For Christmas, Hubby and I received an invitation to join our daughter, her husband, and their baby son on Keats Island. It’s one of the little islands off Canada’s west coast, north of Vancouver, near Gibsons. Our son-in-law’s parents live and work there, managing a conference/retreat centre called BarnabasFamily Ministries. It sounded like a rare opportunity to visit a unique place, share in our grandson’s first Christmas, and become better acquainted with his other grandparents. If you remember the 1970’s CBC show, The Beachcombers, you might recognize some of the gorgeous scenery we enjoyed. (We even ate a meal at Molly’s Reach, just because we could.)
But what an adventure in modes of transportation! Portage to Winnipeg by car; Winnipeg to Vancouver by plane. Okay, we could handle that. But from the Vancouver airport, we needed to catch the Skytrain to the city centre, then board a bus to Horseshoe Bay to catch a ferry to catch a boat. Would these two prairie bumpkins find our way without any wrong turns? What if we missed the last boat of the day? One glitch could throw off the whole plan and land us in Seattle. Or Anchorage.
Figuring out the train wasn’t too difficult, although by then it was late afternoon and we’d been travelling since early morning. My brain felt furry and my eyes burned. My hair hurt and my teeth itched. My arms and shoulders ached from the backpack across my back, the laptop bag over my shoulder, and the rolling suitcase I dragged behind. As the train approached our stop, we received a text telling us our son-in-law and his dad were waiting there for us. “We’re by the accordion player,” it said.
As we exited the train and began riding up a nearby escalator, I thought accordion music had never sounded so sweet! There stood our grinning, handsome son-in-law. Hubby threw some coins in the busker’s accordion case out of sheer relief, I think.
We now had help with the luggage, guides to insure we boarded the right bus, and a boat waiting for us at Horseshoe Bay. I cheered when the boat ride included the sight of a seal smiling at us from a floating log!
The trip presented its challenges, but the rewards—the brilliant reflection of sunshine on the Pacific Ocean, the breathtaking beauty of the Rockies, luxurious accommodations, amazing hospitality, and of course, time with our kids—were priceless. No journey worth taking is made in three easy steps.
If you’ve read this blog recently, you know I’ve been on a much longer journey toward publishing my book, The Silver Suitcase. The planes, trains, and automobiles have been like the different people who have helped me toward my dream: writing mentors, my agent, editors. Some rides proved more turbulent than others, but all helped me move along toward the goal. Sometimes my brain felt furry and my eyes burned from early morning writing sessions. Lugging baggage is similar to the personal life experiences that show up in my book, like the names I borrowed from old friends or family members and the stories my mom shared about teaching in a one-room school. The pain in my shoulders represents the sting of rejection and the weariness of rewriting. Being greeted by our son-in-law felt like finally getting that publishing contract and knowing I would have expert help for the remainder of the journey.
And the reward? Well, that’s where you come in. Early reviewers are saying such kind things! Seeing readers enjoy my story and celebrating with me has made the trip priceless. No journey worth taking is made in three easy steps.
I hope you can join me at the book launch party—Tuesday, January 26, 6:30 – 8:00 pm at the Portage Regional Library. I’ll be going by car.
|Me exploring Salmon Rock on Keats Island, Christmas Day 2015. Photo credit: Mindy Erickson.|