Category: nature (page 1 of 2)

Day 6

I am on the 6th and final day of my staycation.  I am left feeling like I did’t cross off enough To Do items, didn’t accomplish anything I should have.

And that’s the problem with staying home for a vacation. You’re continually torn. You’re constantly in a position where you see the stuff you should be doing/fixing when you’re trying to unwind and relax and do SFA, and feel resentful of the stuff you do/fix when you’re on your vacation dammit.

But it appears I am an equal opportunity slacker…I neglected both the things on the To Do list thatI should have done AND the relaxing things I wanted to do.

My novel is just as unwritten as before. Pages of letter paper are still blank. The half-finished embroidery project is still half-finished.  The sewing is still unsewn.


I went swimming in the river every day, spending time braced against the submerged rock in the deep spot, luxuriating in the feeling of the cool water sliding over my skin.

I spent an afternoon reading and napping in my hammock, listening to the crickets and birds.

I went for walks, for drives. I finished a knitting project and started another. I bought a crokinole board from the old gentleman at the farmers market who makes them by hand. I drove us out to Thornbury for ice cream and a walk along the water. I sat solo by the water towers and watched the sun go down. I felt sorry for myself at one point but managed to stop the mood before it could slide any further from alone to lonely.

I spent most of the time in or around the house. I love our house.

Keith asked yesterday while we were walking by the river, if it was fate or luck that landed us here. I said something flippant in answer, but it’s been on my mind. The better answer would be, it feels like fate, because I’ve never really been this lucky.

It feels…right. Right to be in our yellow house out in the boonies where most of our sparse-by-our-standards traffic is pickup trucks and farm vehicles. I love my commute through farms and fields and pastures, along rivers and the escarpment, where every view is lovely.

And I am grateful: to Keith’s mother who saved and invested so diligently to give us this nest egg, to Keith for so so much more than just embracing the move to this new lifestyle, to Side Launch for hiring me so I can live in this heaven, to whatever Fates or gods have landed me right here at this now.

Perfect day in pictures

Motorcycling along the Great Ocean Road between Warnambool and Anglesea. A perfect day in Australia with my beloved.

Loch Ard Gorge

Loch Ard Gorge


At the Loch Ard Gorge

At the Loch Ard Gorge


Seen on the road to Cape Otway. The beginning of the Guess What Koala Butt jokes.

Seen on the road to Cape Otway. The beginning of the Guess What Koala Butt jokes.


Didn't see one, so they must have been active elsewhere.

Didn’t see one, so they must have been active elsewhere.


Cape Otway

Cape Otway


The view from the top.

The view from the top.


Path away from the lighthouse/

Path away from the lighthouse


Good view with our picnic lunch.

Good view with our picnic lunch.


The couch.

The couch.


Wild parrots outside our hotel room door in Anglesea.

Wild parrots outside our hotel room door in Anglesea.


Ending the day with a beer while waiting for an amazing Italian meal.

Ending the day with a beer while waiting for an amazing Italian meal.











Headed out to the Niagara region today to meet with two men at Niagara College; one is the head professor and the other is the program coordinator. It was a great meeting, and I got enough information about the program to set the hook in my desire to get in. There are only 24 spots and 150+ applicants every year, a statistic that my self-doubt had a field day with. The little voice whispered that I’m going to go through all this work for nothing, I should just accept reality and look for a job that won’t be what I want to do but will pay me for it. Because really, who gets to do the work they want to do in this world?

Dear self-doubt: bite me.


After the meeting, I killed some time by driving along the Niagara River, ending up in Niagara-on-the-Lake. It was a ghost town compared to the summer theatre-town craziness. I think I counted maybe 8 cars and 20 people. But the the coffee place was open and the park at the lake was empty, so I was a happy little introvert.


FUNemployment, Day 120

Oh hey! How are you?

Yeah, I know, it’s been a while. 92 days to be exact. No, I didn’t actually count the days; I used a website. I’m not that bored.

What have I been doing in the last three months?

Well, I did not accomplish much on my Summer List. I didn’t skate very much, actually twice if I’m honest about it. The first thing I did while unemployed was gain weight which made the knee hurt. And I was afraid to go to practices for reasons that only exist in my head. I didn’t learn Ruby on Rails or brush up all that much on HTML5, CSS or Javascript. I didn’t go to a drive-in. I didn’t do anything on my Pantone Project other than take one photograph with a red tomato. I joined the HackLab but haven’t been even once, afraid to go for reasons that again, only exist in my head. I did start the Flora Chameleon Scarf, but put it away when it didn’t work after the 12th try, to trouble shoot another time. I didn’t write anything of consequence other than a few half-finished entries in my journal. If only writing/blogging in my head counted…then I would have written tonnes!

I didn’t get to a drive-in or eat a hot dog over a campfire or go to Manitoulin Island or Port Dover. Keith was quite busy this summer and we did not get away even for a weekend trip. We did travel together to Owen Sound as Keith was working up there for a week, and I did get to see Moreland Place and its neighbour, Inglis Falls. I quite like Owen Sound; it’s pretty and has a great used bookstore beside a great coffee shop down the street from a great yarn store.

Inglis Falls, Owen Sound

Inglis Falls, Owen Sound

Moreland Place, Owen Sound

Moreland Place, Owen Sound

We did get out on some day trips together, Keith and I. We explored different parts of the city on long walks, went out of town now and then, and spent a day at the Art Gallery of Ontario taking in the Ai Wei Wei and David Bowie exhibits (both were brilliant). We took a day and went to the US of A, where we were surprised with a friendly US customs border guard, delighted by the change in perspective by being on the American side of Niagara for the first time, intrigued by the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright at Greycliff Estate on Lake Erie, satisfied by wings at Duff’s, and amazed at the work being done to restore Buffalo’s Central Terminal.

Road trip to Niagara Falls and Buffalo.

Road trip to Niagara Falls and Buffalo.

I did get out on the motorcycle a bit more, mostly back up to Tyson Lake, once in August, and again in October for Canadian Thanksgiving. I’m getting good at making a 4 hour highway drive last close to 8 hours on a motorbike. The August trip was a solo, read-reflect-and-write trip, where all I really did was read, drink beer and goof off. Thanksgiving was all about family, and I loved spending time with everyone. Highlights were watching my niece and nephew play hockey, and having Keith ride up to Parry Sound to join me for the 6-hour ride home on a clear and wonderful fall day.

Solo vacation

Tyson Lake, August. Solo time spent sitting around, drinking good beer and watching nature do what it does.

Thanksgiving with the family

Tyson Lake, October. Thanksgiving with the family

I also spent a lot of time making jam and bread, soups and stews for the freezer, and knitting like crazy.

from top: beret that I'm not sure I'll wear, cowl with art-deco wave pattern, cowl with stranded colourwork (frogged) and cowl with overly-intricate Irish cables.

From top: beret that I’m not sure I’ll wear, cowl with art-deco wave pattern, cowl with stranded colour work (frogged) and cowl with overly-intricate Irish cables. There’s more projects, but these were the prettiest.

I also volunteered at Toronto Mini Maker Faire, which was an amazing show-and-tell of Maker culture, and Cask Days. More on Cask Days later; know that it was beyond fun.

I think most of the time over the last 3 months has been spent trying to process my unemployed state. And to figure out what I’m going to next.

This is where I have to thank the fates for Keith. He has been incredibly supportive in his quiet, laid-back way. He seemed too quiet and laid-back in my panicky, oh-my-freaking-gods-what-the-the-hell-am-I-going-to-do moments, but I realized that he is like this because he trusts, he knows that I’ve got this (or will eventually). He is not rushing me to go out and find a job, any job, that might not suit me. Employment Insurance makes sure that the bills are covered, and between that, the settlement and Keith, I find that I actually have time to plan my next steps for the first time in my life.

Plan A: Brewmaster
Yes, you read right. Brewmaster. It started with a conversation with Keith:

“so what do you think I should be when I grow up?” I asked jokingly.
“Brewmaster Goodale has a nice ring to it,” was his reply.

And so the seed was planted. I’m putting together some research to present to Second Career in the hopes that I might be eligible to have my tuition and expenses covered for the Brewmaster and Brewery Operations course at Niagara College. I’ve gotten my high school and college transcripts, have emailed the admissions department to find out what I need to do, and have subsequently signed up for a grade 12 biology course, bought a one gallon kit to start making my own beer, and started a beer blog (, and no, it’s not quite ready yet) to act as a portfolio. I’m making contacts with brewers, teachers and beer sommeliers in different programs to investigate the growth of the craft beer industry and job opportunities within it.

I am realistic about this. I really want this, but know there is about  25% chance that I can get all the ducks in a row and make it happen. I’m not sure if I can get a student loan if the Second Career doesn’t pan out, and I know I can’t go there on my own dime as I am just not keen on dipping into my retirement investment at this age in order to pay for tuition and boarding. At the very worst, I don’t get into the program, but I will still have the contacts and plan on furthering my beer education through the Cicerone program or something similar.

Because beer is delicious. And beer people are wonderful.

Plan B:
Of course I have a Plan B. What’s the good of doing all this work for a 25% chance at Plan A without a fallback plan? There was a time I would have set all my energies to Plan A, but to quote Danny Glover’s character in Lethal Weapon, I am too old for that shit.

I have checked with Employment Ontario, and can apply for Ontario Self Employment Benefit and go back to running my own business again. I think I would focus on contract work in desktop publishing or web development at larger business as well as working with small business this time. We’ll see how that goes.

Plan C:
Get a job. I’ve been conducting a steady job search since IE started as that is a condition of the payment, and have been sending out 10-15 resumes a week. I have had a few interviews, but nothing that panned out into a second one. While my skill-set and education doesn’t look that great on paper (too general, nothing specific and in-depth), I am not discounting the chance that I might find a fabulous job that fits my skill-set at a fabulous place that fits my values and temperament. hey, it could happen. It did before, just when I was least expecting it.

There you have it. Three months of activity in 1200+ words. I feel…lighter. Writing only really counts if I commit words to paper or screen. Otherwise it’s just thinking, and I think too much as it is anyway. Going to aim for at least once a week, and perhaps try the NaBloPoNo. Maybe even NaNoWriMo since it’s not like writing an hour a day can interfere with work these days!

Unplugged in July

Draft clean-up day part 2: I started writing this July 18th. The photos are Ryan’s, and have not been edited.

I’ve got a couple of trips to my nephew’s cabin planned this summer, a family one in July (now passed), and another in August with a friend.

The family get together was beyond perfect . The weather was flawless except for the one black cloud that rained buckets on me as I was leaving (I think it was trying to tell me to stay!). I got to spend time with nephew Ryan who lives in Halifax, and his fiancee Jenny. I swam with my great-niece and -nephew, went kayaking, boated, watched sunsets, drank good beer, waved sparklers and watched fireworks launched from the end of the dock, and laughed with my family over Uno (with the kids) and Cards Against Humanity (after kids went to bed).

I think the second funniest moment of the weekend was during the CAH game, when Ryan realized that he would have to read “an icy handjob from an Edmonton hooker” in front of his rather staid mother. The funniest moment was when we all realized that she was the one that played it to him!

There other standout moments. Matt, the nephew who owns the cottage, had arranged for a float plane to come to lake and give us rides. He had won the rides in a raffle the year before, and arranged it for the weekend we were all there by happy accident. He gave no indication of it until that morning; this is good as no doubt the anxiety that still lives in the back of my head would have been much more prevalent if I’d had time to think about all that could go wrong. There were a few white knuckle moments, but only a few. Excitement and delight drowned out the anxiety pretty effectively, so effectively that I went up a second time. I remember looking at the expanse of lakes and trees, at Silver Peak bumping up from the Canadian Shield, at the jagged coast of Georgian Bay, and thinking how incredibly lucky I am to live so close to this rugged beauty. I know many people who are passionate about their corner of the planet, but I couldn’t help but think how that would change if they ever experienced Northern Ontario.





Saw some wildlife too – on the way back from Killarney for fish & chips and ice cream, a black bear loped into the road a ways in front of us. Matt slowed down when he saw her stop in the middle of the road and turn her head back the way she had from and bellow. Very quickly, two cubs bounded out of the brush at the side of the road and ran across the road toward her. She ushered them into the bush and we got a glimpse of all three of them looking at us as we passed.

I did have one hiccup…while I was unplugged, I wasn’t technology free. I’d brought my iPhone and put it on airplane mode, to take pictures and video of the weekend and make another little movie like the one  made when we were there for a weekend in February. On the last night of my visit, were all sitting on the dock, chatting and watching a truly spectacular sunset. Ryan, my brother Doug and I would occasionally get up and take a picture or two. I was sitting at the end of the dock to get a shot using the Slow Shutter app when my phone decided that it wanted to see what it was like at the bottom of the lake.


Yes. I dropped my phone off the dock. Insert a few expletives here. don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I am particularly attached to it, and all of the data is backed up, which is the important part. Well, most of the data. Because there is no technology or cell service, the photos of the plane trip, the family playing and the sunsets were not backed up.

Luckily, Matt was far more quick-thinking than I was and ran to the shed to get goggles and had dove in after it before I had even remembered that I was still in my bathing suit. It was still on, which I took as a good sign, and immediately turned it off and put it in a container of rice. It was at about 5% battery when it went into the lake, so I wasn’t too panicky when it didn’t turn on the next morning. And while it did turn on when I got it home and plugged it in to my computer, it was stuck in a reboot cycle. It was easily replaced, and while I regret losing the pictures, I am very grateful that Ryan and Doug are sharing their’s with me.

Today & Yesterday


Goodbye, second molar on the left side. It’s been a fun 45 years or so, but let’s face it, you’ve not been the same since the root canal  five years back. And while it’s a bit painful having this great hole in my jaw (or would be if I didn’t have uber strength Advil and Tylenol 3 with codeine), I doubt I’ll miss that constant slight background feeling that I’m biting on tinfoil once the swelling goes down and the great hole has healed.



Like everyone else, I was horrified by what happened in Boston yesterday. And then I was horrified by what I saw on social media afterward. Scams to take advantage of the horrified, cryptic messages, suppositions and Chinese Whispers passed off as truths and retweeted without verification, hatred, thoughtlessness, and people telling me what I should “witness”, what I should be thinking and how I should be feeling.

I can think & feel for myself, tyvm. And watching the same news clips of smoke and flames and blood on the ground neither increases or decreases my disgust at the action; it serves no purpose other than to plant seeds in my mind that I would rather not see take root.

My solution was to turn it all off. I went for a walk in the ravine and sat by a wild riot of bluebells near the river, listening to robins, red-wing blackbirds and blue jays punctuate the sound of the rushing water until my equilibrium returned. I meditated on the innate good in people, and hoped that the good people won’t be turned to hatred or despair by evil actions. As I sat, a coyote the size of a small wolf came to the river on the opposite back, and after drinking its fill, stared at me for one of those moments that contain an eternity in a second. The call of a blue jay startled it, and it turned and loped along the bike trail toward the wilder part of the ravine.

Then I went home, hugged my husband, talked to my friend. Life is short; shorter than you might think. Enjoy the moments you can, however you can.


Huh. Looks like I’m blogging again.

best of 2012

Yes, I know we’re already almost a week into 2013 – it took me a few days to go through the few hundred photos I took last year and then another day or so to re-surface back into this year. 2012 was a very good year and holy FSM, I did a lot of stuff for am old broad. Here’s to more fun times to come!



Apres-holiday stress was dealt with by heading to our favourite get-away spot, Pine Vista Resort. Favourite moments: going for hikes then warming up in the outdoor hot tub or by the fire.



It’s no secret that I love Niagara Falls. I love it even more in the winter.





The theme of February’s road trip was What do a summer beaches look like in winter?

Frickin’ cold is what they look like.


February was when I got my first pair of roller skates. Ten months later, and they’re still not really broken in.





March was too awesome for words. We spent three weeks in Australia, seeing friends we don’t see nearly often enough and to experience a place unlike anything I imagined.



I could have spent another few days exploring Uluru and area…watching the colours change as the sun set was one of the best memories of the trip.





Home and broke; luckily watching Spring happen is free.




April’s road trip took us to Niagara; we finished the day by hanging out around our friend Moose’s fire pit, drinking his beer.





Finally, a road trip on the bike. Felt so good to be on it after missing so much of last summer thanks to the rehab on the knee.



First skating injury – was talking while I was putting on my gear and forgot to put on elbow pads. Of course, as soon as I realized I’d forgotten them, I fell on my right elbow. Sigh.




I went on a writing retreat at a cottage on Lake Simcoe. It was grey and bleak, a perfect contract to the warmth and laughter inside.



Sometimes you’re just in the right place at the right time. We were riding through Coboconk and stopped to take in their summer festival which included a travelling reptile show. The woman who ran it was happy to let me hold this 2m long albino Burmse python. I really don’t understand why most people are afraid of snakes…but then I guess most people don’t understand being afraid of bridges.


July saw many small trips rather than a big one since we were still light on cash after Australia. We headed to Manitoulin Island for some camping, then to my newphew’s cottage on Tyson Lake, where we had nothing more pressing to do than go swimming or kayaking then watch some spectacular sunsets at day’s end.


We also headed to a friend’s cottage for a few days. this was my favourite view.





Headed to Oklahoma for Okie-Vegas and drank Keystone Light to stay hydrated (insert canoe joke here). It was so great hanging out and playing drunken silly poker. I was introduced to apple pie moonshine, which I liked a little too much.


I’ve been to Niagara Falls at least fifty times but have never done the touristy things. We went on the Maid of the Mist and Journey Behind the Falls, and I voluntarily went on the Sky Wheel. I almost chickened out, and the first orbit was a bit…tense, but I was able to smile and enjoy it by the third orbit. So glad I did the CBT!



We made one final bike trip before school started, riding along Lakes Huron and Erie. Good way to end the summer.



School kept me busy, because of course I did no prep over the summer. I made it out one night to meet an old friend for dinner, little knowing when we booked it that it was Nuit Blanche. the odd art installations, like this programmed Space Invaders added a nice bit of surrealism to the night.



It’s official!




The definite highlight of October was the weekend spent in Greenville, SC at Mastodon Weekend. Too many highlights to list, but being able to belatedly cross something off my summer list thanks to the efforts of the Fire God was one of the main ones.




Made it back to Pine Vista Resort for a weekend. We explored waterfalls, climbed over rocks, fed apples to horses and found Buddha in the woods.








This was the first year in 6 years that I could not go to the annual blogger bacchanalia in Vegas. I was in danger of becoming very depressed about having to be all adult when Heather decided to come visit Toronto for a weekend. We ate, we drank, we did touristy things including going up the CN Tower. It only took one martini to get me to stand on the glass floor. Now that’s progress!

While many people at school werre spending their winter holiday somewhere south, I went to Calgary. Where it was cold. And snowy. I hadn’t seen my brother & nieces in almost two years, and five days of hanging out with my family and seeing Joanada & Buddy Dank flew past too quickly.


7:00am: the cat meows by my ear. I ignore her. She is old, and like all old ladies she really hates it when the routine is disrupted. She does this for a few seconds, realizes me getting up is not going to happen, then turns to lay down. In so doing she flicks her tail over my face. Again and again.

7:15 am: move the cat by a series of increasingly forceful shoves. Funny how a 13 lb cat can suddenly take on the density of a small black hole. Tail no longer in my face. We both go back to sleep.

8:00 am: I should get up. I have a computer teachers conference to go to. I see the sun peeking in around the edges of the blind and decide that if it's going to be sunny, I'm going to stay home and enjoy the day. I go back to dozing.

8:45 am: Remember the two seminars that I really wanted to see at the conference, a workshop on processing.js and a session on getting more girls in computer sciences. Merde. I get up. I stagger around slowly until I see the clock and realize that I have only 45 minutes to shower, get dressed and transit down there.

9:10 am: out the door. I run for the bus, and the driver actually stops and waits for me. Realizing that there is no way I can make the opening keynote. Since I don't remember who that is, I'm not stressing over it.

9:30 am: transit luck continues; westbound subway arrives just as I get on platform

9:40 am: southbound subway arrives at St. George just as I go up the stairs. The degree of transit luck on a morning when I am late is freaking me out a little.

9:50 am: arrive at the ACSE conference just as the keynote is finishing. Still 10 minutes before the Processing ,js session, I have time for a strawberry muffin (yum) and a coffee from the urn (not so yum)

10:00-12:20: Processing.js session is plagued with technical difficulties. Bad USB keys, sketchy wireless, faulty projector cable have got the presenter slightly frazzled and most of the attendees a bit confused. Do I click here all the time? How do I find the files on the USB? I grab the files and evernote all off the links – I'll have to play with this on my own.

12:20 – 1:00 pm: lunch. I sit at a table with three men I have never met before and listen to them talk about how to get more girls interested in Computer Science classes. Kudos to them for addressing the issue, but their ideas come from a middle-aged geek guy mindset. We spend the rest of lunch talking about how to change girls' perception of CS – a girls tech club, be transparent ask them what they want to learn, use creative, open-ended & self-directed projects. I tell them what I've used successfully: Alice, Lilypad Arduino & soft circuits, game development, app development, cross-curricular projects with art & science.

1:10 – 2:10 pm: session on getting girls in CS. The statistics are good to know and I got some great links for contests and the like, but there's not much in this one I can use. I realize about 20 minutes in that I should have gone to the App Inventor workshop instead.

2:10 pm: Bailed on the last session and the closing. I'm not willing to miss the last of a sunny afternoon so I pack up and walk through the U of T campus and Kensington Market to Queen Street West. Am amused by this sign in the window of a used record store. I pop into Romni Wools on Queen Street to get more yarn for my Christmas present knitting. Guess I should really start on that.

3:30 pm: get sidetracked on way to transit by the way the sun fell in an alley off Bathurst. Spend a half hour walking along Graffiti Alley and taking photos with the crappy iPhone.

4:00 pm: apparently I used all transit luck this morning. Waited for 25 minutes for the 504 King car while I realized that perhaps bringing a scarf & mitts might have been a good idea. Was rewarded for my discomfort by a sunset view of the city as the streetcar went along Broadview past Riverdale park.

5:00 pm: Home. Stopped at the grocery store which was not a good idea as I found myself paying for a bag of Miss Vickie's chips and a container of onion dip. While my dinner did not comprise solely of chis & dip, it was pretty close. Calorie overage ensues.

5:30 – 9:30 pm: watched many episodes of Doctor Who on Netflix US while finishing a scarf for a friend. While watching the Journey's End episode, I decide that “Playthings of Davros” will be my band's name which gives me added incentive to learn the guitar since I can't get drunk enough to sing in front of people.

9:30 – 10:00 pm: bubble bath and book. Finished both books by David Wong, John Dies At The End and This Book is Full of Spiders; liked them both in a did-drugs-been-there-saw-that kind of way. Started reading Enders Game by Orson Scott Card, one of science fiction books from the list. I would have sworn I've read this before, but nothing looks familiar in the first 4 chapters.

10:00 – bedtime: bored. The cat is bad company and there are only so many times one can hit Refresh on Twitter and Facebook. Played some Rush poker on Full Tilt, netting an increase to my bankroll of about $85. ABC poker > Eurodonk stupidity.


I wonder…

I admire those people who have goals, whose lives have been mapped and planned and move along a somewhat specific track. Really, I do. I’m just not one of them.

Most of my actions in life, both major and minor, seem to have begun with the words “I wonder ______”. I wonder what this would feel like, I wonder what that does, I wonder where that path/road goes, I wonder what that would taste like, I wonder if I can run my own business, I wonder if I’d be a good teacher, I wonder what hoops I’d have to jump through to move to Australia. Some are easy to satisfy, some take a bit of planning, and some just end up on the shelf because my organic way of moving through life has left me without certain pieces of paper that society says I should have.

Shrug. I don’t regret anything. I’m quite happy with where curiosity has brought me (and a little perturbed at how we seem to be conditioning it out of kids, but that’s a post for another time I think).

For example, yesterday I walked down a new street to get back to the school from my lunch date. A dirt path branched off from the paved sidewalk. I wonder where that goes, I thought.

Where it went was down into the ravine where I spent the rest of my spare in the gold of the late afternoon sun exploring along the creek accompanied by the crunch of the leaves under my feet and the gurgle of the water over the rocks.

I ended up the day a bit more behind in my marking and paperwork because I let my curiousity distract me from my plan. I’m ok with that. Paperwork can wait for a rainy day.



Written Sunday, November 18th as part of NaBloPoMo.


I am not a fan of Sunday, especially when Saturday has been so good and you just know that there is no way the Sunday can even hope to compare, what with knowing that at best there is only time to have one last loll about in the hot tub before the fire in the fireplace that been alight since you arrived Friday night has to be extinguished, and no matter how much you ignore the clock in the kitchen as you read so casually on the couch on the living room you just know that time is marching inexorably to the precise moment that your beloved will look up where he is reading his book at the other end of the couch to say, “well, shall we?”, and you know that even though you'll say something along the lines of “shall we stay another night, you mean?” you'll be closing the book and getting up to start packing away the food even as you say the words, because the cottage is only rented until Sunday and even though the nice man who runs the place said you can check out at 2 instead of 11 so you can take advantage of the sunshine and go for a walk and pull the last of the seeds from the brown milkweed pods and scatter them on the breeze or have one last loll about in the hot tub or just sprawl on the couch reading your book, you know that real life awaits, REAL LIFE, with marking and bills and class prep and light pollution and noise pollution and pollution pollution, REAL LIFE that means taking the bus with the man who smells like he crapped himself and teenage girls who smugly just know that they know more than you and by so doing hold up a mirror so you can see just how annoying you were as a teenager and cringe, so yes, you are understandably reluctant to leave this secluded quiet space that smells of pine and deep fresh water, and even as you act like a responsible adult and prepare to go back to REAL LIFE, deep inside you there is still an incredible irresponsible part of you that would say fuck it all, chuck REAL LIFE for a chance to sit under the stars one more night and watch comet bits fall through the atmosphere, making you gasp with wonder every single time, like each is the first one you've ever seen.

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