two days with the agony of it. It is still very sore and I’m sure will be a dreadful mess when blisters turn to peeling skin. Word to the wiser. Put on sun screen if you are going to be in the sun in your vehicle. OUCH!
The ride home was nice. I made it an adventure and stopped to see friends in Bracebridge. They made me lunch and we caught up on many of the exciting things happening in our lives.
The next stop was just outside Midland to stay the night with another friend. She has recently become the guardian of a two-year-old grandchild and was happy to have some adult company for a few hours. Widowed about five years ago she has faced more challenges than most of us, but she keeps a happy spirit and open heart.
Then home to carry suitcases up those 18 stairs I love, unpack and reorganize. I think it will take me another week to get things back where they belong. Groceries would be a welcome addition to the household and I may run out for a few of those now this is done.