Our journey from Dublin to Edmonton was uneventful but very long. By the time our head hit the pillow in our motorhome in Hinton, we had been going for about 27 hours. I had about an hour sleep on the plane but other than that, not much else. Unfortunately, our bodies were still on Ireland time so we only managed a couple of hours sleep before they felt we should be up and going again. After three days we are now getting our internal clock back into a proper sleeping routine and managed about 6 hours last night.
Blair met us at the airport in Edmonton and we drove straight back to Hinton – at least a six hour round trip for him. He dropped us off at Hilary and Dane’s and we spent an hour or so visiting before the two hour sleep fiasco. Norah had waited up for us and the hug she gave me was what I had been missing all these many months. It was exquisite – so full of love and innocent abandon. To be hugged by a child is divine. We met our new granddaughter Indiana, now seven weeks. She is, of course, perfect. She is sleeping, eating and pooping like most that age but she is also cooing, smiling, and laughing at her own little personal jokes. I am sure she wonders who these two grey haired folks are that keep zooming into her focus!!
The boys went golfing on Saturday and the girls spent the day talking, catching up and watching the baby sleep. I borrowed Hilary’s jeep and Norah and I went grocery shopping and got a treat at Dairy Queen – just normal stuff. However, it is still part of the adventure for me – driving a car on the right hand side of the road, not having to convert currency at the grocery store, holding hands with my grandaughter as she chatters us around the store with all the wisdom of the world from a 7 year old’s perspective. The best line of course being, “Wait, how are you going to pay for all these groceries? You don’t have a job!” Ahhh, from the mouths of babes.
The Hinton family all got together at Blair’s for a barbq that night. The grandboys were not quite as enthusiastic to see us but nevertheless, we got our hugs and squirmy kisses before they all rushed to play on the trampoline. As we sat in Blair’s back yard, enjoying the evening sunshine and the fantastic food and company, I couldn’t help but think that this is really the destination. Family is the ultimate goal. What do we spend our life striving for if it is not to be with the ones you love at the end of the day? No matter where we travelled this theme resonated everywhere – parents with their children, couples holding hands, grandparents and grandchildren. Love is all around us.
Though we are happy to be home and are enjoying spending this time with family, we are missing our free and easy travel lifestyle. As we sadly unpacked our backpacks, we reflected on how we managed to live in four shirts and two pairs of pants for 10 months. Our camper is full of clothes and yet we still only want to wear these clothes that were a part of our great adventure. Will this feeling pass? Will we ever feel comfortable living a routine? Are we square pegs trying to fit in round holes? Where will we live? What will we do? Can we leave the family again? So many questions and so many possibilities.